On the Front Lines: Pew Names 5 New Marine Conservation Fellows for 2014

On the Front Lines: Pew Names 5 New Marine Conservation Fellows for 2014

Five distinguished scientists and conservationists based in Malaysia, Chile, Mexico, and the United States are this year's recipients of the Pew fellowship in marine conservation. The fellowships will support research to improve ocean conservation and management, including a genetic study of the global shark fin trade, a social and economic study of no-take fishing zones combined with territorial use fishing rights, a study of one of Malaysia's last thriving dugong populations, an effort to incentivize community-based sustainable fishing, and the development of a nonfiction book about the problems that tangle in the food web.

The program awards recipients $US150,000 for a three-year project designed to address ocean conservation challenges. It has awarded 135 fellowships to individuals from 31 countries since 1996.

“The Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation gives innovative ocean science and conservation leaders the freedom to be adventurous and pursue promising solutions to critical challenges facing the world's oceans,” said Joshua S. Reichert, executive vice president and head of environment initiatives for The Pew Charitable Trusts.

The 2014 Pew marine fellows are:  

Learn more about Louisa Shobhini Ponnampalam
Louisa Shobhini Ponnampalam, Ph.D. 

Malaysia's coast is undergoing rapid large-scale development. Focusing on the Johor east coast and adjacent islands, Ponnampalam's research will identify the possible impacts of this activity on the country's remaining population of dugongs, which are large marine mammals that resemble manatees. Read more  

Learn more about Demian Chapman
Demian Chapman, Ph.D.

Chapman will use his genetics research to identify regions where more effort is needed to enforce protections for sharks listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Read more

Learn more about Hoyt Peckham
Hoyt Peckham, Ph.D.

Hoyt Peckham launched the non-profit social enterprise SmartFish to incentivize more sustainable fishing by empowering small-scale fishermen to produce high-quality, more sustainably-caught seafood and cultivate demand for it. Peckham developed SmartFish in Baja California Sur, and his project will allow him to extend through northwest Mexico and to explore the feasibility of expanding internationally. Read more

Learn more about Paul Greenberg
Paul Greenberg

Greenberg's award will support research for a book examining the ocean's most elemental life forms, tracing the way they convey essential nutrients to humans and examining the threats that humans impose on these crucial organisms. Read more

Learn more about Stefan Gelcich
Stefan Gelcich, Ph.D.

Gelcich will work on establishment of no-take marine reserves in waters designated for fishers with territorial user rights, which give locals exclusive access. He will explore this mix of marine protected areas and territorial user rights fisheries, known as TURFs, as a strategy for the long-term preservation of ocean resources and sustainable management of many fisheries. Read more

“Now more than ever, with our oceans under a wide variety of threats, scientists and dedicated conservationists need support to succeed,” said Polita Glynn, director of the Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation. “We are confident that these gifted fellows will make a tremendous contribution toward helping to protect our vital marine resources.”

Through a rigorous nomination and review process, a committee of marine specialists from around the world selects the fellows based on the strengths of their proposed projects, including their potential to protect ocean environments. Unique and timely proposals by outstanding mid-career professionals are chosen annually.