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.

2015 YWCB Award Call for Nominations

The Young Women Conservation Biologist group of the Africa Section of SCB is pleased to announce the call for nominations for the 2015 Young Women in Conservation Biology Award  (YWCB). 

African women are underrepresented in the field of conservation science on the African continent. To help bridge this gap, the Africa Section of SCB created the Young Women Conservation Biologists group in 2005 and established the YWCB award to recognize the achievements of young women in Africa who advance the discipline of conservation biology on the continent.

The deadline to submit nominations and supporting materials for the 2015 YWCB Award is 30 January 2015. Click here to download the 2015 YWCB Nomination Form.

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. 
  • Find other YWCB award winners here.

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 YWCB Award for professional African women is a non-monetary incentive award aimed at recognizing and applauding the contributions of early to mid-career African professional women in conservation. The nominees 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 (educational, managerial, research etc.) to conservation biology; and
  • Ability to work with others across gender, social class and ethnicity to achieve concrete conservation outcomes.

The 2013 award will be presented at SCB's 27th International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) in Montpellier, France to be held 2-6 August 2015, alongside SCB's Global Distinguished Service Award, LaRoe and Early Career Conservationist Awards. SCB and the Africa Section will secure financial support for the recipient to travel from their workplace to attend ICCB, receive the award in person, and ideally to present a paper on the recognized work.

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. This should be supported by at least two letters of recommendation by additional referees. Under unusual circumstances only, if a highly accomplished candidate works in such isolation that a nominator is not available, the Awards Panel may consider self-nominations.

The application should clearly explain the nominee’s role within in the conservation community and evidence of her professional accomplishments, including her ability to work with diverse interests to achieve balanced and pragmatic solutions to conservation challenges. The Awards Panel will not normally make awards to African women working outside the continent, nor 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. To submit a nomination, please download the nomination form and e-mail the completed form to the chair of the Awards Panel, Dr. Phoebe Barnard (a 2002 winner of SCB's Distinguished Service Award). No incomplete nominations will be processed.

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 Geri Unger.

See more here.