Dr. Jane Zelikova is an ecosystem scientist focusing on understanding the impacts of climate change on ecological processes, from how organisms and plants respond, to how carbon and nitrogen cycles are changing. She works in tropical and temperate ecosystems, driven by questions rather than particular study systems. These days, she is transitioning from addressing fundamental research questions, like how leaf cutter ants transform the carbon cycle in tropical forests and how plants respond to experimental climate change manipulations, to doing more applied work. Specifically, she is interested in climate change mitigation and how we can promote more carbon uptake in agriculture. Soils hold vast amounts of carbon, much of it stored in stable forms for 100s of years. Soils may hold the key to addressing climate change, but we need to bring together science, policy, and business to ensure the solutions we come with work for the people working on the land, make financial sense to their bottom line, and are properly incentivized with science-informed policy. This is the current focus of her work and she is excited to apply her science knowledge and expertise beyond documenting the impacts of climate change, towards helping mitigate its worst impacts. To find out more about Jane’s projects check out her website.
Jane says that ESWN has been a source of support and inspiration since she first found out about it in 2012. She was able to attend one of the ESWN trainings in 2013 (leadership training) and that experience was literally transformative. She says, “I found my voice as a leader, I got concrete tools to work more effectively within groups, and I met people who have continued to be my mentors and friends. My involvement in the ESWN community was instrumental in being able to find my voice, activate my amazing women in science community, and start 500 Women Scientists. Being “brave” for me was not an inherent characteristic – my bravery comes from having an incredible group of women with me and ESWN was the start of that community. 500 Women Scientists was started largely by women in Earth sciences and these are the people I go to with ideas, successes, failures, and to celebrate the big things that come up in life.”
To find out more about 500 Women Scientists, and their amazing work to promote inclusive, accessible science, please visit www.500WomenScientists.org.