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Join us as we celebrate the amazing women working to understand and better protect the world around us. Hear from the women at the forefront of zoology and conservation with a series of talks for International Women's Day.


Programme of Speakers

14.00: Dr Juliet Vickery, Head of International Conservation Science, RSPB

Conservation of Gola Rainforest : from chimps to chocolate

Take a journey to the tropical forests of Sierra Leone and through 30 years of work to protect and conserve Gola Rainforest and the incredible forest species that live there including like pygmy hippo, forest elephant, pangolins and picathartes. Learn how the forest has moved from unrecognised and unprotected to become the second national park in the country and the first forest in west Africa whose protection is partly funded by carbon finance as part of a program designed to benefit people as well as wildlife.

14.20: Dr Michela Leonardi, Department of Zoology

Back to the future: species distribution through time

In my talk, I will show how looking at how large European mammals reacted to past climate changes, could help us define better conservation strategies for the future.

14.38: Fleur Nash, Department of Geography

Exploring gender in conservation: from perspectives of animals, humans and being a researcher

Celebrating International Women’s day got me thinking about gender in my field of research, conservation. Through this talk I will explore how gender feeds into all aspects of conservation, by using three real life examples: from orangutan captive breeding programmes in Malaysia, women in forest conservation in Nepal, to me as a female researcher in Kenya. I hope to open up a space for us to think about, and discuss, how our assumptions of gender impacts on non-humans, humans and the environment in which we live.

14.56: Dr Elia Benito Gutierrez, Department of Zoology

Deep Ocean Origins of the Backbone

About 550 million years ago something extraordinary happened across seas and oceans. There was an explosion of new animal forms that gave rise to most of the animal diversity that now exists on Earth. This is known as the Cambrian explosion. The seafloor was then home to the ancestors of all animals with a backbone, including modern humans. Today, there are only fossil traces of them, but a closely related group of animals still exists at the same ecological niche. These are known as amphioxus or lancelets. Technical developments have now allowed us to reproduce their deep sea habitat in the lab, here at the University of Cambridge, giving us the opportunity to study them closer than ever. We have found that their genome is similar to ours and that some aspects of our development are probably vestiges of their developmental programs. We use them to understand the molecular basis of developmental and physiological traits that became extremely complex in animals with a backbone, like us.

15.14: Dr Amelia Hood, Department of Zoology

Why did the King Cobra cross the road? To get to the termite mound

In this talk you'll be transported into the mind of one of the world's most deadly snakes, the King Cobra. Snaking through oil palm plantations in Sumatra, Indonesia, there are lots of dangers that need to be avoided, how can we get to safety? This talk is about research I conducted during my PhD, and describes a new kind of symbiosis between distantly related species.

15.32: Dr Kate Sainsbury, Department of Zoology

A recent history of mammalian carnivores in Britain

15.50: Maddie Emms, Department of Zoology

Coral reef fishes in a changing climate

16.08: Anna Guasco, Department of Geography

From Devil-Fish to Friendly Whale: Stories of the Grey Whale

The Eastern North Pacific grey whale was once called the 'devil-fish' and today is known as the 'friendly whale'. This talk explores stories told about grey whales and highlights the importance of storytelling in conservation.


This event is suitable for ages 8+

Free.  No need to book.

Saturday, 7 March, 2020 - 14:00 to 16:30