University of Missouri-St. Louis alumnus Corneille Ewango (MS biology 2006) received a prestigious 2011 Future for Nature Award. The award, which comes with a prize of about $73,000,­­­­­­­­ recognizes individuals for outstanding international species protection efforts.The awards are handed out annually during the Future for Nature Foundation Conference at Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem, the Netherlands.

Ewango is a Congolese tropical botanist and forest ecologist, well known in the conservation community for protecting the Okapi Wildlife Reserve in the Ituri Rainforest during the Congo Civil War in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in central Africa.

Ewango, is director of the OWR and a member of a specialist group on plants for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to develop an ecosystem management plan for the Congo. He also is working on the publication “Flore d’Afrique Centrale” or “Flowers of Central Africa.” He built a herbarium in the Okapi Faunal Reserve that has become an important station for training and research in tropical botany and plant diversity conservation.

Patrick Osborne, executive director of the Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center at UMSL, said this is an incredibly prestigious award – with more than 140 applications from 60 countries considered.

“Corneille received one of the 10 awards that are presented to individuals who have made tangible contributions to protecting our world’s biodiversity,” Osborne said. “We are delighted to have one of our former Christensen Fellows and alumnus recognized in this significant way.”

Ewango also was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2005.

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Kylie Shafferkoetter

Kylie Shafferkoetter

Eye on UMSL: Tending the gardens

Biology student James Ott and Sustainable Energy & Environmental Coordinator Katy Mike Smaistrla pull weeds last week in the native gardens north of the Recreation Wellness Center.