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Meet the 2021/22 Neville Shulman Award winners

The Neville Shulman Earthwatch Awards give individuals the opportunity to implement new research, increase community engagement in environmental projects and tackle some of the world’s big environmental challenges. 

Our Award winners represent communities from over 30 countries and have provided support to diverse projects. 

We are excited to announce the 2021/22 Neville Shulman award winners! Six early career scientists from Kenya, Madagascar and Malawi are receiving their grants to enable them to start work on their projects which are focusing on the impacts of climate change, nature in cities, loss of wildlife and freshwater pollution. They seek to empower their local communities to create solutions to challenges these communities are facing. 

Congratulations to our award winners and we are looking forward to seeing your projects develop over the next year! 

We asked them to introduce themselves. 

Mwanarusi Mwafrica - Enhancing mangrove ecosystem sustainability in Vanga Bay 

Photo credit: Sue Wachia

“Mwanarusi Mwafrica is the Project Coordinator of Vanga Blue Forest, a mangrove protection and reforestation project in the far South of Kenya. Mwanarusi's work involves leading the communities of Vanga, Jimbo and Kiwegu in the conservation and restoration of the surrounding mangrove forest and community development to alleviate poverty as the leading driver of degradation in the area and enhance ecosystem integrity.” 


Davidson Hajanantenaina - Abundance of nocturnal lemur species in different habitat types in Maromizaha Protected Area

“I am Davidson Hajanantenaina, an early-career Malagasy primatologist from the University of Antananarivo and conservation educator at Groupe d’Etude et de Recherche sur les Primates de Madagascar (GERP). My project will measure the effectiveness of the reforestation program with local communities in the Maromizaha protected area over lemur abundance and distribution.

I am delighted to have been selected for this award which is a great opportunity for me to develop my skills in the conservation area.” 

Aubrey Chirwa - Role of disaster memory in the integration of Indigenous Knowledge with climate science in Malawi

“I am a multi-award winning journalist and development communication specialist. I hold a Master of Arts in Media and International Development (Distinction) obtained from the University of East Anglia (UK). My project seeks to uncover local communities’ experiences of disasters and how that can be used to build their resilience by integrating it with climate science.

I feel honoured and excited to receive this Award because it will help me achieve my long-time dream in making a contribution to the climate and biodiversity crisis. With this grant, I plan to enroll for training in decolonizing research methodologies to build my capacity in community-centred approaches to research and citizen science.” 


John Okoth - Technique for Reforestation and Environmental Extension (TREE) 

“I am deeply humbled and thankful to secure runners-up position leading to the award to expand my skillset in environmental research. 

I strongly believe that the win is not absolutely to receive the Shulman award for the year 2021, but rather more on revealing my potential and installing hope in me as a young upcoming scientist to further pace set nationwide, intercontinental and global environmental and biodiversity protection, conservation and restoration research, a vision that I believe my Technique for Reforestation and Environmental Extension (TREE) model will afford the ecosystem if fully researched on and implemented. 

I am looking forward to more partnerships and connections.” 


Frank Chimaimba - Nature in cities

Photo credit: Albert Mhango

“I am a young environmental researcher and activist based in Malawi. My area of research interest spans biodiversity and its ecosystem services and disservices, environment and development interface, with a special focus on urban landscapes. 

I am exhilarated to be one of the awardees for the Neville Shulman 2021/2022 grant. This prestigious grant will not only enhance my research skill and knowledge but also open doors for even more opportunities.“ 


Patrick Kalonde - Determinants of Household waste disposal behaviour and implications for practical Community Intervention: Lessons from Lilongwe Malawi

Patrick Ken Kalonde is a Master of Science Student at St Cloud State University in Minnesota. He went to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar from the Republic of Malawi. Patrick is passionate about youth leadership, community development and technology, particularly in the context of public health and environmental protection. He leads a community-based organisation in his home community in Lilongwe – Youth for Environmental Development – and he is working towards establishing a community waste recycling program.

In 2020, Patrick attended a science camp organised by Earthwatch and he is interested to utilise citizen science to understand factors that influence households to make waste disposal choices. He hopes that this work will set a great foundation for programming of intervention that will help to build circular economic models in low-income communities.

He successfully applied for Neville-Shulman Award together with Alick Chisale Austin, a young community leader, a graduate of LUANAR and the African Drone and Data Academy (ADDA) and aspires to pursue post graduate education in public policy with specific focus on waste management and environmental management.


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