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WWF works to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife, collaborating with partners from local to global levels in nearly 100 countries.
Allison Catalano recently completed a PhD researching how conservation professionals learn from failure. In particular, she studied how cognitive biases, psychological safety and team learning behaviors influence our responses to failure, how conservation organizations enable or discourage learning from failure both internally and across conservation as a discipline, and what structural barriers exist that impede this learning. She came to this topic from a background that includes 20 years as a US Naval Officer, experience as a strategic management consultant for Bain & Co. in London, and as the US Embassy Community Liaison Officer in Ankara, Turkey. She also completed an MBA from Wharton Business School and a BA in Environmental Geology from Bryn Mawr College. She has always been interested in leadership, learning, and how people work together in teams, and has been facilitating group discussions for more than 20 years. She currently works as the Evaluation and Learning Manager for a private foundation focused on mitigating climate change.
Yuta Masuda is a Senior Sustainable Development and Behavioral Scientist in Global Science at The Nature Conservancy. His current research focuses on two areas:
1. the co-benefits of natural climate solutions, especially as it relates to their benefits to local communities’ adaptive capacity to climate change, especially among low- and middle-income country populations; and
2. investigating the design and effects of conservation policies on socio-ecological systems.
More broadly, his work at the Conservancy examines how policies advancing conservation and sustainable development goals impact human well-being and environmental outcomes. He has conducted research on community-based conservation, human behavior, institutions, human health, diffusions of innovations, land tenure security, and other topics on the human dimensions of conservation and sustainable development. Although he primarily employs economic models and methods, he often leads multidisciplinary teams of social, natural, and public health scientists to investigate both field-based empirical and theoretical questions. His work has been published in outlets such as Nature Sustainability, Nature Communications, Global Environmental Change, Lancet Planetary Health, Environmental Research Letters, Conservation Letters, Land Use Policy, One Earth, and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.
A passionate and highly accomplished professional, Dr. McKinnon has 20 years’ experience working on planning, monitoring and evaluation of nature conservation, international development, and community programs with philanthropies, non-profits, government agencies, and research institutions.
Dr. McKinnon founded Bright Impact in 2018, an independent consultancy, leading short-term and multi-year projects around strategy, evaluation and learning for positive good in the world. Previously, she led measurement, evaluation and learning of philanthropic investments and technology products by the late Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder, in areas of wildlife conservation, climate change, communities, education, pandemics, arts and culture. She spent over 5 years with Conservation International leading monitoring and reporting of ecosystem and human well-being outcomes across CI’s efforts in over 25 countries.
Madeleine has co-authored over 40 scientific articles including Nature and Science and been cited over 2000 times. She was the principal investigator for a Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP) working group on Evidence-based Conservation and previously served on the Board of the Conservation Measures Partnership.
Originally from London, she graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a B.Sc. in Ecology and has a MS in Applied Ecology and Conservation from the University of East Anglia. She earned a Ph.D. focused on evaluation of conservation policy and programs from the University of Queensland, Australia.
Morena is passionate about applied biodiversity conservation research and She is interested in improving policy that impacts the persistence of species and people’s wellbeing. She spends most of her time applying social science theories to solve challenges associated to biodiversity conservation. Her research spans marine and terrestrial systems, and she runs both global and local scale projects. For example, at a global scale, she is investigating what, how and why conservation interventions spread around the world. At a local scale she is investigating how policies aimed at conserving and restoring biodiversity in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and coast can be improved.
Darren J. Ranco, PhD, a citizen of the Penobscot Nation, is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Chair of Native American Programs at the University of Maine. He has a Masters of Studies in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School and a PhD in Social Anthropology from Harvard University. His research focuses on the ways in which indigenous communities in the United States resist environmental destruction by using indigenous science, diplomacies, and critiques of liberalism to protect natural and cultural resources. He teaches classes on indigenous intellectual property rights, research ethics, environmental justice and tribal governance. As a citizen of the Penobscot Nation, he is particularly interested in how better research relationships can be made between universities, museums, Native and non-Native researchers, and indigenous communities.
Dr. Chris Sandbrook is an Associate Professor in Geography at the University of Cambridge. He is a conservation social scientist who conducts research on the relationship between conservation and development in theory and practice, the social and political implications of new technologies for conservation, and the values and viewpoints of conservationists. He is the Director of the Cambridge Masters in Conservation Leadership, a flagship programme for mid-career professionals from around the world. He also serves as Chair of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative - a partnership between the University of Cambridge and 9 international NGOs and networks based in the Cambridge area. He leads the Future of Conservation research project - the largest ever survey of conservationists which has been taken by nearly 20,000 respondents in over 150 countries.