Society for Conservation Biology

A global community of conservation professionals

  • Member Login
  • Contact
Forgot Password?
Join Contribute Jobs
sections image

Young Women in Conservation Biology

The role of women in conservation biology and their advancement of the discipline globally are evident to all; albeit, African women are underrepresented in the field of conservation science on the African continent. The Africa section of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) has identified this gap and created the Young Women Conservation Biologists group (YWCB).

We were formed as a vehicle to advance career opportunities for young African women in conservation and to give support and encouragement to our membership. Based on our five core objectives, current efforts aim to:

  • Create a forum for young African women and women from around the world working in or interested in African conservation.
  • Build mentor-mentee relationships between women across Africa and the globe.
  • Recognize outstanding contributions to conservation of emerging African women professionals, via an award.
  • Help young African women further their careers by providing small grants.

2013 YWCB Award Call for Nominations

The deadline to submit nominations and supporting materials for the 2013 YWCB Award is 30 April 2013. The award will be presented at SCB's 26th International Congress for Conservation Biology to be held 21-25 July 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. SCB and the Africa Section are trying to secure financial support for the recipient to travel to ICCB to receive the award. Download the 2013 YWCB Nomination Form to nominate yourself or someone else for the award. Read the article official announcement and find instructions on how to apply for the YWCB award in this article on SCB's News Blog. 

2011 YWCB Award WinnerLeela Hazzah, photo by Philip Briggs

Congratulations to Dr. Leela Hazzah, the 2011 YWCB Award Winner! Leela is the director of Lion Guardians in Kenya. Leela was presented with her award at SCB's 25th International Congress for Conservation Biology in Auckland, New Zealand. SCB  supported Leela's travel from Kenya to New Zealand so she could receive the award in person.

  • View the press release that announces Leela as the 2011 YWCB award winner. 

More on YWCB

The Young Women Conservation Biologist (YWCB) working group of the Africa Section of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) has great pleasure in announcing its Young Women Conservation Biologists Award for 2011. The YWCB Working Group was established in 2005 by the Africa Section of the SCB, based on an urgent need to fill the gap created by the limited numbers of women professionals in the field of conservation science in Africa. It was further mandated to act as a platform for young African conservation biologists to share experiences (albeit with a major emphasis on women), generating incentives and mentorship opportunities to strengthen conservation biologists in their careers.

See the following links for more on YWCB:

The Award

The award is non-monetary and aimed at recognizing and applauding the contributions of early to mid-career African professional women in conservation. The nominee should have demonstrated, during their career so far in Africa:

  • Evidence of leadership, creativity, self-motivation and enthusiasm in the execution of conservation work;
  • Evidence of service (scientific research, educational, policy etc.) to conservation biology;
  • Ability to work with others across gender, social class and ethnicity to achieve concrete conservation outcomes. 

Scope of the Award

The scope of the award is open to any area of conservation science directed towards practical conservation action. A nominator of high professional standing should submit the application on behalf of an exceptional nominee. Nominations should be supported by at least two letters of recommendation. Self-nominations may be considered under unusual circumstances only if a highly accomplished candidate works in such isolation that a nominator is not available (such circumstance will require description and justification). The application should clearly explain the nominee's role within the conservation community and evidence of her professional accomplishments, including her ability to work with diverse interests to achieve balanced, pragmatic solutions to conservation challenges. The Awards Panel will not normally make awards to African women working outside the continent, or to early career students with no outstanding practical accomplishments.


Nominations on behalf of potential awardees are invited from the conservation community (e.g., scientists, managers, activists). The nominee must, however, work explicitly in the field of conservation biology, rather than advocacy or education without explicit conservation biology content. Nominations will be peer-reviewed by an Awards Panel of SCB conservation scientists and managers. 

Sponsor and Partner Information

Potential sponsors of the award are warmly invited to contact the Awards Panel Chair, Dr Phoebe Barnard, South African National Biodiversity Institute, +27 21 799 8722, or SCB Executive Director Anne Hummer.