As warming temperatures melt sea ice and open new shipping routes in the Arctic, areas such as the one pictured here may experience more human activity. One Pew marine fellow will develop proposed plans to address increased vessel traffic in the region.
What makes some coral colonies more resilient to warming ocean temperatures? How can fishery managers help ensure sustainable populations of marine life? What do changing conditions in the Southern Ocean mean for the future of penguins?
These are some of the questions that marine scientists and conservationists are tackling this year under awards from The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation. The 11 new fellows are working around the globe, from the Arctic to Africa and the tropics to Antarctica.
For some, such as the fellows investigating coral bleaching, penguins, and polar bears, climate change is adding urgency to their work. Other projects are no less critical and include researching African manatee population genetics, ecology, and health, and working with local fishers to better understand the obstacles to sustainability in small-scale fisheries. One fellow is studying the long-distance movements, diet, preferred habitat, and foraging areas of whales.
Using a rigorous nomination and review process, an international committee of external marine specialists selects fellows based on their projects’ potential to protect ocean environments. For this 2017 class, additional support allowed Pew to increase the number of recipients of this sought-after honor.
The goal of the Pew marine fellows program is to engage talented scientists and other experts in addressing the threats to our world’s oceans. The work of these individuals is key to protecting marine species and habitats.
Since its start, the program has recognized 156 marine experts in 37 countries, enriching the initiative with a diversity of perspectives on how to ensure the best future for our oceans. This year’s fellows come from nine countries. Recipients receive US$150,000 each for a three-year project designed to address ocean conservation issues.
Polita Glynn directs the Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation at The Pew Charitable Trusts.