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Addressing the challenge of climate change and gender equality

11 May 2018

Daniela on the largest all-female expedition to Antarctica

Addressing the challenge of climate change and gender equality

In April Daniela Lainez del Pozo, a Geography PhD researcher, returned to UCL after a unique journey: the largest all-female expedition to Antarctica.

The trip was the end of a one-year leadership and strategy education programme led by Homeward Bound, an initiative to build a platform of 1,000 women in STEM over ten years, ‘to lead, influence and contribute to policy and decision-making as it informs the future of our planet’.

The journey served to consolidate the cohort selected for this platform in 2017, against the backdrop of Antarctica, to provide insights into the influence of human activities on global-scale environmental change.

Daniela’s research is set in northern Peru, an area highly vulnerable to El Niño and climate change, where she has explored the challenges of making marine protected areas both effective for biodiversity conservation and equitable for local people.

For her research, she received a scholarship from Kathmandu Gear to cover the programme costs and support from UCL Geography to fly to Ushuaia from where the ship to Antarctica departed.

On her return Daniela believes the experience has been transformative to her career as a geographer and woman in science:

“Seeing the impacts of our actions in the remoteness of this ultimate wilderness made me realize the fragility of our planet and the global significance of the work we do, in spite of the increasing difficulties scientists face. Being part of this network, knowing I am now only one click away from another 1000 experts, gives me the confidence to aim higher with my own research. New windows have opened for me to discuss my research and climate change through interviews in the newspapers, radio and TV. I am very grateful to UCL Geography for supporting my participation in this programme and striving for gender equality.”

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