Alumni Accomplishments 2020

January 11, 2020

Many congratulations to all our alumni on their fantastic achievements this year! Please find below a list of accomplishments featured in our 2020 newsletter issues.

Issue: December 2020

Purnima Devi Barman was featured in a UN75 HOPE podcast and BBC News World Service interview

Natia Javakhishvili received a 2020 Marsh Award for Early Career Conservation

Dr Ravinder Kaur was awarded her doctorate and received a 2020 Marsh Award for Terrestrial Conservation Leadership

The South Rupununi Conservation Society (SRCS) has received a new grant from UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme Guyana to expand its giant anteater research. Kayla de Freitas (former project assistant for an SRCS CLP-funded project) is now pursuing a PhD at the University of Royal Holloway in Changing Practices of Indigenous Fire Management in Guyana (2019 to 2023).

Iroro Tanshi received a 2020 Future for Nature Award

The Thresher Shark Project Indonesia team received an East-West Center Asia Pacific Innovation Fellows grant (USD 5,000)


Issue: August 2020

Vikram Aditya started a new role in November 2019 as a postdoctoral research associate at the Government of India-funded National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Well-Being at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment.

Current awardee Muntasir Akash published an article in TBS News about threatened wildcats in Bangladesh: “Vanishing in silence: our marvellous small cats”

In December 2019, Khima Balodi was elected to Chairman of a local government body (Barangal constituency/Panchayat) in Uttarakhand state, India, and since then has made a number of improvements to conservation management in the area.

Ajay Bijoor has recently published a commentary in Mongabay India about the complex relationship between local herders and wild carnivores, particularly wolves. He has also recently released a film, shot by local filmmakers, to raise awareness about the issue and persuade locals to neutralise traditional wolf traps.

Mridul Bora (2020 CLP workshop trainee) was one of 150 individuals around the world awarded an ‘EE Environmental Education (EE) 30 Under 30’ accolade by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) in 2020. The EE 30 Under 30 programme celebrates the
unique and passionate leadership of talented young leaders around the world and
gives them a professional boost to increase their impact.

Charles Emogor (2020 awardee) and Sandra Teoh (2016 alumna) have both won Wildlife Conservation Network scholarships to support their work on Nigerian pangolins and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, respectively.

Allwin Jesudasan was promoted to Director of the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust & Centre for Herpetology in April 2020.

Sunny Joshi has been awarded an MBZ grant (USD $5,000) to support his project on community-based conservation of critically endangered white-rumped vultures in Uttarakhand, India. He has also received an Explorers Club Mamont Scholar Grant (USD $3,500) for a project on the population status and conservation of steppe eagles in the Terai Arc Landscape, Uttarakhand.

Current awardee Minh Nguyen has recently co-authored a commentary in Mongabay about the Critically Endangered large-antlered muntjac and the threats it faces in south-east Asia.

Dewi Ratna Sari received an award from the Australia Awards Grant Scheme (AU$10,000) to lead the Thresher Shark Champion Programme as part of the Thresher Shark Project Indonesia.

Rafid Shidqi has received an award from the Shark Conservation Fund (US $25,000)  (funded by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors for Oceans) and was nominated for a Smithsonian Earth Optimism Award. He was also recently appointed as the Southeast Asia representative for the Sustainable Ocean Alliance. He and his team have recently collaborated with Indonesian Ocean Pride to produce this video to raise awareness about shark conservation in Indonesia.


Issue: May 2020

Dr Rodrigo Costa Araújo successfully completed his PhD degree on 31st January 2020 in Biology (Ecology) from the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Manaus, Brazil, supported by CLP. He also received the Liza Veiga Award for Conservation of Neotropical Primates from the Brazilian Society of Primatology during the last Brazilian Congress of Primatology in November 2019.

Danielle Celentano has been working at Conservation International (Brazil) as a Forest Landscape Restoration Senior Manager since January 2020.

Renato Hilário received a scholarship to work as a visiting professor at the University of Lisbon from May 2019 to May 2020, after which he returns to the Federal University of Amapá, in Macapá, Brazil. Renato and his colleagues presented two abstracts at the Brazilian Primatological Congress in November 2019 and had two abstracts accepted for presentation at the 28th Congress of the International Primatological Society in Ecuador (now postponed to August 2021). They have made a short documentary about their CLP-funded project. On January 31st, this video participated in a festival of short films in the city they live in and they received positive feedback from the audience.

Dr Mariane Kaizer has been awarded her PhD from the University of Salford (Manchester, UK). Her PhD thesis, “Non-invasive monitoring for population assessments of a critically endangered Neotropical primate” is related to her previous CLP-funded project.

Trang Nyugen, Founder and Executive Director of WildAct in Vietnam, was listed in the Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 – Social Entrepreneurs 2020. This year, WildAct is running Masters courses (Combatting Illegal Wildlife Trade & Captive Animal Welfare), kick-starting a new programme on Empowering Women in Conservation, and hosting a Vietnamese Student Conference on Nature Conservation.

Since January 2020, Dr Siddhartha Pati has been working as a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Institute of Tropical Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, UMT, Malaysia. This is a two-year opportunity.

Alfonso Hernández Ríos joined the BirdLife Secretariat as the West Africa Marine Programme Coordinator on 1st March 2020. He will be based in the BirdLife Dakar Office.

In January 2020, Hun Seiha was promoted to Research Associate at the University Capacity Building Project, Fauna & Flora International Cambodia Programme.

Rafid Shidqi has received a private-partnership MAC3 Impact Philanthropies grant (US$50,000). His project supervisor, Dr Mark Erdmann, submitted the proposal through the MAC3 Impact founder. The award will go through Conservation International Asia-Pacific, Marine Programmes, but individually goes to Rafid to implement the project. The grant will help him pursue his Master’s education and initiate the first acoustic tracking of thresher sharks in Alor Island, Indonesia, which is related to Rafid’s previous CLP-funded project.

Dr Felipe Ennes Silva has completed his PhD ‘Ecology, Evolution and Conservation of Bald-Headed Uakari Monkeys, Genus Cacajao’. He has also been given a fellowship position at the Mamirauá Institute for Sustainable Development in Brazil to continue the project under a research programme supported by the Brazilian National Research Council (CNPq). He has received a US$19,872 grant from the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation to collect data on the distribution and population status of bald-headed uakaris.

Cassandra Tania has been hired as a regional biodiversity specialist with Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA). Here she will support the implementation of Arafura and Timor Seas Ecosystem Approach Phase 2 (ATSEA-2). She will be located in Bali, Indonesia.

Pramod Yadav has joined Clemson University as a PhD candidate. Clemson is part of the Global Tiger Forum consortium and Pramod is now a Global Tiger Fellow.

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