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Dr. Leslie Ruyle is a Research Scientist in the Department of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government & Public Service where she teaches "Women, International Development, and Environmental Conflict". She also teaches "Natural Resource Policy" for the Department of Rangeland, Wildlife, and Fisheries Management. An ecologist working across disciplines to create innovative solutions for conservation, conflict, and development, she holds a PhD in Ecology from the University of Georgia, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana, West Africa, and has managed university-based initiatives for NSF and USAID. Having lived in four countries and traveled to over 90 countries in her career, she has broad experience in international applied conservation and research including stints at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute-Panama, Honduran Coral Reef Foundation, Applied Biodiversity Science Program, Earthwatch, the Center on Conflict and Development, and the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs. Her work has been recognized with the UN’s Equator Prize Initiative, the Dean of AgriLIfe’s Award for Interdisciplinary teams, The Founder’s Excellence Award from her alma mater Montana State University- Northern, and the Dean of the Bush School’s Award for Excellence.
Currently, she is working on three international programs:
- An entrepreneurship program in regions of conflict, conservation concern, and limited connectivity (EC3) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- A human-wildlife coexistence project for ranchers in Botswana to protect both cattle and predators like lions and cheetah
- A marine project in Costa Rica called Tiburones and Tortugas for shark and turtle conservation