Eleanor Sterling

Dr. Eleanor Sterling is Jaffe Chief Conservation Scientist at the American Museum of Natural History's Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. Building on her interdisciplinary training and over 30 years of field experience in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Oceania, her work focuses on the intersection between biodiversity, culture, and languages; the factors influencing ecological and social resilience; and the development of indicators of wellbeing in biocultural landscapes. 
She is a world authority on the aye-aye, a nocturnal lemur endemic to Madagascar and collaborates on an initiative integrating biology and econometrics across multiple scales for sustainable wildlife trade in Vietnam. She is also an expert in strategic planning and in implementation and evaluation of capacity development. She is currently Deputy Vice Chair for the International Union for Nature and Natural Resources World Commission on Protected Areas Core Capacity Development group where she co-leads working groups on Capacity Development Evaluation and on Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities. 
She co-founded the Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Committee of the Society for Conservation Biology and the Women in Natural Sciences New York chapter of the Association for Women in Science. Dr. Sterling is currently an adjunct professor at Columbia University, where she served as Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology for ten years. Dr. Sterling received her B.A. degree from Yale College, and M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Anthropology and Forestry and Environmental Studies from Yale University.