Amanda Vincent wins FSBI’s Le Cren Medal

Story originally posted by UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries

Dr. Amanda Vincent, Professor in the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries has been awarded the Le Cren medal by the Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI).

This medal is awarded to one or more individuals who have made a lifelong contribution to all aspects of the study of fish biology and/or fisheries science, with a focus on conservation, training or public understanding of the discipline.

Dr. Vincent was the first person to study seahorses underwater, the first to document the extensive trade in these fishes and the first to initiate a seahorse conservation project. In 1996, Dr. Vincent co-founded (with Heather Koldewey) and still directs Project Seahorse, an interdisciplinary and international organisation committed to conservation and sustainable use of the world’s coastal marine ecosystems. The group engages in connected research and management at scales ranging from community initiatives to international accords. Collaborating with stakeholders and partners, team members use seahorses to focus efforts in finding marine conservation solutions. Project Seahorse undertakes biological and social research, empowers local communities, establishes marine protected areas, manages small-scale fisheries, restructures international trade, promotes integrated policy, and advances environmental understanding.

Dr. Vincent holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, England and a Hons. B.Sc. from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. She was a Visiting Fellow in Sweden and Germany (1990-1991) and a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, England (1991-1996). She was on faculty at McGill University, Montréal, Canada (1996-2002), where she was named a William Dawson Scholar in 2000. The same year, Dr. Vincent was named a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, the world’s preeminent award in that field. She moved to UBC in 2002, with a Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Marine Conservation.

Dr. Vincent is very active in marine management and policy issues. She is Chair of the IUCN SSC Seahorse, Pipefish and Stickleback Specialist Group. She is the marine representative on the IUCN’s International Red List Committee and is the Chair of its Marine Conservation Subcommittee. From 2000-2004, she chaired the Syngnathid Working Group for the 180-nation Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Project Seahorse played a pivotal role in the landmark CITES decision to begin regulating international trade in marine fishes. In addition, Dr. Vincent has held special responsibility for coastal species as a member of the Steering Committee of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.

Dr. Vincent has written hundreds of scientific papers, technical reports, popular articles and policy briefings. She published the first monograph on the international trade in seahorses and has also co-authored a book on seahorses. Her work has been documented in five full-length television programmes, and much other media coverage globally. Her background includes extensive rough travel through more than 60 countries. Project Seahorse research and management initiatives are supported by not-for-profit organisations, government, private enterprise, research councils and individuals.

Dr. Vincent’s research and advocacy work for marine conservation have earned her the following awards and accolades, among others: Whitley Award in Animal Conservation (1994); Grand Prix International pour l’Environment Marin (Conféderation Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques: 1997), Rolex Award for Enterprise (1998); TIME magazine Leader for the 21st Century (1999); La Presse Personality of the Year (2000); Chevron Conservation Award (2005); Yves Rocher Foundation Woman of the Earth (2007); Le Cren Medal (2018). She was also one of six global finalists for the Indianapolis Prize for Animal Conservation in 2010 and 2016.