Press release | 28 Aug, 2020

IUCN Species Survival Commission member wins the 2020 British Ecological Society award

The British Ecological Society (BES) announced today the winners of its annual awards and prizes, recognising Wendy Foden, Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Climate Change Specialist Group, for her outstanding contribution to climate change research. 

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Photo: CCSG

Wendy Foden led the development of IUCN’s methodology for assessing climate change vulnerability of species, and its subsequent application to the world’s birds, amphibians, corals, and lemurs. Also, led the development of the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Guidelines for Assessing Species’ Vulnerability to Climate Change (English version:; Spanish version:

Recently, she won IUCN’s George Rabb Award for her “innovative, dynamic and thoughtful leadership of SSC’s work on climate change”. 

“Most of my research has been highly collaborative, so the award recognises the work of our community. I’m extremely proud to represent Africa’s woman scientists and hope that the award inspires other women scientists, particularly from developing countries, to step up to conservation and climate change challenges” said Wendy Foden.  

Jointly with Foden were awarded eleven distinguished ecologists whose work has benefited the scientific community and society in general.

Professor Jane Memmott, President of the British Ecological Society, said: “I am delighted to offer my congratulations to the winners of this year’s BES awards for their exceptional contributions to ecology. Each year these prizes recognise and celebrate the exceptional contributions of individuals to advancing ecology and communicating its importance for society.”

The winners will be presented with their prizes during a ceremony held at the Society’s annual conference in December 2021 (due to smaller face-to-face conference in 2020). The meeting will bring together 1,200 ecologists from around 60 countries to discuss the latest advances in ecological research across the whole discipline.

Notes to editors

The IUCN SSC Climate Change Specialist Group support and strengthen nature conservation in a changing climate.

British Ecological Society. Founded in 1913, the British Ecological Society (BES) is the oldest ecological society in the world. The BES promotes the study of ecology through its six academic journals, conferences, grants, education initiatives and policy work. The society has 6,000 members from more than 120 different countries.  
Twitter and Instagram: @BritishEcolSoc