Edwin Pynegar


I’m queer and I’m a conservation scientist. //

I’m an interdisciplinary conservation scientist and I recently successfully defended my PhD at Bangor University, Wales. In my PhD I evaluated the effectiveness of incentive-based watershed and forest conservation programs in the Andes, and I’m excited to soon be going to work full-time in Bolivia for the nonprofit Fundación Natura Bolivia. My PhD experience wasn’t all smooth sailing, though, and some of the reasons for that definitely relate to my being queer. Conducting fieldwork in the Global South is something that can present extra challenges when you’re LGBTQ, and I’m yet to hear that discussed anywhere within the ecology or conservation communities. I’d really like to open that discussion up—please *absolutely* feel free to get in touch! Also, when you decide where you’ll attend grad school, that town’s also going to be your home for several years. Is there a large queer community at the university and in the town itself? Do other queer people there feel comfortable and welcome? Does the university offer resources specifically for LGBTQ postgraduates? Don’t be afraid to find out—these things are really important!