Wendy Foden

Senior Researcher
University of Stellenbosch

Role: CCI collaborative projects, Project team member


I chair the IUCN SSC Climate Change Specialist Group and am a Senior Researcher at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.

I recently led development of the IUCN SSC Guidelines for Assessing Species’ Vulnerability to Climate Change, and spearheaded IUCN’s trait-based approach to assessing species’ vulnerability to climate change. I currently coordinate the African component of the Species Spatial Planning for Protected Areas in Response to Climate Change (SPARC) project and lectures in Conservation Leadership.

I previously founded and led the IUCN Global Species Programme’s Climate Change Unit (2007-2013) and the South African National Biodiversity Institute’s Threatened Species Programme (2003-2007). In these roles I initiated and coordinated several conservation and atlasing projects and founded a scholarship for research on threatened species conservation.

My focal areas include climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning, biodiversity monitoring and indicators, African conservation and systems ecology. I have a specific interest in translating science for practical conservation, and in fostering conservation leadership. I have a great love for wild and remote places, where I can frequently (not) be found.