Biodiversity Conservation Strategist


Full time



About SPUN

The Society for the Protection of Underground Networks (SPUN) was founded in 2021 with a mission to map, protect, and harness the planet’s critical fungal networks. We are building the most comprehensive atlas of Earth’s mycorrhizal biodiversity, scaling and accelerating the speed of science around mycorrhizal fungi.

SPUN conducts scientific research to understand the diversity and functions of mycorrhizal fungi — the microscopic, network-forming, underground fungi that form symbiotic relationships with plant roots. Our team of scientists and advisors includes the world's leading mycorrhizal fungi experts. We use our findings to educate individuals, companies, landowners, and governments on the importance of protecting and managing underground ecosystems. In collaboration with researchers and local communities, we are accelerating efforts to protect the underground ecosystems that have been largely absent from conservation and climate agendas, and exploring the impacts of mycorrhizal fungi in global restoration projects.


Work at the forefront of fungal science. We invite you to join SPUN's team of scientists and thought-leaders who are dedicated to finding innovative solutions to protect our planet. SPUN prides itself on developing new techniques and pushing the frontiers of fungal biology from the micro-level to the global scale. We have been cited in the world's leading press and scientific journals for our groundbreaking work.

Develop partnerships with other leading institutes around the world. Applications of cutting edge research are limited without deep and collaborative partnerships. SPUN works hard to build partnerships with leading institutes in conservation, climate, and community-led action to build collective impact within our fields. We are looking to build a team of innovative, creative, and impact-driven myconauts who want to help bring our core science to the next level.

Contribute to decolonizing science. We aim to lead by example in promoting diversity and decolonial science. We are actively working to address biases in mycorrhizal science and endeavor to center the wellbeing of most affected people and areas in our research. In this regard, we prioritize under-researched areas and collaborators in the Global South for our work, while providing capacity-building grants and partnership opportunities with local researchers. We are also actively working with Indigenous communities in Chile and Ecuador, and will continue to expand our partnerships with other Indigenous communities, to integrate non-western Science ways of knowing into our work.

Work with a global team. SPUN’s team members operate from various locations worldwide, embracing remote work for flexibility and work-life balance. Our team’s global presence aligns with our research expeditions, which have taken us to remote ecoregions in Tierra del Fuego, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Corsica, the Atacama, and the Galapagos Islands.

About the Role

This role will translate SPUN’s scientific data into an impact roadmap for conservation and restoration. This impact roadmap will help guide product development, local use cases, and a “go to market” strategy for SPUN’s  data platform. Of particular importance is for the role to act as a liaison between SPUN and several large conservation and restoration organizations, with a focus on developing cross links between SPUN’s scientific roadmap, product roadmap, partnership development, and communications. The Biodiversity Conservation Strategist will report to our Managing Director. This is a contract position for the remainder of 2024, with the possibility of extending.

About You

  • You’ve spent 5+ years in field-based conservation and climate policy in civil society or within a multinational institution
  • You have experience working within international frameworks relating to climate and conservation governance, finance, and human rights
  • You have experience working alongside Indigenous communities and scientists
  • Solid working knowledge of biodiversity and environmental science concepts
  • You possess excellent writing skills
  • You are fluent in English

Bonus Points

  • Experience working with fungal systems or microbial science tools (e.g., eDNA)
  • Working written and spoken knowledge of Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, or other major multi-national language
  • You have experience with international law

Your Day to Day

Supporting SPUN in developing a policy-oriented arm of work

  • Lead in developing SPUN’s external positions and voice on the mycorrhizal contribution to climate and conservation, including but not limited to topics such as subnational, national, and international policy, finance, human rights, litigation and key civil cases. Specifically, lead in the development of a perspective on fungal biodiversity crediting
  • Lead SPUN’s policy strategy development, by way of determining key actors and levers SPUN should engage, and the ways in which SPUN would engage
  • Support the communications team in incorporating policy work into SPUN’s communications strategy
  • Collaborate with Development Officer to determine key policy-focused fundraising opportunities, developing fundraising proposals and grant reports where relevant

Science product development strategy

  • Support the product development of science team projects by facilitating the connection of products with potential key users, and ensuring that products are developed to align with organizational strategy and impact
  • Guide new project development in line with our strategic roadmap
  • Work alongside the product lead to strategically guide development as products are tested with key actors

To apply

Please complete the application form at the bottom of this page, where you will be asked to upload a cover letter and CV. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

We encourage individuals from traditionally underrepresented groups to apply.

At SPUN, we embrace diversity as a fundamental pillar of our mission to protect underground ecosystems. Our commitment to decolonizing science is dependent on the diversity of knowledge and experience on our team and among our partners across the globe. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment where all individuals, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, or background, feel valued, respected, and empowered to bring their authentic selves to work. We highly encourage individuals from traditionally underrepresented or repressed groups, including but not limited to women, LGBTQIA, individuals from the Global South, and individuals with Indigenous heritage, to apply to join our team at SPUN.

To learn more about our company and culture, please visit our website

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