Amy Zuckerwise

CEW+ applauds Amy’s commitment to conservation and names her a Menakka and Essel Bailey Graduate Fellow.

Wildlife scientist Amy Zuckerwise has a deep-rooted fascination for wild cat species. Growing up in Southern California, Amy was captivated by the bobcats and pumas near urban areas, so she studied those animals as an undergraduate at Stanford University and as an Environmental Scientist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Later, Amy pursued a master’s degree in environmental science at the Yale University School of the Environment, where she researched ocelots in the Bolivian Amazon. Currently, Amy is a PhD student at the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. Her doctoral research explores the intricate relationship between people and tigers in the lowlands of Nepal, and it is conducted in collaboration with the Conservation and Coexistence lab group at U-M, the Nepali National Trust for Nature Conservation, and the Nepal office of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Amy’s dissertation project aims to bridge the gap between conservation efforts and gender equality. In Nepal, where the tiger population has significantly increased over the past decade, human-tiger conflict has become a pressing issue. Women are highly vulnerable to such conflicts due to their role in collecting forest resources, but they do not receive the same benefits as men from conservation initiatives. To address these disparities, Amy will use participatory mapping to understand place- and gender-specific relationships with tigers and to identify barriers and facilitators for women’s involvement in conservation and benefit-sharing. By integrating ecological data on tiger interactions with Indigenous women’s perspectives, she aims to empower Nepali women in community conservation.

Amy’s research has already garnered attention with a recent publication in Global Ecology and Conservation. After completing her PhD, Amy envisions a career at a nongovernmental organization advocating for wildcat conservation and equitable policy-making in the wildlife conservation field.

CEW+ applauds Amy’s commitment to conservation and names her a Menakka and Essel Bailey Graduate Fellow.