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ICCB 2017 Student Award Winners

More than 300 college students submitted abstracts to compete in the Society for Conservation Biology’s (SCB’s) 2017 International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) Student Awards Competition. Twenty three students were selected from this impressive pool to present their research as part of the competition this past July at ICCB in Cartagena, Colombia. 

Student award winners break for a photo with SCB Past President James Watson (far left) and ICCB Education and Student Affairs Committee Chair Jacqualine Grant (far right) following the ICCB 2017 Student Awards Ceremony at in Cartagena, Colombia.

Students competed in the following categories: Best Oral Presentation, Best Speed Presentation, Best Poster Presentation, and Best Knowledge Café. Student award winners were honored in a  special awards ceremony at this prestigious event. 
 
The award for Best Oral Presentation went to Ruben Palacio (Fundación Ecotonos) for his talk Bird extinctions and drivers of change: San Antonio 100 years later and beyond. Samuel Merson (University of Oxford) placed second with his talk Poverty and low preference drives the consumption of protected species in Madagascar. 
 
The award for Best Speed Presentation went to Charlie Outhwaite (University College London) for her talk UK biodiversity change; a study of 11,000 species from 28 taxonomic groups. Felipe Torres (University of Toronto) placed second with The Effects of Tropical Forest Fragmentation on Hummingbird Mediated Pollen Flow.
 

Charlie Outhwaite (left) and Felipe Torres at the ICCB 2017 Student Awards Ceremony where they received awards for first and second place in the Best Poster category. 

The award for Best Poster Presentation went to Robyn Shaw (The Australian National University) for her poster Conservation genetics in disturbance ecology: an Australian rodent in a fire-prone landscape. Payton Phillips (Central Michigan University) placed second for her poster Draggin’ their feet: delayed emergence and dispersal influence dragonfly population structure

The award for Best Knowledge Café went to  Melissa Vogt (University of New South Wales) for her cafe Biodiversity and Coffee
 
Knowledge Café runner up goes to Adjany Costa (Ghent University, National Geographic) for her cafe Protecting transboundary watersheds: The case of the Okavango basin
 

Melissa Vogt, winner in the Best Knowledge Cafe category, and Samuel Merson, second place finisher in the Best Oral Presentation category, at the ICCB 2017 Student Awards Ceremony.

"The ICCB student award winners are certainly future leaders in conservation," said SCB Executive Director Dr. Debborah Luke. "The competition and all of the contestants exemplify what our ICCB is all about – nurturing new leaders and sharing research and ideas to advance the science and practice of conserving Earth's biodiversity. It's a privilege to watch students showcase their science and to know that SCB has played a part in helping them share their story and advance their development."

First place winners received a prize of $450 and a gift package. Second place winners received $300 and a gift package. 
 
Congratulations to all of the finalists who presented at ICCB 2017: 
 
Coline Boonman, Radbound University; Claudia Canedoli, University of Milano Bicocca; Rachel Friedman, University of Queensland; Riana Gardiner, University of Tasmania; Adrienne Gastineau, University Pierre and Marie Currie and the Centre d’Ecologie et de Sciences de la Conservatión; Rachel Golden-Kroner, George Mason University; Madison Hall, Michigan State University; Katie Hooker, University of Florida; Amponsah-Mensah Kofi, University of Ghana;  Samuel Merson, University of Oxford; Charlie Outhwaite, University College London; Ruben Palacio, Fundación Ecotonos; Diya Paul, Rutgers University; Payton Phillips, Central Michigan University; Allison Santos, Nova Southeastern University; Kyle Shaney, University of Texas, Arlington; Robyn Shaw, Australian National University; Michael Sievers, University of Melbourne; Felipe Torres, University of Toronto; Noelle Tubbs, Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology; and Alejandra Zamore-Jerez, Manchester Metropolitan University.
 
The ICCB Student Awards Competition is made possible through the hard work of volunteers. We extend a special thank you to Dr. Jacqualine Grant, an SCB board member and chair of the ICCB Education & Student Affairs Committee, for her commitment and hard work in organizing the competition from start to finish. 
 

SCB Board Member and ICCB Education and Student Affairs Committee Chair Jacqualine Grant

“Our student winners represented the diversity and strength of SCB,” said Grant, an assistant professor of biology at Southern Utah University and the director of the Garth and Jerri Frehner Museum of Natural History. “Every region of the Society was represented in the student competition by students who are from or work in those regions. The new structure of this year’s competition fostered participation from students through a variety of venues, and moves SCB into new spaces for communicating science at our meetings.” 
 
We also thank the following volunteers who donated their time to serve as judges for the competition: Olivier Chassot, Benis Egoh, Paul Elsen, Shonda Foster, David Gill, Jackie Grant, Stephanie Green, Brent Hughes, Alyssa Marabella, Jackie McLaughlin, Holly Niner, Brian Silliman, Kim Terrell, and Diogo Verrissimo. 
 
"I can't thank our volunteers enough," Luke said. "Their passion and commitment to helping students and the next generation of leaders is what makes the Student Awards Competition a success". 
 
SCB is grateful to Wiley for their generous support of students through cash prizes, and other groups that supported student presentations with gift donations: Conservación Internacional Colombia, The Field Museum, the Garth and Jerri Frehner Museum of Natural History at Southern Utah University, International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Society for Conservation Biology, The Nature Conservancy, Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University, Wildlife Acoustics, Inc., Wildlife Conservation Society - Colombia, and the World Wildlife Federation.

Southern Utah University student Alyssa Marabella helped to coordinate donations for ICCB 2017 Student Award Winners.