EDGE Fellows

Photograph of EDGE Fellows attaching a camera-trap to a tree

The EDGE of Existence programme invests in conservation at a grass-roots level. We support aspiring conservationists in developing countries to take the lead in researching and conserving their local EDGE species – the most effective and sustainable way to ensure the long-term survival of these animals. 

The call for EDGE Fellowship applications will open in April 2019 – check here for further details

Every year, around 10 early-career conservationists are awarded one of ZSL’s two-year EDGE Fellowships. With mentorship from ZSL experts, and a grant to set up their own project on an EDGE species, each fellow gains a rigorous scientific grounding as well as practical experience. 

Each intake of Fellows begins with a four-week training course in essential conservation tools, delivered in priority EDGE regions such as Madagascar, Costa Rica, Borneo, Kenya and the Philippines. Fellows then head back to work with their chosen species, receiving both online support from their ZSL supervisors, as well as project visits to assist them in the field. Near the end of their Fellowship, the Fellows will visit ZSL London Zoo to receive two weeks of conservation leadership training.

Over the past decade, 68 passionate conservationists from all over the world have completed the EDGE Fellowship programme and made an impact in the countries where they live. Follow-on funding is available to outstanding Alumni to scale up their projects and put into practice recommendations for conservation action.

Meet some of our EDGE Fellows: 

Bruktawit Abdu“A highlight of my Fellowship was been the conservation tools training course in Madagascar. I was able to learn lots of things about different aspects of conservation including the social aspect. In addition to the course, I had the pleasure to meet and be friends with young and enthusiastic conservationists working in different parts of the world.” 

Bruktawit Abdu's EDGE Fellowship specialises in the White-winged Flufftail

Photograph of EDGE Fellow Tomas Aguirre in the jungle"The EDGE Fellowship has provided me with invaluable experience and assistance to develop a career as a conservationist. Not only with financial support, but it has also helped me with conservation tools training and methodological and technical assistance. This support has improved and scaled up the conservation project I am currently working on, involving the El Rincon Stream frog and its habitat."

Tomás Martínez Aguirre’s Fellowship focuses on the endangered El Rincon stream frog

Portrait photograph of EDGE Fellow Yajaira García Feria  “The scientific advice and support that I have received from the Fellowship has given me the opportunity to strengthen my career as a Conservation Biologist. In addition to meet wonderful people and learn from the Fellows, EDGE and NatGeo team, being a National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellow has allowed me to acquire the necessary tools so that, together with my national advisers, we can implement a project that encourages active participation of the local people, as well as the creation of ecological knowledge, in order to conserve a charismatic, but little-known and threatened species.”

Yajaira García Feria's project is on the volcano rabbit

Jose Alfredo Hernandez Diaz “An important highlight of my fellowship has been the excellent attitude that people from the community have shown towards the project. They are always willing to help and very supportive.” 

Since completing his Fellowship, José Alfredo Hernández Díaz has received an EDGE Heroes scale-up award to continue his work to protect the Taylor’s salamander

Horris Wanyama, EDGE Fellow“There is nothing better than self-satisfaction; doing what you feel you are good at. Rhino conservation is very fulfilling and I am contented to having achieved what my late uncle died trying to do. I feel an unexplainable thrill whenever I see a rhino cow walking with an innocent calf in a peaceful quite wilderness.”

Horris Wanyama is working to protect the Critically Endangered eastern black rhinoceros

Esteban Brenes-Mora is a conservation scientist currently working in Tapir Research“The EDGE fellowship was a unique opportunity to launch my career as a conservation biologist and create a project around a species for which I was most passionate about. Before EDGE and the support from School of Biology of the University of Costa Rica and my mentors, studying tapirs was just a dream.”

Esteban Brenes-Mora is safeguarding the future of the Baird's Tapir

Portrait photograph of EDGE Fellow Micaela Camino out in the field“There are many great things about my job. The first one is the Forests. When I am in the forests looking for tracks, observing Nature, I feel my roots in this World. My own roots. I can feel how I am part of a larger being, and how the Mystery of Nature is Infinite.”

After completing her Fellowship Micaela Camino was invited to become an EDGE Affiliate, as recognition of her ongoing work with the Chacoan peccary and continued relationship with the EDGE programme.

Find out more about EDGE 

More information

EDGE of Existence programme logo
EDGE of Existence programme


The call for EDGE Fellowship applications is now open

One of the most effective ways ZSL's EDGE of Existence programme is working to secure the future of EDGE species is by awarding two year Fellowships to future conservation leaders working on poorly-known EDGE species. Find out how you can become an EDGE Fellow. 

For more information about the EDGE Fellows Programme, please visit the EDGE of Existence website or you can email the EDGE Fellows Coordinator

Deadline for applications for the 2020 EDGE Fellowship is 17:00 (GMT) 18th June 2019