FMxA is a Spanish private, non-profit entity created in February 2012 by María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, the former vice president of the Government of Spain. Its mission is “to promote African women’s leadership in scientific research and technology transfer and to foster the capacity of the research centres in their home countries”.
Corine B. Laurenda Sinsin is an early female researcher from Benin Republic (Africa). After her undergraduate studies in agronomy and natural resources management (2013), she completed a Master of Sciences degree in climate change and education (2015); and later got her PhD in climate change, biodiversity, and ecosystem services (2021) at the University Felix Houphouët Boigny. Her PhD research work focused on the resilience of mangrove ecosystems to climate change in West Africa, considering the case study of Benin. In addition to several prestigious grants and awards, Laurenda has cumulated work and research experiences with the Laboratory of Applied Ecology (LEA), the Laboratory of Biomathematics and Forest estimations (LABEF) and the African German Network of Excellence in Science (AGNES).
“The motivation for joining WomenxAfrica came from my scientific and leadership career ambitions”, explains Laurenda Sinsin. “Joining WomenxAfrica has enlarged my network and will open ways for North-South collaborations for women’s empowerment”.
Choosing the Basque Center for Applied Mathematics – BCAM as her host institution relies on her willingness to reorient her career path in using machine learning and artificial intelligence for climate change and biodiversity conservation. Laurenda is highly motivated in terms of conservation and the sustainable management of wildlife, which she believes requires sustainable entrepreneurship and the provision of evidence-based strategies/actions to stakeholders. Indeed, her main research interest is in cross-cutting scientific issues (i.e. how to put different scientific disciplines together) in order to re-think and reorient biological resource conservation strategies and to promote entrepreneurship, in a context of a continuously changing climate.
In the frame of WomenxAfrica fellowship at BCAM, Laurenda will be working on the development of a machine learning assisted framework to assess the vulnerability of mangroves to climate change. “I expect my stay at BCAM to be the starting point of a lasting South-North relationship. And to deepen my knowledge of statistical approaches for the application of deep learning to the profit of biological resources conservation”. About giving a massage to other STEAM girls in Africa “I would say to the young girls Break every barrier, and make it happens!”.