Noriña Vicente and the Next Generation

Half-Earth Scholar shares a fresh perspective on small but mighty species

Scientist Noriña Vicente documents ants, moths, beetles, and other insects in Gorongosa National Park, peering at the microscopic world of an ecosystem that holds outsized influence on our planet’s biodiversity. With rainforests, savannas, and wetlands, Gorongosa Park in Mozambique is ecologically unique, and its scientists are committed to preserving the health of its magnificent flora and fauna.
Vicente’s journey to explore her homeland’s rich natural world began with a spark of inspiration during childhood. A TV documentary featuring E. O. Wilson’s research collaborations in Gorongosa flashed on two women conducting field surveys in the bush. “They were in the park, studying the behavior of lions,” Vicente remembered. “I thought, oh wow, there are women studying this!”
Vicente ultimately earned a position managing the zoology specimens at the park’s E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory, which has discovered more than 100 new species. She specialized her studies on ants—inspired by Wilson’s lifelong work on these important insects. Through her research—and her camera lens—Vicente offers a fresh perspective on these miniature heroes of the forest ecosystem. Read her photo essay.
As a Half-Earth Scholar, Noriña is pursuing a master’s degree in conservation biology at San Francisco State University. The program empowers emerging leaders worldwide who generate valuable data that influence strategies and policies to protect biodiversity. Scientists like Vicente extend E. O. Wilson’s legacy and expand its reach to shape the next generation of environmental conservation.

“I like to think what I’m doing is not just something that will stay with me. As an African woman, I want to inspire other people, especially young girls.”​

Noriña Vicente at Half-Earth Day 2022

Noriña Vicente joined a panel at Half-Earth Day 2022 to discuss “Our Shared Future: People and Nature.” Part of her discussion is included in the highlight video above.



Scientists at the E. O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory in Gorongosa Park have discovered more than 100 species new to science, 25 species endemic to Gorongosa, and collected data on 750 species on the IUCN Red List.

What's Next

What's Next

The Half-Earth Fellowships in Taxonomy and Biodiversity Exploration graduated its second class in late 2022. Icthyologist Arcenia da Piedade Chivale, and ornithologist Raul Santacruz Chomela received intensive training in Gorongoza regarding fish taxonomy, small mammal taxonomy, aquatic amphibians, bird identification, and entomology.
Compare ×
Compare National Report Cards Continue Reviewing


[pmpro_signup submit_button="Register" level="1" login="1" redirect="referrer"]