Alumni Accomplishments 2022

February 11, 2020

Many congratulations to all our alumni on their impressive achievements this year, which have been featured in our 2022 newsletter issues.

Issue: September 2022

Trang Nguyen won the 2022 Princess of Girona Foundation International Award for “her courageous and inspiring work in wildlife conservation in her own country and elsewhere in the world.”

Diego Alejandro Gomez Hoyos has founded his own NGO in Colombia, i’m conservation, which is dedicated to democratising access, use and generation of knowledge through participatory research programs (citizen science) to promote a culture of biodiversity conservation, especially of ecosystems and species vulnerable to extinction.

Branka Bajić, Szilárd Bucs and other CLP alumni at have been awarded a EUROBATS Projects Initiative (EPI) grant (10,000 euros) to develop a molecular technique for the fast and reliable identification of medium-sized horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus mehelyi, Rhinolophus euryale and Rhinolophus blasii) and to inform on their distribution in Romania and Serbia. This is set to build on their project funded by CLP in 2021. The Vincent Wildlife Trust in the UK is the leading institution, with Dr Patrick Wright as project leader.

Danielle Celentano joined the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in July 2022 as the National Ecosystem Restoration Consultant for Brazil to support the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Also, with the support of a CLP alumni travel grant, she participated (virtually) in the 5th World Congress on Agroforestry where she presented the paper “Restoration through Agroforestry Systems: a “new” development paradigm in the Brazilian Amazon”.

Pacifique Madibi received a 2022 WCS Beinecke African Conservation Scholarship in June 2022, through the WCS Graduate Scholarship Program.

Yihenew Aynalem has provided information that facilitated the addition of the blue-winged goose (Cyanochen cyanoptera) as a target species of the IUCN SSC Threatened Waterfowl Specialist Group (Targets 2021-2025), of which he was also selected to become a member.

Muntasir Akash was selected to be a member of the IUCN Otter Specialist Group in June 2022.

Placide Masengesho, a CLP intern with WCS Rwanda in 2021, has received a Rufford small grant to to study the effect of roads on the population of L’hoest’s monkeys (Allochrocebus lhoesti) in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda. Placide has also received two CLP online learning grants to attend ICCB in December 2021, and a course on R at the George Mason School of Conservation.

Charles Emogor has launched a new website for his now officially recognised not-for-profit organisation, Pangolino.

Dolly Priatna recently became the Executive Director of Belantara Foundation, a conservation foundation dedicated to working at a landscape scale in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia, for the protection of forests and their wildlife, as well as improving the livelihood of the surrounding forest’s community. Also, in April 2020, Dolly established and managed (as co-editors-in-chief) an environmental / conservation scientific journal: “InJAST- Indonesian Journal of Applied Environment Studies).

Agustin Capriati has been granted a scholarship from the Indonesia Endowment Funds for Education (LPDP) to continue her Ph.D. at Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands. Her research focuses on the influence of nutrient enrichment on the resilience of marine protected areas and coral reefs in Indonesia. She  received a CLP alumni travel grant to attend the 15th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) held in Bremen, Germany, in July 2022 where she presented a poster on her PhD research , which was selected as the third best poster presentation (out of more than 200 posters).

Minh Nguyen organised a workshop on large-antlered muntjac (LaM) conservation on 4 August, 2022, at Song Thanh National park, Vietnam, with funding support from Synchronicity Earth. This workshop was the first to officially bring the topic of LaM conservation to the attention of protected areas, NGOs, and research institutions. The workshop also aimed to introduce the idea of a captive breeding program, which has been promoted by the IUCN One Plan approach.

Marylaura Sandoval Sales has recently started a Master’s degree in Sustainable Community Development in the National University of Costa Rica. She is also now working as a Project Leader at Raising Coral Costa Rica, an NGO focused on restoring coastal ecosystems, where she is developing projects on coral reef restoration and seagrasses.

Nika Paposhvili and his team in Georgia have found a record number of 37 velvet scoter nests at Lake Tabatskuri and report a new nesting area this year. Team member Sopio Kiknavelidze successfully graduated from her Master’s degree at Ilia State University afetr successfully defending her thesis, “Nesting behavior of the Velvet Scoter (Melanitta fusca) at Lake Tabatskuri.”

Upma Manral spoke in a podcast organised by the Geopolitics and Ecology of Himalayan Water to share her perspectives and research on the growing challenge of Human-Wildlife Conflict specifically in the Indian Himalayas. Additionally, in May 2022, as part of the IUCN/SSC Conservation Translocation Specialist Group- Human-Wildlife Interactions Working Group, Upma co-led a discussion on gender-related issues that may be culturally ingrained and affect conservation translocations. She introduced key insights in a talk about her research called ‘‘Wildlife reintroductions and translocations – why we need to consider women? A case study from India’.

Gopal Khanal and his CLP project team member Anu Rai have received USD 1500 in funding from Idea Wild to buy essential equipment for their work on river dolphin conservation in Nepal, including  a fish finder, aquatic kick net, and portable meter. Another team member, Rohit Jha, is now pursuing a PhD in Louisiana State University.

Issue: May 2022

Key updates from a 2020 Follow-Up Award Winning project on velvet scoter conservation in Georgia.

  • The team collaborated with Ajara TV to produce a short film about their activities and the importance of saving the velvet scoter population at Lake Tabatskuri, Georgia.
  • An article about the team’s work (“The last breeding place“) has been published in the Georgian edition of the National Geographic magazine. The cover of the issue also features the velvet scoter. It should be noted that this article was named as one of the “best edits” of the year by the head office, which means that it will be translated and published in other countries, too.
  • Team leader Nika Paposhvili met with readers of National Geographic magazine and project stakeholders to speak about the velvet scoter, the current ongoing project and future plans.
  • Information about velvet scoter breeding in Georgia was used to update the Georgian Biodiversity Database.

Igor Joventino Roberto and his colleagues have discovered a frog species completely new to science, and recently published the new species description in Zootaxa. The frog is endemic to the humid mountain forests of the state of Ceará, in northeast Brazil. Morphological, acoustic and molecular evidence has confirmed their distinctiveness from other Atlantic Forest species.

Rafid Shidqi is undertaking a Fellowship at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science (ICCS) at the University of Oxford, UK. The Fellowship will give him an opportunity to learn from students and professionals who are conducting various research and conservation projects at the ICCS.

Muntasir Akash and his team were awarded Best Poster Prize at the Student Conference on Conservation Science, Cambridge (March 2022).

Saurabh Derwan and his team have received a $3,000 grant from the Crowder-Messersmith Conservation Fund to support their education project focused on conserving the Endangered golden mahseer fish.

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