Cyren Asteraceya Wong
I am gay and I am an ecologist and ethnozoologist.//
I collaborate with indigenous communities towards achieving community-based biodiversity conservation practices. This involves the documentation of Indigenous interactions with native flora and fauna and approaches to natural resource management local. By understanding the intersections between ecology and community, I am able to provide an additional layer of checks and balances for stakeholders and decision makers to ensure that top-down conservation strategies are beneficial to local lifestyles. In doing so, conservation projects are able to secure greater sustainability by empowering communities, building local capacity, and increasing participation on the ground! In a region where discrimination against lgbtq individuals is relatively commonplace, and where support networks are few and far in between, I have been fortunate to end up in a progressive workplace where I can live proudly. I want to capitalise on this by using my visibility to shape public perceptions of queer people in STEM in a positive way. When I am not juggling between field research and my other responsibilities, I run a biodiversity and science communication blog called “Naturetalksback” on Facebook.