Functional Ecology: International Women’s Day 2024 

Functional Ecology: International Women’s Day 2024 

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2024, we are excited to share a collection of blog posts showcasing the work of some of our new Associate Editors. In each post, our editors discuss their experiences in ecology, as well as what this year’s theme, ‘Inspire Inclusion‘, means to them. 

Dr Iveren Abiem 

Dr Iveren Abiem (Credit: Iveren Abiem)

What work do you do? 

I am a lecturer at the University of Jos, Nigeria. I am a forest ecologist and conservation biologist studying biodiversity in Afromontane forests. 

How did you get into ecology? 

I have always had a fascination for nature, the beauty and vastness of it all. My parents loved raising plants and keeping the spaces at our home green so you could say, I got introduced to ecology as a child.  When I completed my bachelor’s degree in plant science, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in conservation biology at the A. P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLORI) in Nigeria. During my time in APLORI, I got exposed to different aspects of ecology and participated on a Tropical Biology Field course in Tanzania. These experiences increased my interest in ecology which led me to pursue a PhD in Ecology. 

What is your proudest achievement? 

I think there are several achievements I am grateful for. That the students I have mentored or supervised are excelling in their studies, research and careers. I guess getting a PhD and receiving a L’Oreal For Women in Science Sub-Saharan Africa young talents award are worth mentioning too. 

What does ‘Inspire Inclusion’ mean to you? 

Recognising that women and girls everywhere can make a difference if they are encouraged to participate and given the chance to be more. A little girl somewhere needs to be encouraged by her community to pursue her dreams of making a change in the world. Women’s perspectives and contributions to every walk of life should be recognised and appreciated. 

Who inspires you? 

My parents: hardworking and disciplined people who encouraged and supported my dreams. I learnt from my mother’s ingenuity and my father’s resilience. 

Prof. Hazel Chapman, my PhD supervisor; nurtured my development into a forest ecologist. I can say she gave me the springboard that launched me into research. 

I am also inspired by men and women who are daily giving themselves to find solutions to global problems. 

Discover more International Women’s Day 2024 content across the British Ecological Society on the BES website.

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