Born and raised in Ventura, California, Torie is an animal behaviorist and conservation researcher, specializing in African predators, as well as a serious artist and self-taught photographer. With a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Animal Science and Behavior, Torie found her passion in the presence of African wildlife. After spending two years in Zimbabwe and Zambia researching lion behavior for an NGO, Torie then studied the dynamics of the African painted dog (one of her favorite predators) in South Africa for her Master’s degree. She continued to Botswana to further study the African painted dog along with all other predators in the Okavango Delta for another NGO.
Amidst her field research and education, however, Torie found herself more often than not capturing animal behaviors and actions through her photography. She began to realize the importance of contributing to conservation by spreading awareness and educating the public through her wildlife images and paintings, especially after discovering how little the general public knew about the African painted dog, (being that they are the second most endangered carnivore in Africa). Some even asked her why she was studying “feral” dogs! Because of this lack of knowledge, Torie seriously considered taking a step back from data collection and make it her mission to get the message out there faster than any data collecting can ever achieve.
Always finding her happy place in the great outdoors, Torie also hopes to share her images from her travels to some US National Parks, and backpacking in the Eastern Sierras, capturing all the glory of the backcountry landscapes.
Over the years, Torie has placed in various photo and professional art competitions, locally and internationally. She also has a few images published, including her Giraffes “Intertwined” (Nat Geo Your Shot), “A Giant’s Ballet” (The Giraffe Conservation),"Happy Dog" in the book called, Remembering African Wild Dogs (coming this November), and “Lions in Lines”, which was published twice and bought by National Geographic. It now appears in their book called, Spectacle.
Some of her images were publicly recognized, and was then asked to join the Brick Lanes Gallery in London, showcasing her work from South Africa during her Master’s research. She sold seven photos out of the nine displayed.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Torie found herself, like everyone else, stuck in neutral. Travel was shut down, Africa was shut down, and no conservation jobs in sight. However, after a period of confusion and setbacks, Torie was invited to take part in the first annual Artists for Painted Dogs Exhibition and Fundraiser in October 2020. The exhibition is a group of about 25 artists who joined forces and all donated 50% of their profits for two conservation organizations in Southern Africa. Torie sold an original painting as well as several sketches and photos. She is extremely proud and honored to be a part of such a cause with something she is so passionate about. She has now been invited back to take part in this years exhibition (Launching October 15th - November 14th). Be sure to check out her work at artistsforpainteddogs.com.
This opportunity gave Torie motivation to reevaluate her goal: to continue to spread awareness of endangered species, especially the African painted dog, and also bring these species and their behavior to the public’s attention through her images and art.
Torie hopes you will join her in this cause.
View her galleries above. These fine art prints are available for purchase in various sizes and are priced accordingly.