Gretchen Walters has been working at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature since 2011 during which she managed the Central and West Africa Forest Program and more recently has been coordinating work on natural resource governance and cultural landscapes as part of the Global Forest Program. She is an anthropologist and botanist and has worked in the Americas, Europe and Africa for more than 20 years, 13 of which were spent in Central Africa, including long-term field research into the cultural landscape of the Plateaux Batéké. She holds a PhD in anthropology from the University College London, and two undergraduate degrees in botany. From 2000-2010, she coordinated the Central Africa Program for the Missouri Botanical Garden. She is committed to interdisciplinary collaboration especially between the biological and social-historical sciences, and amongst research, practice and policy.