Spotlight on Vanessa Adams

This past February, SCB members elected Dr. Vanessa Adams as SCB's next President-elect. She will start her terms of service on July 1, 2021. We held a little interview with her so our members could get to know her better.

What’s your favorite conservation/environment book, podcast or movie?
My current favourite is My Octopus Teacher. A friend recommended it and we loved it so much we watched it twice back to back.

What’s a piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to become a conservation professional?
The advice I give all of my students who are embarking on their Master of Protected Area Conservation studies is to realize and celebrate that conservation is a passion driven profession. This is a strength of the discipline but it also is one that we should be aware of and reflect upon our own values and positions within this so that we can appreciate our own passions and beliefs about how to protect and conserve nature so that we can respect others diverse positions. As part of this I strongly encourage all of my students to take part in the Future of Conservation study and to read the related publications so that they can identify their own position within the spectrum of diverse positions.

What’s your favorite animal, and why?
It’s hard to pick a single favorite animal. I’m not sure I have just one, but I do truly love the mob of wallabies that moves up and down the rivulet in my backyard and greets me on my walks home.

Describe what your perfect weekend would look like. 
I enjoy quiet downtime with my family in and around our house, going on walks, and of course the requisite trips to the playground that are mandatory with young kids (with trip to coffee shop on way for the adults).

What’s your favorite fun fact?
My favorite fun fact is of course all about animal poo – Wombats poop cubes. And yes scientists have studied why and how and made late breaking discoveries about how they manage the feat.

Who's the conservationist you admire the most? Why?
Michael Soulé – He is in so many ways on of the founding fathers of conservation biology and was of course the co-founder of SCB. His ideas and writings have influenced my career profoundly. I learned about conservation from his text books and some of the most memorable ideas and debates that spring to my mind were authored by him.