Valentine Reiss-Woolever

Valentine Reiss-Woolever

  • Alumni
  • United States
  • 2019 PhD Zoology
  • St Edmund's College

After a childhood in Arizona's biodiverse Sonoran desert and later Düsseldorf, Germany, I studied Zoology at University College Cork in Ireland, including an exchange at National University of Singapore. For the past several years, I have been working across Latin America in community-based conservation. Experiencing the conflicts plaguing tropical forests provoked my desire to solve a critical problem: while demand for agricultural land threatens biodiversity, production is essential to livelihoods. With Dr. Edgar Turner, I will focus on conservation and income stability in smallholder oil palm plantations, evaluating management methods’ effects on biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and profit. The research aims to improve understanding of oil palm ecology, smallholder economic relations, and other core ecological and sociological principles. With educated management, I believe biodiversity conservation has potential to ameliorate poverty and foster improvement for a range of pressing concerns. I am truly honoured to be part of The Gates Cambridge Trust, which provides an unparalleled foundation and community for positive global change.

Previous Education

University College Cork Bachelors of Science in Zoology 2017