Congratulations to Susana Gonzales, 2010 Whitley Award winner, who has just received the  “2016 Women in Science Award” from the L’Oreal Foundation and UNESCO in Uruguay.  The award recognizes Uruguayan scientists whose research contributes to the advancement of scientific knowledge and benefits to society. Selection criteria include: the scientific content of the project, the potential impact on the economic and social development of Uruguay, as well as the impact on the training of human resources.

Susana works to inform deer conservation with her project “Application of molecular markers to determine conservation units for Latin American cervids”. Susana notes that “Deer are good indicators of biodiversity richness and ecosystem health and play an important role in the maintenance of biomes, contributing to seed dispersal, vegetation structuring and trophic chains”.

Deer have been greatly affected by human activities resulting in the decline of many species as a result of fragmentation and habitat alteration as well as by the advance of urbanization. Conservation of biodiversity in Uruguay and elsewhere needs to be prioritized on the basis of sound scientific knowledge of ecosystems and species. Susana’s work and her $20,000 award will help inform local and regional conservation of deer and their ecosystems.