Since Panthera was founded in 2006, women have played a central role in working towards our vision of creating a world where wild cats thrive in healthy, natural and developed landscapes that sustain people and biodiversity. In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting just a few of the incredible stories of our women scientists. From working with indigenous communities to helping design safer roadways for wild cats and studying feline DNA samples in a lab, these women all play a critical part in creating a world where wild cats can thrive.
Dr. Wai-Yee Lam: Congratulations to Dr. Wai-Yee Lam, co-winner of WWF’s Dr. Rimington Award for Women in Tiger Science. This inspiring woman scientist is Panthera Malaysia’s Country Director, working to preserve clouded leopards, flat-headed cats and the Critically Endangered Malayan tiger. Thanks to her tireless work with indigenous communities and local partners, our counter-wildlife crime patrols in Malaysia have seen recent successes, with poaching and snaring down considerably in 2019 and 2020.
Dr. Imogene Cancellare: Meet Dr. Imogene Cancellare, a pioneering woman in science. Dr. Cancellare is our newly hired Conservation Genetics Program Coordinator, having recently received her Ph.D. from the University of Delaware. Her research has focused on snow leopard phylogeography (the study of the geographic distribution of genealogical lineages) and genetics across High Asia, for which she received a grant from Panthera.
Her work, however, goes far beyond this. She considers herself a "Science Communicator," having grown a substantial following on social media to show the world the importance of conservation science.
Annastacia Mukorori: Community Game Guard Annastacia Mukorori helps protect Angola’s wild cats, including lions, leopards and cheetahs. In this war-torn part of Africa, protecting wildlife is critical — and Annastacia is meeting the challenge with impressive leadership. Read an interview with her about her important work.
Patricia Kayula: Meet Patricia Kayula, our Kafue Lion Monitoring Coordinator, and an important leader in conservation science. Please join us in congratulating Patricia on receiving an offer to join WildCru’s International Wildlife Conservation Practice postgraduate degree program at Oxford University. After many long hours studying lion ecology and working to ensure they thrive in Zambia's grasslands, she is taking her education to the next level. Her goal is to use the knowledge she attains to help the wildlife of her home country of Zambia upon her return.
Daniela Araya-Gamboa: Roads pose a grave threat to wild cats, including jaguars. Thankfully, in Costa Rica, a team of women conservationists led by Panthera's Daniela Araya-Gamboa, our Wild Cats Friendly Roads Project Coordinator, is at the forefront of the struggle to save them as well as other species. They scour the country's roads for struck wildlife, documenting the number of animals hit — statistics that will inform conservation action.
Beathres Petrus: Beathres Petrus is a community engagement officer for Panthera in Malaysian Borneo. Beathres has always loved cats — so when she was hired by Panthera, she was extremely enthusiastic. And that enthusiasm hasn't stopped. She's patrolled miles of forest, doted over camera trap photos and engaged indigenous communities in conservation efforts. Thanks to women like Beathres, we may yet see more Sunda clouded leopards and marbled cats in the future.