Women in Science: the conservation biologist

by Anonymous (not verified) on

Meet some of ZSL's female researchers and conservationists to discover more about their roles and what advice they would give anyone interested in pursuing a career in conservation science.

Phoebe Shaw Stewart is a Junior Conservation Biologist at ZSL.  Phoebe works in London and is part of our team of conservationists helping to monitor, study and protect the wildlife in and around the River Thames.

Junior conservation biologist Phoebe Shaw Stewart

What does your job involve?  

I work on citizen science projects (projects that involve members of the public helping to monitor wildlife) that are designed to gather evidence to inform conservation management on rivers throughout the Greater London area. 

The projects can range from species specific (European eel monitoring) to habitat protection (identifying pollution events and sources).  I help to set-up projects, train volunteers, gather and analyse data, and create reports.

Anyone who is 18 yrs or older can volunteer to be part of our citizen science projects.  You don't need to have studied biology... all you need is wellies, a willingness to learn from our experts and a bit of spare time to take part. 

Why did you choose to pursue a career in conservation science?

I have always been interested in the natural world, and there has never been another line of work that I have considered to be a long-term career option.  Having said that, there are a wide range of jobs available within the conservation sector, and working with eels, invertebrates and sewage wasn’t necessarily a conscious choice – more a result of enjoying working in rivers.

What's the best thing about your job?

Being able to work in one of the busiest and most dynamic cities in the world and still find areas of calm and quiet next to the river.  Also working with skilled and passionate volunteers is very inspiring.

What advice would you give anyone wanting to work in conservation science?

Go for it!  But make sure you allow some flexibility to make the most of opportunities as they arise.

Conservation Biologist Phoebe Shaw Stewart, in the field on the River Thames

Read about some of ZSL's other experts...

Select a blog

Careers at ZSL

Our people are our greatest asset and we realise our vision for a world where wildlife thrives through their ideas, skills and passion. An inspired, informed and empowered community of people work, study and volunteer together at ZSL.

Nature at the heart of global decision making

At ZSL, a key area of our work is the employment of Nature-based Solutions – an approach which both adapt to and mitigates the impacts of climate change. These Solutions, which include habitat protection and restoration, are low-cost yet high-impact, and provide multiple benefits to people and wildlife. We ensure that biodiversity recovery is at the heart of nature-based solutions. 

ZSL London Zoo

A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo, bringing you extraordinary animal facts and exclusive access to the world's oldest scientific zoo.

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Do you love wildlife? Discover more about our amazing animals at the UK's biggest zoo!


We're working around the world to conserve animals and their habitats, find out more about our latest achievements.


From the field to the lab, catch up with the scientists on the cutting edge of conservation biology at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.


A day in Discovery and Learning at ZSL is never dull! The team tell us all about the exciting sessions for school children, as well as work further afield.

Artefact of the month

Every month, one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as Artefact of the Month.

Wild About

Read testimonials from our Members and extracts from ZSL's award winning members' magazine, Wild About.

Asia Conservation Programme

ZSL works across Asia, from the famous national parks of Nepal to marine protected areas in the Philippines. Read the latest updates on our conservation.

Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation

An Open Access journal for research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation.