Half-Earth Chairs and Scholars

Scientists have identified only a small fraction of life on Earth, totaling about 2 million species. Without deeper knowledge of our planet’s biodiversity we cannot halt the mass species extinction. By accelerating the effort to discover, describe, and conduct natural history studies for every one of the 8.7 million species estimated to exist, and investing in the people who call these places home, we can improve conservation outcomes.

Half-Earth Chairs and Scholars enhance biodiversity scholarship by supporting scientists around the world at different stages in their careers who are advancing knowledge and leadership.

Noriña Vicente, Half-Earth Scholar
Noriña Vicente, Half-Earth Scholar

In the program, Chairs are selected for their research leadership and ability to be role models and mentors for the next generation of biodiversity researchers in their region and globally. Scholars are the next generation of biodiversity research leaders in developing countries who work with Chairs to advance their learning and research.

Half-Earth Chairs and Scholars bolster the Half-Earth goal by providing informed assessments of the unique socioeconomic needs and conservation priorities. Our inaugural Half-Earth Chairs and Scholars are in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, at the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory. 

Inaugural Half-Earth Chair Piotr Naskrecki is an entomologist, conservation biologist, author, and photographer based at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. He currently directs the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory at Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, where he trains a new cadre of indigenous biologists and conservationists.

"In my judgment, the best naturalist in the world is Piotr Naskrecki."

In 2021, Dr. Naskreki launched the Half-Earth Project Fellowship in Taxonomy and Biodiversity Exploration in Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. Two cohorts have since graduated.

Half-Earth Chairs and Scholars are selected by invitation only. Interested in the Fellowship in Taxonomy and Biodiversity Exploration? Please contact Piotr Naskrecki, Ph.D., pnaskrec@oeb.harvard.edu

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