National Geographic Expert

Lauren Eckert

Lauren Eckert a conservation scientist, adventure enthusiast, and PhD candidate at the University of Victoria. Her early research experiences around the globe exposed her to the complexities of interrelated social and ecological systems and motivated me to delve into conservation science that recognizes humans' important role in global ecosystems, engages communities directly, and supports Indigenous Nations reasserting their knowledge and rights. Lauren's MSc work, supported in part by The National Geographic Society, bridged Indigenous knowledge and ecological science through a community-engaged, Indigenous-led approach to conservation in partnership with Central Coast First Nations in their territories (often known as the Great Bear Rainforest).

Her current research interests include: the intersections of Indigenous and western sciences, Canadian environmental policy, human-wildlife relationships (with a focus on human-bear relationships), and ultimately, conservation conflicts and collaborative ways to transform them.

Lauren is also an avid storyteller, Canada Vanier Scholar, Raincoast Conservation Fellow, National Geographic Explorer, dog mom, avid hiker and peanut butter aficionada.