Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) changed its name to Re:wild in 2021
his month we were thrilled to welcome Ella Outlaw to the GWC team as our new executive assistant. Ella comes to us from Conservation International, where she worked as Russ Mittermeier’s executive assistant. We touched base with Ella about her new role with GWC, how she developed her passion for conservation, and her love of tortoises and turtles.
Q. What will your primary role be in supporting wildlife conservation at GWC?
A. My primary role will be assisting our Chief Conservation Office, Russ Mittermeier. I’ll also facilitate processing external grants to researchers, students, organizations, and universities in their efforts to conserve endangered species, especially primates, tortoises and freshwater turtles.
Q. What do you love most about the work you do?
A. I love knowing that with each grant given, there is the possibility that it will help to bring back endangered species and preserve them for future generations to learn from and enjoy.
Q. How did you develop your passion for conservation?
A. My love of nature and conservation comes from my dad. My father grew up on a farm and learned firsthand the importance of caring for the land—take care of the land and the animals—and they will take care of you. Financial circumstances led to his having to take a job and live in the city (I grew up in Washington, DC), but he never forgot those lessons, and instilled in his children the responsibility of taking care of our natural world.
Q. Why are you committed to GWC’s mission?
A. I’m committed to GWC’s mission because the work that we do—caring for and saving biodiversity—is one of the most important things that we as humans should do. And it all goes back to those lessons in my dad’s garden. Every creature—from the smallest to largest—has value, and we are the caretakers of this vast, wonderful world in which we live.
Q. What is your favorite wildlife species or taxa? Why?
A. Tortoises, freshwater and marine turtles. If you ever get the chance to visit my office, you will see all kinds of turtles and tortoises represented! There is just something about them that just touches me; I can’t explain it, I just accept it. I had a friend tell me that perhaps tortoises are my spirit animal; maybe so.
(All photos courtesy of Ella Outlaw)