By on 4th May 2017

Welcome To My Website!

As this website is launched, in early May of 2017, I am packing my bags in Sydney, Australia – preparing to return to Nepal in the next few days to head out with the team at the Centre for Molecular Dynamics to Upper Mustang, to search for evidence of snow leopards. This will hopefully be the first of many expeditions and opportunities to learn from these guys - in the hope that I can one day return the favour!

For the past 6 months I’ve been in Canada and the USA, working with colleagues at McMaster University and Panthera on the development of a revolutionary new genetic field-test kit that can be used by non-experts to quickly identify species in the wild from biological samples such as feces (poop) and hair, instead of having to take such samples back to the lab for analysis.

We've been able to prove that the concept works and now need to find enough funding to complete the development. We feel positive that this method will revolutionise our ability to monitor endangered species. To fully develop, test and prove that this new technology works in all relevant environments and conditions should take another three years or so - but for this to happen we need your help.

If you would like to support this research financially, donations would be hugely appreciated.


The button below will take you to a donations page.

Please note that donations in the US are tax deductible.



I'm not sure how often I'll be able to access the internet whilst I'm out in the field, since we have to go to some pretty remote areas, but I'll publish reports here on the website as soon as I possibly can - so, to watch, read or listen to the latest updates, please keep visiting my Field-Reports page or checkout my Facebook Feed in the sidebar on the right.

Thanks for dropping by!


Dr. Natalie Schmitt


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My Research Partners

The Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal - CMDN

Website: www.cmdn.org.np

The Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal (CMDN), established in 2007, prides itself as a research driven nongovernmental organization dedicated to promoting research in the country.

With its team of energetic and highly motivated experts, CMDN is now recognized as the leading public health and wildlife research organization in the country.

CMDN strives to introduce appropriate, effective and innovative solutions to address many challenges in the areas of epidemiological studies, disease surveillance, health research, environmental and biodiversity research and policy analysis.

Panthera - A Charity

Website: www.panthera.org

Panthera is the only organization in the world that is devoted exclusively to the conservation of the world’s 40 wild cat species and their ecosystems.  Utilizing the expertise of the world’s premier cat biologists, Panthera develops and implements global strategies for the most imperiled large cats: tigers, lions, jaguars, snow leopards, cheetahs, pumas, and leopards.

Representing the most comprehensive effort of its kind, Panthera partners with local and international NGOs, scientific institutions, local communities, governments around the globe, and citizens who want to help ensure a future for wild cats.

Panthera’s grants program, the Small Cat Action Fund (SCAF), additionally supports conservation and research initiatives on many of the smaller wild cat species around the globe.

Yingfu Li Lab | Functional Nucleic Acid Research Group

Website: www.yingfulilab.org

Yingfu Li Lab is a dynamic and motivated research group consisting of research technicians, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduate students. The group continues to innovate with DNA by making various DNA-based enzymes (DNAzymes) and receptors (DNA aptamers) and exploring them for diverse applications.

Our research has been funded by several granting agencies in Canada including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), the Sentinel Bioactive Paper Network, and the Canadian Cancer Society (CSC).

We have also been collaborating with several Canadian biotech companies to develop point-of-care diagnostic devices using DNA aptamers and DNAzymes.

My Project Sponsors

Kathmandu - Clothing Company:

Website: www.kathmandu.com.au

Kathmandu Holdings Limited is a transnational chain of retail stores, selling travel and adventure outdoor apparel and equipment. Kathmandu is a leading retailer of clothing and equipment for travel and adventure in New Zealand, Australia and the UK. It has over 130 stores around the world - and they've just sponsored me by providing some very cool very warm outdoor gear! Yaay!


From Panthera & Sabin - "The Sabin Snow Leopard Grant"

Further Info: The Sabin Snow Leopard Grant Program

The Andrew Sabin Family Foundation and Panthera have partnered to launch the new Sabin Snow Leopard Grants Program, which will provide a financial contribution to support conservation projects on snow leopards. Grants will be made for one year, but may be extended to subsequent years, contingent upon performance and results.


The Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust

Website: HART

Making life better for animals in Nepal. About HART and our work in Nepal - HART exists to try to redress some of the suffering endured by animals that are without power to control their lives. Neglect, cruelty and ignorance combine to make the world a hostile place for many creatures. Nepal is a poor country that has recently undergone an extended period of political instability. After many years of debate the new Constitution was enacted in September 2015. Animal welfare is a low priority among many other pressing concerns. HART was established in 2010 to reduce animal suffering throughout the country from its bases in Pokhara and Bharatpur.