Fuller Science for Nature Fund


Kathryn Fuller

Kathryn S. Fuller, former president and chief executive of World Wildlife Fund

The Kathryn Fuller Science for Nature Fund supports and harnesses the most promising conservation science research and puts it into practice. Named in honor of the former president and CEO of WWF-US, the fund supports an annual Science for Nature Symposium featuring global leaders in science, policy, and conservation. Additionally, a regular seminar series provides a regular forum for the conservation community.

The human health and conservation connection

Human health and the health of our environment are inextricably linked. Our collective resilience, well-being, nutrition, and ability to avert disease is fully connected to the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the ways we interact with nature.

Woman walking through lake in Nepal

What WWF Is Doing

© Vangmuang Phongphailath / WWF-Laos

2020 Fuller Seminar

Biodiversity Revisited – A New Agenda for a Just and Sustainable Future

June 11, 2020

How do we bring about transformative change to create a fairer, more sustainable future? Which types of knowledge, ethics, principles and actions are needed to reverse the decline of biodiversity? This seminar presents the outcomes of Biodiversity Revisited, a two-year initiative that addresses these questions, culminating in a new research and action agenda for sustaining life on Earth. It also shares the inspiring experience of harnessing the collective energy and expertise of some 200 researchers and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines.

Managed by the Luc Hoffmann Institute, Biodiversity Revisited involves WWF, Future Earth, ETH Zürich Department of Environmental Systems Science, University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute, and the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research at University College London.

Moderator: Melanie Ryan, Secretary General, Biodiversity Revisited, Luc Hoffmann Institute


headshot of Melanie Ryan

Melanie Ryan is Head of Programme at the Luc Hoffmann Institute, and Secretary General for the Biodiversity Revisited project. She has worked in the conservation, river basin management, gender, capacity development and sustainability fields in Australia, the Philippines, Europe, India and the UK, as well as across a range of sectors. At the Institute, Melanie works collaboratively to ensure the Institute brings novel ideas, passionate people, networks and diverse perspectives together to design new collaborations that generate and test new approaches and ways of thinking for conservation globally. As a leader, author, researcher, process designer, and facilitator, she brings together practice and research; drawing on systems, complexity, collaboration, knowledge co-production and sustainability expertise to design and implement programmes that push the boundaries of the how, who and what matters for a sustainable and just future on Earth. The Biodiversity Revisited Initiative is one example of these kinds of approaches.

headshot of Federico Davilla

Federico Davila is a Research Principal (Food Systems) at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney. His research focuses on the intersection between the social sciences and food systems research in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, with a focus on how food discourses influence policy outcomes in different contexts. His recent research has focused on food systems governance and climate resilience in the Pacific, the role of water management in supporting gender equality in Myanmar, and the socio-economic dimensions of fisheries management. For the Biodiversity Revisited project, Federico provided a review on systems thinking and biodiversity conservation, and supported the writing of the research agenda through online and in-person forums. His broader interests include sustainability science, transdisciplinary studies, and research impact on knowledge systems. He is a visiting research fellow at the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture. Federico holds a PhD in food systems and human ecology from the Australian National University.

headshot of Emma Woods

Emma Woods is Head of Policy at the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science. She works with some of the world’s leading scientists to provide independent, timely and accessible advice to policymakers. Much of her work focuses on the wellbeing of living systems – from biodiversity to agriculture to genetics. She also explores the nature of science in public life, and has recently written on ‘science policy in a post-truth world’. She holds Fellowships at the Westminster Abbey Institute and Cambridge University Centre for Science and Policy, and has previously worked for the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development, and WWF Madagascar. During her two degrees at Oxford University – MA (Oxon) in Biological Sciences and MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management – she conducted research on tarsiers in Indonesia, and on forest conservation and participatory video in Tanzania.

headshot of Isis Alvarez

Isis Alvarez is a Colombian biologist, MSc. in Environment & Resource Management experienced in work with different local and international environmental NGOs in Latin America, Europe and Africa. She has been involved in projects such as the rehabilitation of confiscated capuchin monkeys in La Macarena, Colombia, and leopard-human conflicts in the Waterberg Reserve, South Africa. In 2005 she moved to The Netherlands to pursue her Masters degree at the Vrije University and later worked at the international secretariat of Friends of the Earth in Amsterdam. In 2009 she participated in IUCN-NL’s Nature and Poverty program developing the ‘Local Ownership of Conservation Agendas’ pages gathering case studies of effective community based conservation and sustainable use. Her will to get to know local experiences took her in 2009 to volunteer in Chiapas, Mexico where she got involved with Tsotsil communities assisting in a project for self-assessments of community needs; in 2010, she supported a local NGO 'Fundaexpresión’, in Santander, Colombia raising awareness of false solutions to climate change, and providing support in the management plan for newly established peasant nature reserves, among others. Since 2011, Isis joined the Global Forest Coalition where she currently is coordinating the campaign on Unsustainable Livestock and serves as Gender Advisor, having been actively engaged in campaigns and international advocacy work around sustainable management of forests by communities and for communities with a strong gender component. For several years, Isis represented GFC as one of the organizing partners (OPs) of the Women’s Major Group in Sustainable Development and as co-facilitator of the Women’s Major Group in UNEP. She is also actively engaged in the Women & Gender Constituency at the UNFCCC, and the Women’s Caucus at the CBD, and closely collaborates with the Consortium for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Conserved Areas and Territories (ICCA Consortium).

