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WWF Awards Ten Graduate Students 2018 Russell E. Train Fellowships


World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced the recipients of the 2018 Russell E. Train Fellowship. Recipients include 10 individuals from 6 countries working on key conservation issues, from analyzing park ranger working conditions in the Galápagos to preserving African manatees in Gabon. With a wide range of submissions, candidates were selected for their innovative proposals, merit-based history, and commitment to conservation.

Funded by WWF’s Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program (EFN), Train Fellows pursue graduate degrees in conservation-related fields around the world. After graduation, they return to their home countries to further implement their research, expand academic programs, and build conservation networks.

“Education is one of the most powerful drivers of change,” says EFN Director Andrea Santy. “For 24 years, EFN has played a pivotal role in preserving and restoring Earth’s epicenters of biodiversity by supporting conservationists throughout the Global South. Train Fellowships have played a pivotal role in transforming students, researchers, and faculty into recognized experts, decision makers, and role models.”

In 1994, EFN was created to honor the late Russell E. Train, the founder, president, and chairman of the board of WWF-US. Mr. Train’s vision was to put the ownership of natural resources into local hands. Each year, EFN works to uphold his vision by supporting passionate conservationists to conduct key research and obtain their advanced degrees. Over the past 24 years, EFN has grown and supported more than 2,600 individuals and organizations globally.

Recipients of the 2018 Train Fellowships include:

  • Elizabeth Campbell (Peru): PhD in Biological Sciences, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  • Oscar Carvajal Mora (Ecuador): Master’s in Conservation Biology, CATIE, Costa Rica
  • Pavel Garcia Soto (Guatemala): PhD in Organismal Biology, University of Montana, United States
  • Francisco Laso (Ecuador): PhD in Human-Environment Interactions, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, United States
  • Serafino Afonso Rui Mucova (Mozambique): PhD in Biology and Ecology of Global Climate Change, University of Aveiro, Portugal
  • Christy Achtone Nkollo Aganga (Gabon): PhD in Biogeography, Omar Bongo University, Gabon
  • Jaime Ortiz (Ecuador): PhD in Invasion Ecology, Cornell University, United States
  • Ximena Tagle (Peru): PhD in Earth Observation, Wageningen University and Research Center, Netherlands
  • Sunil Tamang (Nepal): Master’s in Applied Science, Lincoln University, New Zealand
  • Ngawang Thapke Sherpa (Nepal): Master’s in Natural Resource Management and Ecological Engineering, Lincoln University, New Zealand

For more information about EFN or to apply for a 2019 Train Fellowship, visit:

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