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Heros of the Sea

Pew Fellows fifteenth class tackle sharks, reefs, mangroves and more...
February 07, 2005

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.

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."

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.

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, 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, 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 algae and explore how managers can support reef health in the face of damaging climate change.

Dr. Jurgenne Primavera, 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.

Photographs and more information about each of the 2005 Pew Fellows are available by request. Detailed information about all 89 Pew Fellows in Marine Conservation is available at

The Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation is part of the Pew Institute for Ocean Science, in partnership with the University of Miami. The Pew Institute for Ocean Science strives to undertake, sponsor, and promote world-class scientific activity aimed at protecting the world's oceans and the species that inhabit them.

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