By IUCN CEM YPN.
We are very proud to announce the winner of the IUCN CEM Young Professional Award 2020: Jessica Rowland, Research Fellow, Monash University & Deakin University, Australia.
The award was announced during the IUCN World Conservation Congress held at Marseille.
CEM Young Professional Award award aims to recognize and motivate an outstanding young CEM member aged between 18-35 years who has shown exemplary engagement in scientific research related to ecosystem management. The award was to be presented to someone who demonstrates a commitment to the values and vision of IUCN CEM.
The award acknowledges the work Jessica undertook during her PhD to improve how we monitor change in ecosystems at local to global levels. Her research involved reviewing how ecosystem change is measured in ecosystem risk assessments, developing and testing three indicators to monitor trends in ecosystems at local to global scales, and developing a guide to capturing uncertainty in indicator trends. The three indicators were developed alongside the Red List of Ecosystems team – Prof. Emily Nicholson, Dr Lucie Bland, Prof David Keith and others – and include the Red List Index of Ecosystems, Ecosystem Health Index, and Ecosystem Area Index. The indicators aim to improve our understanding of the status of ecosystems and to support ecosystem conservation and management worldwide. They capture changes in risk to ecosystems and the spatial distribution and health of ecosystems and have recently been accepted by the Biodiversity Indicator Partnership as global policy indicators for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
Jessica Rowland is a conservation biologist based at Monash University and Deakin University whose research focuses on ecosystem risk assessment, monitoring, and management. She is currently leading the project to conduct IUCN Red List of Ecosystems assessments for Australian alpine ecosystems and explore how to effectively incorporate the impacts of climate change in ecosystem risk assessments. Jess is also working on identifying research priorities to support conservation management of alpine peatlands, developing rapid evidence review methods to evaluate the effectiveness of management for conservation of threatened ecosystems, and developing a Green Status of Ecosystems framework to monitor conservation successes.
She completed her PhD at Deakin University, exploring how the change in ecosystems is measured from local-scale ecosystem studies through to global-level biodiversity monitoring. Her master’s research at the University of Melbourne aimed to increase our understanding of the thermal properties of nest-boxes compared to tree-hollows to improve conservation-management efforts for our native wildlife under a rapidly changing climate.