2023 SCB Service Award Winners

The Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) bestowed high honors on four conservationists from around the world for their contributions to the science and practice of biodiversity conservation. The Society presented the awards at the 2023 International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) in Kigali, Rwanda.

SCB’s global awards, presented every other year at the ICCB, are given to individuals, groups, or institutions for distinguished service in any field associated with biodiversity conservation and whose work has furthered the mission of SCB. This year, four individuals were honored at ICCB 2023 under four categories for their outstanding work in the field. Details below.


Conservation Beacon Award: Recognizes women of marginalized and multiply marginalized status that are traditionally under-served within higher education. 

Dr. Nelly Isigi Kadagi: World Wildlife Fund. Awarded for extraordinary dedication and contributions to the conservation of billfish species in the Western Indian Ocean Region through research and stakeholder engagement across various sectors.


Distinguished Service Award: Recognizes individuals, groups or institutions for distinguished service in any field associated with conservation biology and whose work has furthered the mission of SCB.

Dr. Angela K. Fuller: U.S. Geological Service and Cornell University. Awarded for extraordinary efforts working with management and conservation organizations at the state, national and international levels, to address real-world problems of pressing conservation concern, natural resource management, and policy decision-making, primarily using tools of decision science and quantitative ecology.


Edward T. LaRoe III Memorial Award: Given to individuals who have been a leader in translating principles of conservation biology into real-world conservation. Preference is given to employees of government agencies or individuals who have spent at least part of their career in public service. The intention of the award is to recognize the innovative application of science to resource management and policy. 

Dr. Nina Wambiji: Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute. Awarded for extraordinary contributions to understand and advance the nexus between artisanal, sport and commercial fishers balancing and strengthening socio-economics linkages for all along the coasts of Kenya, Somalia, Mauritius and Seychelles.


Early Career Conservationist Award: Honors achievements in conservation by professionals early in their careers (no more than 10 years since leaving school). SCB does not apply an age criterion in order to enable eligibility for individuals who might have come to conservation as a second career.

Dr. Ding Li Yong: BirdLife International (Asia). Awarded for extraordinary contributions to the protection of migratory bird species and their habitats in the Asia-Pacific region through research, policy influence, awareness raising, and on-the-ground efforts.


The SCB Global Awards are generously supported by Wiley, the publisher of SCB’s three in-house peer-reviewed journals. For more information, please contact Kathleen Munger, SCB’s Marketing & Communications Manager, at kmunger@conbio.org or Ed Gallo-Cajiao, SCB’s Awards Committee Chair, at e.gallocajiao@uq.edu.au.