Jun 222021

Edinburgh Zoo, EH12 6TS

Portrait of Dr. Helen Senn surrounded by a beaver, wildcat, and wasp displayed near the wildcat enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo
Dr. Helen Senn by Shona Hardie; image by Chris Scott Photography

Dr. Helen Senn is the Head of Conservation and Science at Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), the charity that leads Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park, and manages the WildGenes conservation genetics lab. Overseeing all 23 wild conversation projects and working as a conservation genetics specialist, Helen supports reintroduction projects for critically endangered species around the world. Many of the species Helen and the team at RZSS support are on the brink of extinction. Their work helps to protect species in the wild and establish captive breeding populations to support species recovery. Using her scientific and planning expertise, Helen is at the forefront of saving critically endangered species both in Scotland and globally.

Jun 222021

The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, EH3 5NZ

Portrait of Dr. Aline Finger mounted on the grounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens, surrounded by trees
Dr. Aline Finger by Kerry Wilson; image by Chris Scott Photography

(No longer on display) Dr. Aline Finger is a conservation geneticist and molecular ecologist at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. Her work focuses on the genetics and conservation of threatened plant species and supporting viable plant populations in the wild. Aline uses genetic and ecological methods to help maximize the success of conservation translocations, where species are moved into new environments to help their survival. By knowing the genetic make-up of these plants, Aline can reduce the chance for plant species to inbreed or detrimentally compete with each other. As a champion for rare plants in Scotland, Aline’s research identifies the risks for plant biodiversity in the face of environmental threats and helps inform policy to protect wild plants for future generations to enjoy.