Conservation Science & Biology Leadership Stories

When thousands of animals die during mass migrations, ecosystems accommodate the corpses and new cycles are set in motion. Fellow Amanda Subalusky and her colleagues have been studying the mass drownings of wildebeest in Kenya and their impact on the Mara River.Read more >
Becky Cushing, Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Sanctuaries director, is soaring. She is supervising six properties, hosting bird walks and organizing concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She says of her new home, "I feel like the Berkshires has all these hidden places to explore that make you feel like the first person to have found them."Read more >
Fellow Marissa McMahan is working with Maine locals and Venetian fishermen to turn the invasive green crab into a gourmet dish known in Italy as moleche.Read more >
If outdoor learning were a religion, Erika Zavaleta would be among its foremost acolytes. An online ecology course, she realized, could attract students who would never consider taking a class requiring live field trips. By bringing field biology to a broader range of people, Zavaleta hopes the course will help broaden racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity in ecology and environmental studies. “I’m interested in making more ways for people to have an entry point to get interested in conservation, an internship at a reserve, or taking a class with a field component.”Read more >
Brad Keitt (1997) has already been working to prevent extinctions caused by non-native species introduced to islands for decades. His non-profit, Island Conservation, prevents extinctions of native species by removing invasive species from islands. But the challenge of climate change has Keitt rethinking how his organization plans its projects and communicates about them.Read more >
We have a number of Fellows leading in Sonoma County, working to understand the impacts of climate change at a micro level and develop solutions to improve local resiliency to climate change impacts that could be rolled out nationally.Read more >
Doug Johnson sees the increasingly severe drought in California as a chance to educate people about the importance of invasive plant management at the landscape level in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The Sierras are an important source of water for all of California, with snowpack formed in winter melting over the spring and summer months and running down to the dry parts of the state. Invasives, some of which are known to be water hungry compared to competing vegetation, can reduce the capacity of Sierra meadows to perform this valuable function. For the state’s residents and agricultural industry, this could make a bad problem worse.Read more >
It is easy to overlook the pipes and boxes carrying water under our roads, but these parts of our transportation infrastructure can have huge impacts on freshwater health and road safety. 2003 Fellow Jessica Levine is working in the northeastern United States to replace and upgrade road crossings to benefit aquatic species and habitat along with other community goals.Read more >
When it comes to wildlife conservation a huge personality or bags of charisma tends to help your cause. But scientists are beginning to call for more attention to be paid to those that fail to make the list of nature’s big and beautiful.Read more >
Robert Long has been recognized among the first group of 20 scientists awarded the newly established Wilburforce Fellowship in Conservation Science, announced recently by the Wilburforce Foundation and COMPASS. The overarching goal of the Wilburforce Fellowship program is to build a community of conservation science leaders who excel in using science to help achieve durable conservation solutions in western North America.Read more >

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