Saving seahorses means saving the seas. Western
alumna, Amanda Vincent, BSc'81 (Zoology), PhD, is a finalist for the
2010 Indianapolis Prize for outstanding achievement in animal
Amanda Vincent, Ph.D., is the reason seahorses are on the global conservation agenda. She was the first person to study seahorses underwater, document their extensive commercial trade and initiate a seahorse conservation project. Because of her tireless devotion, including 12-hour stints underwater and equally long hours in policy negotiations, Vincent, a professor at the University of British Columbia and co-founder of Project Seahorse, is one of six contenders for the $100,000 Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation.
The other Prize finalists are Gerardo Ceballos, Ph.D., leader in conservation strategy; premier elephant expert Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Ph.D.; Rodney Jackson, Ph.D., founder of the Snow Leopard Conservancy; famed cheetah researcher Laurie Marker, D.Phil. and Blue Ocean Institute founder Carl Safina, Ph.D.
"The passion and energy of these six finalists are the essence of the Indianapolis Prize. Their ability to connect conservation with the community has established hope for all species, including us," said Indianapolis Prize Chair Myrta Pulliam.
"Amanda is a real pioneer and an innovator. Her dedication has helped ensure that marine fishes are now considered wildlife as well as important resources, and seahorses have become a notable flagship for marine conservation," said Heather Koldewey, curator of aquarium projects at the Zoological Society of London.
Vincent holds the Canada Research Chair in Marine Conservation at the University of British Columbia's Fisheries Centre and is considered the leading authority on seahorse biology and conservation. She has mobilized a wide array of partners and, with them, made active gains in seahorse and marine conservation, from initiating protected areas and developing alliances of impoverished fishers to regulating international trade in seahorses. Her work has been a reflection of countless hours of underwater and trade research, intense consultation with communities and consumers and dialogue with all levels of government. One result of her pragmatic idealism has been measurably more fish in the ocean.
Vincent was born in Vancouver, Canada, and has lived in other parts of Canada, Europe, Australia and Asia. She received her bachelor's degree from The University of Western Ontario (Canada) and her doctorate from the University of Cambridge (UK).
She currently resides in Vancouver, Canada. The winner of the 2010 Indianapolis Prize receives $100,000, along with the Lilly Medal, to be awarded at the Indianapolis Prize Gala presented by Cummins Inc. The Gala is scheduled for September 25/2010, at The Westin Hotel in Indianapolis.
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