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Cynthia Moss Wins 2001 MacArthur Fellowship

  • Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Amboseli Elephant Research Program (AERP) Director Cynthia Moss has been awarded a 2001 MacArthur Genius Fellowship. In 1972, while she was editor of AWF's newsletter Cynthia Moss established AERP, which has become the longest running study of elephants in the world. AERP, which became an independent organization in 2000, operates within the AWF-designated Kilimanjaro Heartland and meticulously records the births, deaths, family relationships and other dramatic events in the lives of over 900 elephants in Amboseli National Park in Kenya. The project produces invaluable information on elephant social behavior, reproductive patterns, intelligence, family life and communications, which is shared with other researchers and institutions around the world. Since the elephants of Amboseli have been mostly spared from disturbances that threaten elephants, such as poaching for ivory, they serve as a critical example of a relatively undisturbed population.

In reviewing the history of the AWF-AERP relationship Cynthia Moss is quoted as saying:

"[I am] forever indebted to the support I have received from the African Wildlife Foundation. That support has been more then just financial; it has been a statement of faith in me throughout the years...both the Washington office and the Nairobi field office have backed me up logistically and administratively, providing a firm base for the project since its onset."

This program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. There are three criteria for selection of Fellows: exceptional creativity, promise of important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.

Cynthia's fellowship is proof that AERP is a successful and rewarding project, and AWF has been happy to support this excellent program for almost 30 years.

For more information, see links below:

MacArthur Press Release

MacArthur Fellows Program.

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