The Turner Fellowship Programme

The Turner Fellowship Programme: accelerating conservation impact

Biodiversity loss is now more rapid and widespread than at any other time in human history, despite the concerted efforts of many organisations over many years. Addressing the complex set of causes behind biodiversity’s decline requires a cross-sectoral, interdisciplinary approach, which is what CCI has been established to foster.

The Turner Fellowship Programme has been established to enable the CCI partners to engage with world-leading academics as well as influential individuals from mainstream business, policy and civil society.

Fellows spend their fellowship immersed within the CCI ‘ecosystem’, interacting with the CCI community through lectures, workshops, and informal discussions. CCI’s campus within the David Attenborough Building, in central Cambridge, was designed to support the networking and collaboration that underpin CCI’s work, and thus a spell of time within the campus rapidly generates connections, encounters and exposure to new ideas and ways of thinking.

Each Turner Fellow is supported by a network of senior individuals from across the CCI partnership, chosen because of the complementarity of their interests to those of the Fellow. Engagement with Turner Fellows starts well before they arrive in Cambridge, with a series of meetings between the Fellow and the CCI leadership to establish the research areas that the Fellow wishes to pursue during their time with CCI. The CCI Executive Director’s Office then develops a bespoke plan of events and communications opportunities for the Fellow, tailored to the particular research areas they intend to focus on during their Fellowship.

While each Fellowship will be different, the broad trajectory of the Fellowship will be the same, starting with a period of crystallising the Fellowship questions and research areas, followed by the intensive immersive phase, before a period of reflection on what has emerged during the Fellowship. Alumni of the Turner Fellowship programme will remain engaged in CCI’s work, with the opportunity to continue to explore mutually beneficial ideas and projects.

CCI is immensely grateful to Dr Patricia Turner, co-founder of the Turner Kirk Trust, for establishing the Turner Fellowship.

“The huge global biodiversity losses represent a crisis equalling climate change, and preserving biodiversity is critical to the survival of humanity. I strongly believe we need to raise awareness of this crisis and transform global understanding through the integration of research, practice, and policy from a multi-disciplinary perspective — and ultimately by bringing different perspectives together to find practical, scalable solutions. That’s what the Turner Fellowship Programme is all about.” Dr Patricia Turner

CCI's first Turner Fellow – Elree Winnett Seelig

Elree Winnett Seelig is a Managing Director and Global Head of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) for Citi’s Markets business. Elree will be sharing her knowledge, networks and ambition to drive change together with the CCI community.

Learn more about Elree Winnett Seelig's Fellowship


Read more about Dr Turner’s establishment of the Turner Fellowship Programme on the Cambridge University website.

For more information about the Turner Fellowship programme please contact Elizabeth Allen, CCI Collaborations and Engagement Manager,