International Women’s Day: Ellie MacDonald, Freshwater Futures Trainee

8th March 2023

On International Women’s Day, Freshwater Futures Trainee Ellie MacDonald discusses what inspired her to pursue a career in conservation and the importance of diversity in tackling big environmental problems.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I most enjoy working directly with habitats and species and seeing change happen as a result of the work we put in. It is amazing to see first-hand how much can be achieved by passionate and dedicated people.

Woman standing by pond holding clipboard.

What inspired you to pursue your current career?

I wanted to work for an organisation that actively protects and restores nature and to work in a role that would enable me to gain and develop the skills required to do so.

The theme of International Women’s Day 2023 is ‘Embrace Equity’. Why is this important in conservation?

Sharing different experiences is the way we learn and evolve our methods, which is important for nature conservation as we continue to develop our understanding of natural processes and how best to protect them.

I greatly value learning from others and believe we need to encourage as many voices as possible to contribute ideas, create change, and tackle big problems in nature such as climate change and biodiversity loss.

Woman in inflatable dinghy, being lowered into a pond.

Who or what inspires or drives you in your role?

The alarming status of the UK’s biodiversity and natural landscapes. I have studied and experienced how humans can negatively impact nature and I hope to be able to play my part in stopping the decline and assisting in restoring nature. It only takes one visit to a degraded site to make you want to change it all.

GroWet Team

Ellie MacDonald joined Freshwater Habitats Trust in February 2022 as a Freshwater Futures trainee working on the Building Oxfordshire’s Freshwater Network project. Since then, she has been involved in multiple different aspects of the project and has assisted with carrying out protected species and plant surveys, hydrological monitoring, habitat creation, community engagement, and social media content creation. She will start her new role as Freshwater Habitats Trust Floodplain Conservation Officer in April 2023.