An inspirational speaker

A new perspective on living with wild animals

We all know the beaten path. I provide a different way by putting all perspectives around certain human-animal conflicts on the table. By providing counterarguments I challenge you to think differently, to think outside the box, and to raise awareness about your own (and other people’s) relationships with wild animals.

In my presentations I will touch on some sore points and I provide insights how to deal with these issues by using inspiring examples from the worldwide practice of managing human-animal conflicts. Including the – mostly hidden – practices in the Netherlands.

It is my intention to shake things up a bit in order to relinquish some traditional ways of dealing with wild animals. I will teach people to look and think differently about so-called “problem animals”. Eventually this can result in better decision-making. And, people can start to reflect on their own behaviour: what am I doing – unconsciously – and is counterproductive in learning how to live together with wild animals?

Broaden your mind, be stimulated to think differently with and about wild animals. Let’s shake up your own standard way of thinking and reflect on your own animal ethical standards. Become inspired by other means of living together with wild animals.

Do you dare to be confronted?

Are you prepared for (new) hope?

Let yourself be inspired and broaden your view.

Learn to rethink with wild animals and (wild?) people.

In short, I provide thought-provoking presentations about your role in the complexity of (human-human and) human-animal relationships by connecting catchy and anecdotal stories from various practices with the challenges we are currently facing and ultimately arriving at certain ways of living together. By adding personal stories each presentation becomes a unique journey.

Even you can make a difference in our collective journey towards practices of coexistence with wild animals

A selection from the topics I can speak about during a presentation:

  • Rethinking with wild animals: five essential ways to rethink with wild animals to live with them.
  • Wild animals in our midst: what is your relationship with wild animals?
  • Dilemmas surrounding living together with wild animals: a story full of tensions.
  • Diversity in human-wild animal perceptions: come and meet hunters, activists, residents, policy makers.
  • The voice of people and wild animals on the joint journey to ‘coexistence’.
  • What is your ‘wild animal story’? Revisit your memories.

Furthermore, I am willing to check for options to customize the presentation to fit the topic you want to discuss. The presentations can be given in both English and Dutch. And it is possible to offer the presentation online.

If you want to obtain even more added value from the presentation, it can be complemented with an interactive workshop on the same day or in the period afterwards through an accessible follow-up program, such as a human-animal debate.

What do others say about me?

“Susan was a valuable guest and a very interesting speaker. During the program we dealt with, among other things, animal-ethical issues and her views were thought-provoking. What is exactly the relationship between a wild animal and a human being?”

Liselotte van der Feltz
Program maker Stage Group East Pole

“Susan gave a presentation about human-animal conflicts at the BIJ12 science symposium Fauna damage. Susan shared her experiences with problematic bears in Colorado in a colorful narration. It was very fascinating to see how Americans, in an admittedly very different situation, also have to deal with wild animals, using essentially the same principles as here in the Netherlands. Once again, her story made it clear that human-animal conflicts are to a large extent mainly human-human conflicts. The public listened attentively to every word she said.”

Floris Ensink
Organizer of the BIJ12 science symposium

“Susan and I once developed and organized the seminar ‘Interpreting the Human-Animal Relation’ together and afterwards we continued to work together much more often. I find her very competent in the field of interpretive research on the topic of cohabitation between humans and wild animals!”

Dr. ir. Hanneke J. Nijland
Independent Researcher – Hanneke J. Nijland Research & Consultancy

“Susan provided a different view of the relationship between humans and wildlife than usual. Susan’s plea was enlightening. Her view on this is clear and she can explain very well why.”

Gerlof van Straalen

Overview of several presentations at various events.
From symposia, council chamber and on-stage interviews, to (inter)national congresses and guest lectures:

An on-stage interview by presenter Marieke Eyskoot. This was during the ‘Bambi’s Hunterbar’ prior to the last theater performance ‘What’s in a fairytale?! – Bambi’ by Toneelgroep Oostpool. Shaking up everyone’s moral compass was my (successful) approach.

A keynote presentation during the science symposium ‘Fauna management – A balance between humans and animals’ by BIJ12 on 26 March 2019 “Living together with wild animals: How?”.
An in-house presentation for inspiration at the Community Advisory Council Faunadamage BIJ12 with the title “Wild animals belong to all of us, but what should we do with them?”

A presentation for the public workforce meeting ‘City nature’ of the municipality of The Hague, the Netherlands to inspire the further shaping of and vision for the new policy ‘City nature’. The approach was how to deal with ‘problem’ animals in the city with the title: “Troublesome nature: Living together with animals in the city”. A council recording has been made.

During the international symposium ‘Towards Convivial Conservation? Governing human-wildlife relations in the ‘Anthropocene’ (Conviva)’ in Wageningen on November 1, 2018 and organized by Centre for Space, Place and Society. The title was “Re-examining wildlife management: Living with bears and boars”.

