UCL Anthropology


Simon Hoyte

Simon Hoyte

UCL Emails.hoyte@ucl.ac.uk
Websites: https://simonhoyte.wordpress.com; https://www.geog.ucl.ac.uk/research/research-centres/excites/people/phd-students/simon-hoyte; https://uclexcites.blog/author/simonhoyte/
Year of start: 2017
Supervisors: Dr Jerome Lewis (Primary); Dr Emily Woodhouse (Secondary); Prof Muki Haklay (Secondary)
Subject: Social Anthropology
Fieldsite: Cameroon

PhD Research

Of Gorillas and Grandfathers: From bioimperial to biocultural conservation amongst Baka hunter-gatherers of Cameroon

My research investigates the interaction between three key areas: nature conservation, indigenous peoples, and technology. Based in the Extreme Citizen Science research group (ExCiteS) at UCL, I am combining techniques from participatory action research (including participative mapping) with hunter-gatherer ethnography to address issues of forest degradation and environmental injustice amongst Baka hunter-gatherers in southeastern Cameroon, Central Africa. By conducting long-term research in Baka forest communities in order to understand local conceptions of ‘nature’ and conservation, and using this to build community monitoring and reporting tools, my research aims to develop indigenous-led biocultural conservation strategies, whereby ‘nature’ and ‘culture’ are integrated, and local community collaboration is celebrated.

Research interests

  • Environmental anthropology
  • Hunter-gatherer research
  • Political ecology
  • Conservation science
  • Science and technology studies
  • Traditional Ecological Knowledge
  • Indigenous rights


  • Brittain, S. et al. (in press). On the ethics of social science research in biodiversity conservation
  • Skarlatidou, A. et al. (in press). Mapping stakeholders for co-created citizen science initiatives
  • Hoyte, S. (in press). Co-designing Extreme Citizen Science Projects in Cameroon: Biodiversity conservation led by local values and indigenous knowledge. In: Geographical Citizen Science Design: No one left behind (A. Skarlatidou & M. Haklay, editors)
  • Hoyte, S. (in press). Connecting Rainforest Hunter-Gatherers with Wildlife Conservation: there’s an App for that. Know It Wall
  • 2018. Hoyte, S. Capitalism and Hunter-Gatherers. UCL Anthropolitan blog
  • 2017. Hoyte, S. Indigenous Elephant Hunters and Extreme Citizen Science. UCL Anthropolitan, 14

Presentations & Conferences

  • 2018 S. Hoyte. Of Gorillas and Grandfathers: Indigenous conservation among the Baka of Cameroon. Twelfth Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies, Universiti Sans Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia
  • 2018 S. Hoyte. Rainforests and People. Yerbury Primary School, London
  • 2018 S. Hoyte. Rainforest Hunter-Gatherers and Smartphones: Innovative ways to protect Africa’s wildlife. Pint of Science festival, The Hoop and Toy, London
  • 2018 M. Haklay & S. Hoyte. Extreme Citizen Science. Endangered Landscapes Programme (Flora & Fauna International), University of Cambridge
  • 2018 S. Hoyte. Forest Hunter-Gatherers and Extreme Citizen Science: Learning about human-computer interaction from nonliterate forest dwellers. Workshop: Lessons learned from volunteers’ interactions with geographic citizen science applications: best practices and design recommendations. Extreme Citizen Science Research Group (ExCiteS), Department of Geography, University College London
  • 2018 S. Hoyte. Forest Hunter-Gatherers and Extreme Citizen Science. Cambridge Science Festival, University of Cambridge
  • 2018 S. Hoyte. Capitalism and the Baka. Department of Anthropology, UCL (convenor: Joseph Cook)
  • 2017 S. Hoyte. Of Grandfathers and Gorillas: Indigenous conservation in the Anthropocene amongst Baka hunter-gatherers of Cameroon. Human Ecology Research Group, Department of Anthropology, UCL
  • 2017 S. Hoyte. From beetles to hunter-gatherers. Guest Seminar, Institute of Archaeology, UCL
  • 2017 S. Hoyte. Forest peoples and Extreme Citizen Science: local reporting of wildlife crime in Cameroon. Why We Post, UCL Digital Anthropology
  • 2017 S. Hoyte. Indigenous elephant hunters and extreme citizen science: partnering with Baka forest hunter-gatherers to report and monitor poaching in Cameroon. United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • 2017 S. Hoyte. Empowering communities to address the illegal wildlife trade. Evolving Perspectives on the Demand for Illegal Wildlife Products, Symposium, Oxford Martin Programme on Illegal Wildlife Trade, University of Oxford
  • 2017 S. Hoyte. Indigenous elephant hunters and extreme citizen science: partnering with the Baka forest hunter-gatherers to report and monitor poaching in Cameroon. Participatory Mapping and Geographical Information Systems, Conference, California Polytechnic State University
  • 2017 S. Hoyte. Indigenous elephant hunters and Extreme Citizen Science: Local solutions to the illegal wildlife trade. Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford
  • 2014 S. Hoyte. Faraoskop Rock Shelter: Writing the biographies of 12 hunter-gatherers. Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA) Student Council, Clanwilliam, South Africa

Teaching Experience

  • 2018 M.Sc. Geospatial Analysis & M.Sc. Geospatial Sciences induction week session: Extreme Citizen Science. Department of Geography and Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geomatic Engineering, University College London
  • 2017 M.Sc. course Citizen Science and Scientific Crowdsourcing. Department of Geography, University College London

Education History

  • 2015 - 2016 M.Phil. in Human Evolutionary Studies – High Pass, Division of Biological Anthropology, Department of Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Cambridge
  • 2012 - 2013 Study abroad year (Zoology, Anthropology & Environmental Science), Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
  • 2010 - 2014 B.Sc. (Hons) in Biology (International) – First Class, School of Biology, University of Leeds, Honours, Awards & Funding
  • 2017 Horizon 2020 European Research Council Doctoral Studentship
  • 2015 Santander M.Phil. Bursary, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge

Additional Information

  • Member of the International Society for Participative Mapping
  • Online Editor: Cambridge University Science Magazine (BlueSci) – 2016-2017