Heroes of the sea, Pew Fellows' fifteenth class tackle sharks, reefs, mangroves and more


Jurgenne Primavera. Credit: Pew Institute for Ocean Science
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Miami, Florida, USA The Pew Institute for Ocean Science is honored to announce this year's winners of Pew Fellowships in Marine Conservation, the field's leading award. The 2005 Pew Fellows are:

  • Shankar Aswani, USA
  • Miriam Fernandez, Chile
  • Sarah Fowler, United Kingdom
  • Laurence McCook, Australia
  • Jurgenne Primavera, Philippines.

Miriam Fernandez. Credit: Pew Institute for Ocean Science
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Each Pew Fellow receives $150,000 to conduct a three-year conservation project, and they join the world's leading network for ocean science and conservation. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation has selected 89 Pew Fellows from over 20 countries who have completed projects across the globe. Their fellowships are funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

"The Pew Fellows chosen this year are remarkable individuals, and they join a network that has been 15 years in the making," says Dr. Ellen Pikitch, Executive Director of the Pew Institute for Ocean Science at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School, and a Pew Fellow herself. "These are true 'heroes of the sea,' dedicated to conserving and restoring the largest and most biologically rich place on earth."

Sarah Fowler. Credit: Pew Institute for Ocean Science
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An international committee of marine specialists selected the 2005 Pew Fellows based on their potential to protect ocean environments. Each Pew Fellow will tackle a unique challenge, as outlined below:

Dr. Shankar Aswani, an Associate Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will use his Pew Fellowship to work with communities in the western Pacific's Solomon Islands. Through education and collaboration, he aims to establish a network of Marine Protected Areas designed to preserve resources and vulnerable species such as coconut crabs, sea turtles, and sea cows.

Laurence McCook. Credit: Pew Institute for Ocean Science
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Dr. Miriam Fernandez, an Associate Professor at the Pontifica Catholic University of Chile, seeks to understand and protect the earliest stages of marine life. By analyzing the movement of eggs and larvae along coastal Chile, she hopes to promote more effective Marine Protected Areas.

Ms. Sarah Fowler is the Director of Marine and Coastal Ecology for NatureBureau International, based in the United Kingdom. A shark specialist, she will use her Pew Fellowship to protect dwindling populations through international agreements.

Dr. Laurence McCook is the Manager of Research and Monitoring Coordination for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in Australia. During his three-year fellowship, McCook will expand his expertise in coral reef degradation and explore how managers can support reef resilience in the face of damaging climate change.

Shankar Aswani. Credit: Pew Institute for Ocean Science
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Dr. Jurgenne Primavera is a mangrove specialist and a Researcher in the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center in the Philippines. Primavera's work will demonstrate that protecting mangroves can save lives and property from destructive typhoons, filter out silt runoff that kills coral reefs, provide nurseries to juvenile fish and shrimp, and renew fisheries catches.

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