Winner of the Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Grant announced

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Oppenheimer Generations announced Dr Hayley Clements as the recipient of the inaugural Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer (JWO) Research Grant worth $150 000, for her research towards quantifying the biodiversity planetary boundary for Africa. She is a postdoctoral research fellow in socio-ecological systems at Stellenbosch University.

African Biodiversity Intactness Index

Dr Clements’s research will develop a Biodiversity Intactness Index for Africa, through a continent-wide collaboration of biodiversity professionals.

The project is intended to explore where and how biodiversity loss affects human well-being, as well as promote understanding of where investing in nature can benefit society.

Her proposal was chosen from 164 applications from 110 institutions in 24 countries.

Sustainable development in Africa

“I am thrilled to receive this award that honours the legacy of Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer. I’m committed to harnessing this opportunity to undertake research that effects positive change towards sustainable development in Africa,” she said upon receiving the award.

Dr Clements was awarded this honour at the 10th Oppenheimer Research Conference, an annual gathering of local and international researchers, academics, activists and sustainability advocates.

Dr Duncan MacFadyen, head of conservation research at Oppenheimer Generations, said: “The JWO Grant couldn’t have asked for a more deserving inaugural winner. We look forward to the results of her research and will continue to support African research excellence that strives to find solutions for African sustainability.”

The JWO Grant

The substantial JWO Grant, worth $150 000, will be awarded annually to support a three-year African-led research programme. The programme is intended to significantly contribute to the advancement of environmental and allied sciences – specifically to identify and address real-world issues which affect Africa.

The JWO Grant was set up to honour the late Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer and to continue her legacy and contribution to conservation, the environment and cutting-edge science in Africa. – Press release, Oppenheimer Generations