The Pew Environment Group announced today that five individuals, representing Australia, Sweden, United Kingdom and Uruguay, received the 2010 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation.
The 2010 Pew Marine Fellowships will support projects to stop seabird bycatch, identify and protect resilient coral reefs, diminish dead zones in the Baltic Sea, enhance management of shellfish in Latin America and better understand the role of biological diversity in marine ecosystems.
“The recipients of this year's Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation are among the most exceptional and innovative ocean conservationists working in their fields,” said Joshua S. Reichert, managing director of the Pew Environment Group. “The 2010 Fellows are forging new ground in research that will help solve some of the most pressing challenges facing our oceans.”
Read more on the 2010 Pew Fellows in Marine Conservation below:
Daniel Conley, Ph.D., is a professor in Biogeochemistry at the Department of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences at Lund University in Sweden. His Pew Marine Fellowship will evaluate different methods for reducing chemical nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, in the Baltic Sea that cause oxygen depletion, threatening the survival of marine life. He will evaluate the effectiveness, cost and ecosystem impacts of several options for improving water quality and will compare them with traditional methods for reducing nutrients on land.
Omar Defeo, D.Sc., is a professor in the Marine Science Unit at the Universidad de la República in Uruguay. The fellowship will evaluate a co-management arrangement between fishermen, scientists and fisheries managers to better regulate shellfish fisheries. Over the course of three years, he will evaluate the success and merits of various co-management options and will promote the most successful alternatives throughout Latin America.
Beth Fulton, Ph.D., is a science leader at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Australia. The fellowship will enable her to develop scientific models that show how shifts in the number of species affects the broader ocean ecosystem and, by extension, the marine resources available to humans. Her goal is to use these models to guide environmental management decisions around the world.
Peter Mumby, Ph.D., is a marine ecologist and professor at the University of Exeter, United Kingdom. He will use the Pew Marine Fellowship to develop scientific models that integrate otherwise unrelated datasets, such as hurricane risk, ocean pollution, interactions between coral reefs and corals' reaction to stress. He will use these models to identify coral reef systems with the greatest chance of long-term survival in order to create a number of marine reserves around the Bahamas. In April 2010 he will move to the University of Queensland School of Biological Sciences to take up a prestigious Laureate Fellowship funded by the Australian Research Council.
Ben Sullivan, Ph.D., is an Australian-based coordinator for the BirdLife International Global Seabird Program. During his Pew Marine Fellowship, Dr. Sullivan will seek to reduce seabird “bycatch,” or the catching and killing of non-target species, in open ocean longline and trawl fisheries. His research will test devices to scare birds from behind fishing boats and develop and trial new technology to encapsulate baited hooks to prevent birds accessing them before they sink below the seabird danger zone. He will also test innovative line weighting to increase the sink rate of longline hooks as they leave the vessel.
“We're excited to have this new class join our community of Pew Marine Fellows,” said Polita Glynn, manager of the Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation Program. “The work these Fellows will accomplish will add to the program's ever-growing legacy of ocean stewardship.”
The Pew Fellowships in Marine Conservation fund science and other projects that address critical challenges in the conservation of the sea, including communication of project information to increase awareness of global marine issues. Each Fellow receives US$150,000 to conduct a three-year scientific research or conservation project designed to address critical challenges to healthy oceans. Through a rigorous nomination and review process, an international committee of marine specialists selects Pew Marine Fellows based on the strengths of their proposed projects, including their potential to protect ocean environments. Five unique and timely projects led by outstanding professionals in their fields are chosen annually.
Since 1996, the Pew Fellowship Program in Marine Conservation has awarded 115 fellowships to individuals from 30 countries. The program is managed by the Pew Environment Group, based in Washington, D.C.