Women in conservation science making a difference

Margaret Byrne*, Linda Broadhurst, Michelle Leishman, Kathy Belov

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Conservation science has a long history of providing the evidence-base that underpins management of diverse and unique biota and landscapes. This special issue brings together the stories of a range of women in conservation science to showcase the great work being done to develop and improve our knowledge and understanding of Australian plants, animals and ecosystems, across a range of disciplines and sectors. We focus on Australia in recognition of recent commitments by Australian institutions to achieve gender parity in Australian science, while acknowledging the achievements of women in conservation science globally. In this overview we highlight several exemplary women who have paved the way for those of us who have come after them, and present a brief snapshot of the careers of these women to acknowledge their contributions to the development of conservation science, and its associated disciplines. We also distil some common themes that have been identified by the women in the articles featured in this special issue, particularly passion and enthusiasm for the natural environment; multiple pathways that women have taken; satisfaction derived from working collaboratively across disciplines and with a variety of scientists, policy, managers and practitioners; and seeking to embrace diversity. A striking point from many of the stories, that we hope is changing now, is that many of the women had few female role models, yet the stories highlight their resilience and determination and their desire to inspire other young women to take up the challenge of a career in conservation science.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)209-214
    Number of pages6
    JournalPacific Conservation Biology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • biodiversity conservation
    • biological sciences
    • conservation biology


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