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AWF Charlotte Fellow Recognized as a Top Young Biologist

  • Friday, May 15, 2009

The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) congratulates AWF Charlotte Fellow Shivani Bhalla, who this week received the Young Women Conservation Biologists' Award from the Society for Conservation Biology's (SCB's) Africa Section Award Panel.

SCB recognized Ms. Bhalla for her dedicated work to conserve lions, livelihoods and landscapes in northern Kenya, and her efforts to help humans and predators in this region peacefully coexist.

In addition to citing Ms. Bhalla's academic excellence, the award panel recognized the breadth and depth of her activities in advancing conservation and building community awareness about conservation issues. Dr. Phoebe Barnard, two-time chair of the Award Panel said, "We in Africa are really fortunate to have conservation biologists with such passion and energy in our midst."

Currently attaining her Ph.D. through the University of Oxford's Department of Zoology, Ms. Bhalla is collaborating with pastoralists in the Samburu region of northern Kenya to reduce livestock losses resulting from predation, tracking lion movements in and out of the protected areas (Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba National Reserves), and monitoring habitat changes and prey numbers. Through her project, she aims to help reverse the recent and dramatic decline in Africa's lion population from habitat reduction and human-lion conflict. "If local communities are not engaged as part of the solution, lions will disappear from the landscape," says Ms. Bhalla.

Ms. Bhalla will travel to Beijing July 22-26, 2009, to receive her award at the International Congress for Conservation Biology -- the annual meeting of SCB, an international professional organization dedicated to promoting the scientific study of the phenomena that affect the maintenance, loss, and restoration of biological diversity. SCB's 10,000 members include resource managers, educators, government and private conservation workers, students and other individuals interested in the conservation and study of biological diversity.

To learn more about AWF's Charlotte Conservation Fellowship Program, click here.

To learn more about the SCB awards, click here.

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