University of Exeter: Researcher wins L’Oreal Women in Science fellowship for work on environmental impact of hunting by cats

A recent PhD graduate is one of six scientists to receive a prestigious L’Oreal Women in Science fellowship.

Dr Martina Cecchetti, who received her PhD from Exeter last year, was awarded the fellowship for her research into the ecology and management of hunting by cats on wildlife, including migratory birds, on the island of Linosa, off the coast of Sicily.

The fellowship, which will provide 20,000 euros of funding towards the research, is a collaboration with Professor Robbie McDonald, of the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute.

Dr Cecchetti, who is set to join the Data Analysis and Modelling Unit led by Professor Mario Giacobini at the University of Turin, said she was delighted at having received the award and expressed hope that her research could lead to localised policies for the protection of the area’s biodiversity.

“Being awarded a L’Oreal Women in Science fellowship for my research project on cats and wildlife in Linosa is a dream come true for me on a personal level, and more importantly will contribute towards conserving biodiversity during this critical period for the planet,” Dr Cecchetti said.

The “L’Oréal Italia Per le Donne e la Scienza” (L’Oréal Italia for Women and Science) prize was established in 2002 in collaboration with the Italian National Commission for UNESCO to encourage further training of young female researchers in Italy.

Each year six fellowships worth 20,000 euros are awarded to female researchers aged under 35 who have completed at least the penultimate year of a PhD in a scientific discipline.