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WDC partner wins top marine conservation honour

WDC is pleased to report that Olga Filatova, who has previously worked with WDC on its marine protected area programme, has been awarded one of the most prestigious honours in the marine conservation field.  Olga has been named as a Pew Fellow, an award funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts – an independent non-profit, non-governmental organization that works to protect our shared environment and support scientific research.

The position carries with it a $150,000 USD fund over the next three years, helping Olga’s project which looks closer at the habits and protecting the habitats of whales, dolphins and porpoises in the Pacific waters of the Russian Far East.

For the past 15 years, Olga has worked with the Far East Russia Orca Project (FEROP) to study killer whales. In 2007, as part of WDC’s Critical Habitat MPAs Programme, WDC with Olga and other FEROP team members took part in research in the Commander Islands focusing on humpback and Baird’s beaked whales, as well as orcas and others, which has led to some important new findings.

WDC’s Erich Hoyt, FEROP co-director and leader of the Critical Habitat MPA Programme, says: “I have been pleased and honoured to work with Olga. Her research and various scientific papers on Russian killer whale dialects are well respected in the whale world. She has been central to all our efforts in Russia, and this new project to protect homes for whales and dolphins has great promise.”

The Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation provides fellowships to outstanding natural and social scientists, researchers and others around the globe to support innovative projects aimed at developing and implementing solutions to critical challenges facing the world’s oceans.