Wildlife and biodiversity conservationist Grace Alawa is carrying Flag #42 to Andoni Island in Rivers State, Nigeria. The goal of her expedition is to understand the ecology of the birds that migrate to the area and document their activities. The overall success of her expedition depends in part on the knowledge and cooperation of the local population. Through her interactions with local communities, Grace will work to promote science education and spread awareness about the roles locals can play as citizen scientists. Once her field work is complete, Grace plans to use the ecological and survey data she and her team collect to create a comprehensive database of the marine avifauna on Andoni Island. 

Born and raised in Nigeria, Grace takes pride in the contributions she is making to her country’s efforts to preserve the culturally and ecologically rich land within its borders. Her research interests include mangrove restoration and the ecosystem services provided by birds in the agroecological niche in the oil-polluted Niger Delta region of Nigeria. In addition to the impact her work is making on the natural world, Grace is equally committed to inspiring the women in her community to take action and understand that they can be seen and heard in the world of science and conservation.