The Indianapolis Zoo has hired a team of experts to support its efforts to protect nature through the new Global Center for Species Survival. The zoo says the team will focus on connecting the work of more than 10,000 conservationists.
The conservationists are part of the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which is the world’s largest environmental conservation organization.
The Global Center is part of a partnership between the zoo and IUCN SSC.
“This is the next important step in Indianapolis’ commitment to protecting nature and inspiring people to care for our world,” said Dr. Rob Shumaker, president of the Indianapolis Zoo. “The newest members of our team bring incredible expertise and passion for preserving biodiversity, and they will make a tremendous difference on a global scale.”
The zoo says the seven coordinators are expected to begin at the Global Center in the first quarter of 2021. The team members, who have worked on saving species on five continents over the last 10-15 years, are now moving to Indianapolis from locations around the world.
“This new team at the Indianapolis Zoo will bring unprecedented capacity to scale up the efforts of the SSC’s world leading conservation experts who are working to secure a future for plants, fungi and animals in more than 160 countries,” said Professor Jon Paul Rodríguez, chair of the IUCN SSC. “The Global Center will help us to bridge the gaps and support leading conservationists as they tackle critical planetary issues leading to biodiversity loss due to global climate change, invasive species, habitat degradation, overexploitation, and illegal wildlife trade.”
The zoo says the center helps advance the zoo’s efforts to make Indianapolis one of the world’s most conservation-literate cities.
The zoo, which will serve as the home for the center, says it will also host international meetings and conferences to support the work of the IUCN SSC.
The new coordinators are:
- Dr. Monika Böhm, Freshwater Coordinator
- Cátia Canteiro, M.Sc, Plant and Fungi Coordinator
- Sérgio Henriques, M.Sc, Invertebrates Coordinator
- Dr. Mimi Kessler, Bird Coordinator
- Riley Pollom, M.Sc, Marine Coordinator
- Dr. Nicolette Roach, Reptile and Amphibian Coordinator
- Angela Yang, M.Sc, Mammals Coordinator