WASHINGTON - World Wildlife Fund today named a native Peruvian who specializes on the Amazon rainforest and a marine researcher as its 2007 Fuller Fellows. Dr. Gabriela Nuñez-Iturri and Dr. Eric Treml will receive a $50,000 stipend and $15,000 in research funds for two years as well as access to WWF’s global network of scientists and conservationists. They will also have the opportunity to link their post-doctoral research to on-the-ground conservation work at WWF sites.
The Fuller Fellowship is one of four components of the WWF Kathryn Fuller Science for Nature Fund, launched in 2006 to honor WWF’s former President and CEO, Kathryn S. Fuller. The fund aims to foster the next generation of conservation scientists and support and harness the most promising research in conservation science and put it into practice in the field.
“We look to these young scientists to carry on the legacy of conservation science that Kathryn Fuller started at WWF,” said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund. “Kathryn made WWF a stronghold for conservation science and we will build on that legacy with the important research Dr. Nuñez-Iturri and Dr. Treml will perform.”
Dr. Gabriela Nuñez-Iturri comes to WWF from the University of Illinois. As a WWF Fuller Fellow, Dr. Nuñez-Iturri will work with WWF and The Field Museum to study the effects hunting is having on the forest along the Inter-Oceanic highway in her native Peru. When completed, the highway will cut across the entire Amazon and connect Brazil's Atlantic coast with Peru's Pacific ports. Her work will focus on the southeastern Peruvian Amazon and will close an important information gap on the impact of the highway on wildlife. It will also help establish a baseline for impact once the highway is completed.
Dr. Eric Treml recently completed his PhD at Duke University. His work with WWF and the University of Queensland will focus on how to connect underwater national parks and marine protected areas (MPAs). Just like successful parks on land, MPAs must be interconnected so wildlife can successfully breed and maintain healthy populations. Dr. Treml will use genetic analysis to measure the connectedness of MPAs in the Coral Triangle of Southeast Asia. His research will help us to understand where MPAs would be most optimally placed in the sea that is home to world’s richest variety of coral reef plant and animal life.
Information about the 2008 competitions will be posted on the WWF website in June 2007. Applications will be due in November 2007. For more information about the WWF Kathryn Fuller Science for Nature Fund, visit www.worldwildlife.org/sfn.