Maksim was born in Minsk, Belarus and grew up in Chicago, Illinois. During a semester abroad, researching intertidal marine ecology, he fell in love with the field of ecology and knew that was the career he wanted to pursue. After completing an undergraduate degree in chemistry, Maksim obtained a Master’s in wildlife conservation focusing on survival and harvest vulnerability of Rocky Mountain elk. Past research experience includes plant genetics, diversity of invertebrates, population dynamics of large ungulates, behavior of canids, and conservation of endangered species. He is currently completing a PhD studying ocelots and bobcats in southern Texas at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Kingsville on the East Foundation’s El Sauz Ranch. The primary research goals are to describe the spatial ecology of the coexisting felids and examine specific factors like temperature and vegetative cover that may influence habitat use. Upon completing his degree, Maksim plans to continue in the field of wildlife conservation, specifically focusing on the conservation of large terrestrial mammals. His main interests are in human-wildlife conflicts in developing areas, working on creative solutions that can facilitate coexistence between the native fauna and local people.