INDIANAPOLIS - The Indianapolis Zoological Society has unveiled the list of nominees for the 2018 Indianapolis Prize. The group includes 32 animal conservationists from throughout the world, one of whom will be chosen to receive what is considered to be the world's leading award for animal conservation.

A nominating committee and jury, comprised of professional conservationists and local representatives, will select six finalists for the Indianapolis Prize. The winner will be announced next spring, with all six finalists being honored at the Indianapolis Prize Gala in September 2018.

"The 2018 Indianapolis Prize Nominees represent many of the most significant and accomplished wildlife conservationists in the field today," said Michael Crowther, chief executive officer of the Indianapolis Zoo. "They are protecting species and creating successful conservation methods that ensure future generations will live in a flourishing and sustainable world. We applaud their accomplishments and encourage individuals, organizations, companies, and governments to join them in advancing animal conservation."

The winner will receive a $250,000 cash award and the Lilly Medal. The five finalists will each receive $10,000. The nominees for the 2018 Indianapolis Prize are listed below. You can learn more about the work of each nominee and connect to more about the Indianapolis Prize by clicking here.

  • Sri Suci Utami Atmoko, Ph.D. (National University)
  • Purnima Devi Barman, Ph.D. (Aranyak)
  • Joel Berger, Ph.D. (Wildlife Conservation Society; Colorado State University)
  • P. Dee Boersma, Ph.D. (University of Washington; Penguin Sentinels)
  • Christophe Alain Boesch, Ph.D. (Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology; Wild Chimpanzee Foundation)
  • Sheila A. Bolin (The Regal Swan Foundation, Inc.)
  • Gerardo Ceballos, Ph.D. (Institute of Ecology, National Autonomous University of Mexico)
  • Colin Chapman, Ph.D. (McGill University)
  • Lisa Dabek, Ph.D. (Papua New Guinea Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program; Woodland Park Zoo)
  • Scott Dowd (New England Aquarium, Project Piaba)
  • Sylvia Earle, Ph.D. (Deep Ocean Exploration and Research; Mission Blue; SEAlliance)
  • Rick Hudson (Turtle Survival Alliance)
  • Rodney Jackson, Ph.D. (Snow Leopard Conservancy)
  • Harvey Locke (Harvey Locke Consulting)
  • Laurie Marker, Ph.D. (Cheetah Conservation Fund)
  • Deborah Martyr (Fauna & Flora International)
  • William McLellan (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
  • David Mech, Ph.D. (US Geological Survey; University of Minnesota)
  • Charudutt Mishra, Ph.D. (Snow Leopard Trust)
  • Russell Mittermeier, Ph.D. (Conservation International)
  • Anna Nekaris, Ph.D. (Oxford Brookes University; Little Fireface Project)
  • Peter Pratje, Ph.D. (Frankfurt Zoological Society)
  • Lente Lidia Roode (Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre)
  • Carl Safina, Ph.D. (The Safina Center)
  • Joel Sartore (National Geographic Photo Ark)
  • Claudio Sillero, Ph.D. (Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Program)
  • Ian Singleton, PhD. (Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme; PanEco-YEL)
  • Jigmet Takpa (Government of Jammu and Kashmir, India; Department of Wildlife Protection)
  • Adrian Treves, Ph.D. (Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies; Carnivore Coexistence Lab)
  • Amanda Vincent, Ph.D. (Project Seahorse)
  • Rob Williams (Oceans Initiative)
  • Kerri Wolter (VulPro)

The Indianapolis Prize is awarded every two years. The 2016 award was presented to Carl Jones of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, who is credited with leading the recoveries of more than a dozen endangered species in the Republic of Mauritius.