Panel member in a panel discussion after the premiere of the movie ‘The Hut Syndicate (or: the possibility of another life)’ in de Balie, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Overview of other presentations:

“Towards cohabitation: From conflict management to the creation of multispecies communities” at Feral, online conference, 12 November-2 December 2018

“Managing wild minds: From control by numbers to a multinatural approach in wild boar management at the Veluwe the Netherlands” at WASS-PHD-Day, 6 June 2018, Wageningen, the Netherlands

Pitch at Symposium Dies Natalis ‘Fascinating Nature’ of Wageningen UR, 9 March 2015 in Wageningen

“Science and Expertise in nature and environment: Wolves in Yellowstone” guest lecture at course ‘Science and expertise in nature and environment’, Wageningen University, 10 November 2014, Wageningen, the Netherlands

Co-organising and chair the methodology workshops at IPA international conference, 3-5 July 2014, Wageningen, the Netherlands

“Wildlife management: Human, Animal and Space”, guest lecture at course ‘People and forest and nature conservation’, Wageningen University, 23 September 2013, Wageningen, the Netherlands

“Interpreting wildlife and its management: Perceptions from Research, Policy, Management and Society”; Co-organising and presenting: Interpreting the human-animal relation; Problematizing the integration of animals in interpretive research, WASS Seminar Series, 23 November 2012, Wageningen, the Netherlands

“Managing the wild boar: perceptions from science, policy and society” at ECPR Joint Sessions 2012, workshop ‘Political Animals and Animal Politics’, 10-15 April 2012, Antwerp, Belgium

“Invasive species: What are they and how to deal with them?”, keynotespeaker at Invexo, Communicationgroup, Interreg-project ‘Invasive exotics’, 18 May 2011, Goes, the Netherlands

“Counting wild boars Returning from fieldwork”, at course Doing Interpretative Analysis, Wageningen University, June 2010, Wageningen, the Netherlands

“Invasiveness: the construction of a category and its impact for conservation and recreation practices”, poster presentation at International Conference on Monitoring and Management of Visitor Flows in Recreational and Protected Areas (MMV), 30 May-3 June 2010, Wageningen, the Netherlands

“Invasiveness: the construction of a category and its impact for conservation practices”, at course Social Theory and the Environment, Wageningen University, April 2010, Wageningen, the Netherlands

“Invasiveness in the biodiversity debate: categories and standardized data in a wildlife network” at research seminar Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group, 17 December 2009, Wageningen, the Netherlands

“Wild minds seeking cohabitation” at Pathways Europe 2018, theme: ‘Human Dimensions of Fisheries and Wildlife: Resurrecting the Wild!?’, 16-19 September 2018, Goslar, Germany

“Observing wild boars and more…”, guest lecture at course ‘Research Methods for Communication Sciences’, Communication, Philosophy and Technology – Centre for Integrative Development, 7 October 2016, Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands

“Wild Boar Management in the Netherlands: A numerical and/or affective practice?” at Polderdieren symposium, 4 June 2015, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

“Living together or living apart? That is the question in wildlife management today”; Organising and presenting at panel ‘Interpretive policy making in a more-than-human world: governing (with) animals’ at IPA international conference, 3-5 July 2014, Wageningen, the Netherlands

“Living together or living apart?” at discussion group Visions of Nature, Radboud University Nijmegen, 19 June 2014, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

“Black Bear-Human interactions: How to co-exist” at Alertis: ‘Bear in Mind’ International Bear Conference, 23-25 May 2013, Rhenen, the Netherlands

“Invasiveness in the nature conservation debate: Wildlife Management in and around urban areas”, poster presentation, WASS Midterm Review, International Advisory Board Meeting WASS for Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group, 15 November 2012, Wageningen, the Netherlands

“Invasiveness: the construction of a category and its impact for wildlife” at Panel: ‘Post(human) imaginaries for a politics of human/non-human relations’, IPA International Conference, 22-25 June 2011, Cardiff, UK

“Invasive wildlife: the construction of a category and its impact for wildlife management practices” at Summer School WTMC on ‘Observing Experts Observing’ with Michael E. Lynch, 16-20 August 2010, Ravenstein, the Netherlands

Midsummernightdream, an evening dreaming about Dutch nature with various experts, organized by ‘Bosschap’, 23 June 2010, Rhenen, the Netherlands

“Invasive wildlife: the construction of a category and its impact for conservation practices”, at discussion group Theoretical and Applied Ecology, Wageningen University, 25 May 2010, Wageningen, the Netherlands

“Invasiveness: the construction of a category and its impact for conservation practices” at ECPR Joint Sessions, workshop ‘Category-making and public policy’, 22-27 March 2010, Münster, Germany

This is where I am affiliated: – The speakers agency for female experts. Founded by director and initiator Marga Miltenburg. She wants to foreground more women on stage at congresses and symposia. Please visit for more information.