Obituary: Dame Georgina Mace

Posted: 2nd October, 2020

BIAZA was sad to hear about the passing of Dame Georgina Mace, a dedicated conservation scientist who made an outsized impact on global conservation, and the role of zoos and aquariums in this, throughout her life and career. 

Georgina was a key figure in BIAZA’s own history. Georgina played a critical role establishing breeding programmes such as the first UK programme for great apes. She was appointed the first Conservation Coordinator for the then Federation of Zoological Gardens of Great Britain and Ireland in 1984. 

Georgina left the Federation to join the Zoological Society of London where she worked on the creation of the IUCN Red List. She worked there for 23 years, becoming their Director of Science in 2000.  In this time, she revolutionised conservation through establishing listing criteria for the Red List and saw it implemented by the IUCN and widely used. She went on to become Director of the Centre for Population Biology and founded the Centre for Biodiversity and Environmental Research at University College London.  

Georgina’s list of achievements and awards is innumerable, including an OBE, CBE and DBE, honorary degrees, Fellowship of the Royal Society and awards from ZSL, British Ecological Society and the Linnean Society amongst many others, all alongside a comprehensive record of scientific publications.  Her loss will be felt across the BIAZA community and far beyond.