Join us online on June 11, 2020 at 4:00pm EDT.

Register Now

Note: This is an online-only event and will last approximately 75 minutes. Registration is required to receive link to the event.

2019 Fuller Symposium

Healthy Planet Healthy People

October 22, 2019, 1- 6 pm

Human health and the health of our environment are inextricably linked. Our collective resilience, well-being, nutrition, and ability to avert disease is fully connected to the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. On October 22, 2019 from 1pm-6 pm, watch the Fuller Symposium livestream to hear leading health and environment experts discuss the relationship and complexity between human health and environmental systems and what we need to do to create better health opportunities for people and nature.

View the agenda

Watch the Videos from the Fuller Symposiumh

Spring Fuller Seminar Schedule Postponed
Given the dynamic nature of the situation with the coronavirus, the Fuller Fund is postponing its planned events until later dates. In the event that travel advisories and restrictions continue, we will consider converting our events to remote attendance-only events. We will update the website accordingly once those dates are confirmed.

In the meantime, please enjoy videos of our past Fuller Fund events which can be found here: https://vimeo.com/wwffuller.

About the Series

WWF’s Science for Nature Seminars provide a regular forum for the conservation community to learn, discuss, network and inspire. The series seeks to advance the discussion of cutting edge research relating to international conservation by featuring distinguished scientists from across the globe. Seminars are:

  • Free
  • Open to the public
  • Held at WWF’s Washington, D.C. Headquarters (1250 24th St. NW, Washington, DC 20037)
  • Begin at 4:30 p.m., followed by a reception at 5:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Kate Graves at 202-495-4604.

WWF's Fuller Science for Nature Seminar Series

Sustainable Diets: Transforming Global Food Systems
Who: Michael Clark, University of Oxford, and Jessica Fanzo, Johns Hopkins University
When: June 13, 2019 at 4:30 pm, Reception to follow
Where: WWF’s Washington, D.C. Headquarters (1250 24th St. NW, Washington, DC 20037)

Register Now

About the Seminar:

It is estimated that by 2050, overall demand for food will double, if current dietary trends continue. While food systems are capable of supporting both environmental sustainability and human health, most current global food production and management practices instead threaten the stability of nature and the planet. Expanding agriculture is degrading local ecosystems and habitats, an estimated 1 out of every 3 calories produced is lost or wasted, while more than 800 million people still face malnourishment. Unhealthy diets also increase morbidity and mortality. How do we, then, address the demands of growing global populations while also ensuring healthy and equitable diets and sustainable food systems?

Urgent action is needed to transform our global food system. Scientific evidence shows the relationship between environmental sustainability and human health. In this seminar, a panel of experts will discuss food system evolution, current and projected environmental impacts from food production, and how we can better provide access to equitable, sustainable, and nutritious food for all people while maintaining a healthy planet.

About the Speakers:

Michael Clark, Oxford Martin School and Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford. Dr. Michael Clark is part of the Livestock, Environment, and People (LEAP) project at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on the impact that the global food system has on human health and environmental sustainability. He develops and uses models to understand how the food system is likely to change in the future, what these changes mean for human health and environmental sustainability, and how we might change the food system so that it can provide healthier diets in a more environmentally sustainable way. His previous work has examined these issues at a global scale, for example linking the food system to health and environmental sustainability targets, as well as by examining the multiple (and often synergistic) health and environmental impacts of different foods.

Jessica Fanzo, Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Jessica Fanzo is the Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor of Global Food and Agriculture Policy and Ethics at the Berman Institute of Bioethics, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at the Johns Hopkins University in the USA. From 2017 to 2019, Jessica served as the Co-Chair of the Global Nutrition Report and the UN High Level Panel of Experts on Food Systems and Nutrition. Before coming to Hopkins, she also held positions at Columbia University, the Earth Institute, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Food Programme, Biodiversity International, and the Millennium Development Goal Centre at the World Agroforestry Center in Kenya. Jessica has a PhD in nutrition from University of Arizona.

Moderated by Karen Luz, Vice President, Freshwater and Food, WWF. Karen Luz is Vice President, Freshwater and Food, at WWF, and Director of the CARE-WWF Alliance. She joined WWF in 2007 as Deputy Director for Market Transformation. From 2010-2012, she served as Senior Advisor to WWF’s Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Program and the Mozambique Country Office, based in Maputo. She has led the CARE-WWF Alliance since 2013 and served simultaneously as Deputy Director for Oceans from 2014-2016. Prior to joining WWF, Karen worked for eight years as Country Director for Nicaragua and Honduras at The Nature Conservancy. She also worked at the World Bank as Senior Biodiversity Specialist from 2004-2007 and as Community Development Specialist in the Pilot Program to Conserve the Brazilian Rain Forest from 1992-95. She has a B.A. in History from Yale University and an M.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


  • Kathryn S. Fuller Science for Nature Seminar Series

    WWF’s Science for Nature Seminars provide a regular forum for the conservation community to learn, discuss, network and inspire. The series seeks to advance the discussion of cutting edge research relating to critical topics in international conservation by featuring distinguished scientists from across the globe.

  • 2012 Fuller Symposium: Conservation Crime

    Global leaders shared their insights on the growing crisis of wildlife crime at the 2012 Fuller Symposium. The symposium was held on November 14, 2012 at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C.

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