Friday, September 11, 2009

Women scientists from the WIO sweep AU awards

Women scientists from Mauritius and South Africa made us proud this week by sweeping the African Union Women Scientists Regional Awards. These were presented in Addis Abba on Wednesday 9th September. The five women researchers, each of whom won a prize of US$ 20,000, are two from Mauritius, two from South Africa and one from Egypt.

Professor Ameenah Gurib-Fakim (photo), a Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Mauritius, and who was Chair in Organic Chemistry won the prize in the Earth and Life Sciences Sector for creating the first full database of the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of Mauritius between 1994-1997 (this was published in the form of 4 book volumes) and in 1999-2000, a similar database for the medicinal plants of the Indian Ocean Islands both in English and French. Professor Ameenah Gurib-Fakim had previously won the AU’s Special Award – Outstanding Contribution to Science and Role Model for African Women Scientists in April this year and in 2007 she received the prestigious International Award L’Oreal-UNESCO: ‘Women in Science for Africa’

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Crabs can tell us if conservation is successful

Whilst working on assessment and restoration projects on various Seychelles islands as part of a project funded by the GEF and World Bank, we at Nature Seychelles were struck by several questions that needed answering. We circulated these to various universities to see if we could get students to help in our work. One question that was picked up by our collaborators was whether indicator species of habitat quality could be identified. Land crabs were one potential group because they were found on all our islands.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Epiphany at the WIOMSA Symposium

The latest, and exciting, edition of the WIOMSA Marine Science Symposium was held in La Reunion from the 24th to the 27th August and was attended by the top marine scientists and managers working in East and Southern Africa and the Western Indian Ocean islands. This not-to-be-missed symposium is a landmark event organised by the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) where the state of knowledge of many marine and coastal environmental subjects is discussed.