Adam Miller (Missouri, USA, 27 years old) founded Planet Indonesia in 2014 with the aim to protect Red List species and restoring ecosystem functioning in Borneo. The organisation provides community-based services in business, education and women’s healthcare and already has 13.500 individuals actively engaged in this project! Adam has launched the first community-based smart patrols and marine patrols in Gunung Niut Nature Reserve and in the marine environments of West Kalimantan.
Andrés Valenzuela Sánchez
Andrés Sánchez (Chile, 29 years old) has been working for 10 years in amphibian research and conservation, mainly on Darwin’s frogs. With a degree and teaching experience in Veterinary Sciences, a PhD in Conservation Medicine and many books and publications to his name, Andrés has shown great work ethic, passion and effort to incorporate local communities in research fieldwork and engage in educational activities in the field of conservation.
Felipe Francisco Alfonso Cortes
Felipe Cortes (Colombia, 32 years old) started his career as a primatologist in 2009 and in 2012, he co-founded the Proyecto Washu to protect the brown-headed spider monkey, which is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. Thanks to his organization, a new private reserve was created in Ecuador, where local families put their hands together to create the ‘Cacao Production Project’ to protect the spider monkey’s habitat.
Aristide Takoukam Kamla
Aristide Kamla (Cameroon, 32 years old) is a PhD candidate at the University of Florida, focussing on African manatee genetics, diet and habitat. Nine years ago, when he started research on this species, there were only two published scientific papers on Cameroon’s populations. Manatees were heavily threatened by hunting and by catch from fisheries, even in protected areas due to the lack of mitigation initiatives. Local communities were alarmingly unaware of the plight of the manatee, and the government was not concerned with its protection.
Geraldine Werhahn (Austria, 33 years old) is doing a Doctor of Philosophy with WildCRU at Oxford University on the Himalayan wolf, a species that is found in the high altitudes of the Himalayas and on the Tibetan Plateau. The Himalayan wolf presents an evolutionary unique and ancient wolf lineage that requires formal taxonomic description and conservation.
Trang Thi Thu Nguyen (Vietnam, 27 years old) is a PhD Candidate in Biodiversity Management, working on the impact of traditional Asian Medicine on African Wildlife, at the University of Kent, England. She started her career in conservation in 2003, as a volunteer at several conservation NGO’s. At the age of 17, she was nominated as one of the ‘50 most influential young people of Vietnam’. From 2014 onwards she specialized in traffic and illegal trade of Vietnam’s endangered animals, with a specific focus on bears and elephant ivory.
Paula Gonzalez Ciccia
Paula Gonzalez Ciccia (Argentina, 33 years old) is living and working in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2008 she was selected to attend the Jane Goodall’s Global Youth Summit in representation of Argentina. In 2009, Bioparque Temaikèn assigned her to manage the Maned Wolf Conservation Project in Cordoba. In 2010 she was selected as national coordinator of the Roots & Shoots program of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) in Argentina and since 2011 she’s the head of JGI. Since 2012 Paula managed Temaiken`s Endangered Species Conservation Program.
Ruthmery Pillco Huarcaya
Ruthmery Pillco Huarcaya (Peru, 26 years old) is living and working in Peru as a biologist. Starting her career as a volunteer in Yanachaga National Park, she won a three-month scholarship to work with the Crees Foundation, a UK-Peruvian NGO. From there she progressed through the ranks from field assistant to Research Field Coordinator. She studied the endangered Peruvian Woolly Monkey in neotropical rainforests for four years, which gave her deep understanding of the multicultural-, and disciplinary collaboration required to manage protected area networks.
Santiago Zuluaga (Colombia, 27 years old) has been fascinated with nature from an early age. When he was 14 years old, he participated in the Andean Condor Project in the Los Nevados National Park in Colombia. In 2010 – already a Biology student – he discovered the first young Andean Condor born in a zone where this species was considered extinct for 60 years, on which he published his first paper.
Murthy Kantimahanti (India, 33 years old) is a conservation biologist. His fascination for conservation starts in 2000 when he started working at the Indira Ghandi Zoological Park. From 2014 until now he works as a biologist in the Eastern Ghats, a large mountain system extending from central India to the far south of India. Becoming the founder of the Eastern Ghats Wildlife Society (EGWS), his current efforts focus on community-based initiatives to conserve the snake fauna, with the iconic King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) in particular.