Vanessa Sequeira's net

Words for Vanessa

Scholarship Fund to Commemorate Scientist Committed to Tropical Forest Communities

posted on the University of Bangor Website in December, 2006

A permanent Scholarship endowment fund is to be established by the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Centre (CATIE) Costa Rica and the University of Wales, Bangor, to commemorate Vanessa Sequeira, a remarkable young woman who was committed to finding sustainable solutions for tropical forest communities, and who was tragically killed while conducting field work in a community in the Brazilian Amazon on September 3rd 2006.

The commemorative Scholarship to be awarded at CATIE and supporting the Bangor/CATIE joint programme, will finance qualified professional women with research and academic interests in the socioeconomics of rural sustainable development, especially in relation to people and forests. The Scholarship is intended to reflect Vanessa Sequeira’s commitment to seeking alternatives that encourage the responsible use and conservation of forest resources, while enhancing the well-being of people whose livelihood is in some way tied to forest resources.

The Scholarship to be awarded every four years will cover academic costs and some research and living expenses for each four-year Doctorate Scholarship student.

Vanessa Sequeira was dynamic, intelligent, enthusiastic woman who was totally dedicated to her field. At 36 years, she had an impressive field experience in Latin America. She came to the UK to study from Portugal. She gained her first degree from the University of East Anglia and graduated with a Masters degree in Environmental Forestry from the University of Wales, Bangor in 1995. At the time of her tragic death, she was studying a Doctorate under the CATIE/Bangor joint doctorate programme.

She had, during her career, worked as a forest information officer for the Worldwide Fund for Nature and as a project assistant on a multi-disciplinary Brazil-UK research project on the economic botany of Northeast Brazil for the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. In Ecuador, she investigated tree species composition of two Andean cloud forest sites as part of a six-month multi-disciplinary graduate expedition coordinated by the University of East Anglia.

"She was held in high regard by staff and her fellow students alike, for her commitment to and enthusiasm for her research. She had a real get up and go approach to making a difference in the world," said Dr Fergus Sinclair, Senior Lecturer University of Wales, Bangor.

The Scholarship announcement was made at a commemorative tree planting ceremony at the University of Wales, Bangor on December 3, 2006. A Golden Ash tree (also known as the Queen of the Forest) was planted at the University’s Henfaes Research Centre at the opening of the Aber valley, one of Vanessa’s favourite spots in Wales.

Donations to the Scholarship fund should be addressed to:

back to words