Last month, we celebrated the International Day for Women and Girls in Science. However, we were only able to share a fraction of the dozens of incredible women nominated by our network. But never fear, as today is International Women’s Day, so join us to celebrate more amazing, inspiring women in the field of conservation!
But first of all, sign up to join tonight’s virtual Women in Conservation Conference, hosted by the University of Exeter! Panellists include women from all around the globe: ecologists, NGO directors and conservation filmmakers. Click on this link to join the conference (20:00 – 23:00 SAST) There is a £1 donation to join and all proceeds will be distributed between charities chosen by the speakers.
Rosie, the Director of the Tropical Biology Association (TBA), is a passionate advocate of capacity building as a vital tool for effective conservation. Through cutting-edge field courses and tailored training programmes, the TBA gives people the skills and confidence they need to manage natural resources in tropical regions effectively and sustainably. Under Rosie’s leadership, TBA has trained over 2000 scientists – half of them from Africa and Madagascar – supported alumni groups in 15 African countries, and created an enduring legacy of greatly enhanced conservation capacity across the tropics.
Rosie is also one of the organisers of Cambridge’s annual Student Conference on Conservation Science, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019. Rosie has been pivotal in the success of the conference, which has welcomed students to Cambridge from over 130 countries and has now spawned sister conference series in India, USA, Australia, China and Hungary. Rosie also helped establish the Cambridge Conservation Forum and is a key figure in the Cambridge Conservation Initiative. She won the British Ecological Society’s Equality and Diversity award in 2018. This award recognises an individual or group who has made significant, innovative and cumulatively outstanding contributions to enhancing the practice of equality and diversity in the ecological community.
Nominated by E.J. Milner-Gulland
Diva Amon is a triple threat: scientist, explorer and communicator, studying one of the most important, least-known and interesting ecosystems in the world: the deep sea. I saw her give a presentation once and she struck such a good balance between the fascinating science, the threats the deep-sea is facing and hope for the future. She’s such a role model. Check out her website here to learn about her inspiring work!
Nominated by Nina Seale
Dr. Michelle LaRue is using satellite imagery to help research and estimate the population of the Emperor Penguins in Antarctica. With the hope that her research will be able to estimate the penguin population every 10 years with the hope that we can secure and protect their survival for the future. She’s also a brilliant science communicator and educator! Check out her website here to learn more about her amazing work!
Nominated by Alice Davidson
Izabela (Bela) Barata is a skilled conservation scientist who is using her knowledge to save overlooked, highly threatened amphibian species in the Espinhaço Mountain Range of Brazil. Her enthusiasm, focus and dedication to working with local communities on species that are historically under-appreciated is inspiring and shows how even the smallest of creatures, with the help of people who care, can become flagships for their ecosystems. Find out more about her research here!
Nominated by Pria Ghosh
Dual nomination from Harry Hilser
The Yaki are arguably one of the most charismatic and infamous primates. They are only found in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Classified as Critically Endangered, these beautiful crested black macaques have had a hard time, with rapid population declines as a result of hunting and habitat loss. However, I want to mention two incredible women who have dedicated their lives to the protection of these amazing primates.
Yunita Siwi is the warm, wise and friendly “Mother of Yaki conservation”, who has been committed to protecting nature in the area for over a decade!
Reyni Palohoen is a knowledgeable, smart and well-organised coordinator, an expert in bringing people together to reach ambitious conservation goals.
Along with the dedicated team they lead together at local NGO Selamatkan Yaki, Yuni and Reyni continue to roll out multiple strategic conservation approaches to help empower local people to live alongside nature more harmoniously. The amazing efforts of these wonderful women are shining a light on a brighter future for the unique Yaki and their forest homes.
María Elena Barragán-Paladines
After 31 years working with reptiles and towards the conservation of venomous snakes at the Fundación Herpetológica Gustavo Orcés, I have realized that it is a big challenge and that part of it will only be possible when we offer urgent solutions to the impact of these snakes on human health. Thus, it is my commitment to direct and focus on education as a fundamental tool in creating a friendly attitude and respectful behaviour towards snakes.