ZSL’s resident fossil hunter awarded prestigious Fellowship
Monday 4 January 2010
Dr Sam Turvey has become the first ZSL scientist to be awarded a University Research Fellowship from the Royal Society.
Dr Turvey studies the recent fossil record to understand how human activities have caused extinctions throughout history and recent prehistory, and what makes mammals vulnerable to extinction. He then uses this information to inform conservation plans to protect our most endangered species.
The Fellowship will fund Dr Turvey’s research into understanding past and present mammal extinctions in Asia for the next five years.
Dr Turvey was part of a team of scientists that carried out the last survey to try to locate the Yangtze River dolphin in 2006. Sadly their survey found no evidence of any surviving dolphins, forcing them to conclude that the species had become extinct.
Dr Turvey hopes that his fellowship research will highlight the long-term impacts that humans have had on the world's ecosystems, and will help conservationists to learn from the past in order to prevent future mammal extinctions.