Dr Amy Dickman selected as one of National Geographic’s ‘Women of Impact’

19th February 2020

Congratulations to Kaplan Senior Research Fellow Dr Amy Dickman, who has been selected as one of National Geographic’s ‘Women of Impact’ in recognition of her work with the Ruaha Carnivore Project, a large carnivore conservation programme in Southern Tanzania.

National Geographic’s ‘Women of Impact’ series is a yearlong feature dedicated to recognising and celebrating women around the world who have made significant contributions to the fields of science, literature and law, amongst others. Dr Dickman has been featured in the series for her extraordinary work in the field of big cat conservation, which has centred on working with local tribes to find ways for humans and big cats to coexist and avoid conflict.

One particularly notable achievement of the Ruaha Carnivore Project has been the establishment of a strong working relationship with the Barabaig tribe, who were traditionally hostile towards outsiders as well as prolific lion killers. Over the past decade, Amy and her team have built strong relationships with local villagers, particularly warriors and women, to engage and empower them through conservation. As well as protecting people and livestock, Amy’s project has developed extensive community benefit programmes to ensure that people see more value from live wildlife than from killing them.

Remote tribes like the Barabaig are often marginalised in conservation. To help address this, Amy wrote a children’s book titled ‘Darem the Lion Defender’, explaining the vital role that the Barabaig in particular have played in improving lion conservation around Ruaha. Through their community-driven approaches, the project has reduced carnivore killing and also become a significant driver of local community development.

Amy said of her recognition: ‘It is an incredible honour to be mentioned by National Geographic as one of their women of impact. However, this is not about me alone – I could never have achieved anything without the help of so many others, including local villagers, our team, our project partners and funders, and also Pembroke College for supporting my Fellowship. This recognition is for all of us, and our role in helping improve the situation for both people and wildlife in Tanzania.’

Dr Amy Dickman
Dr Amy Dickman