Laurentian University MSc Biology graduate Patrick Moldowan has been selected from a field of scores of candidates for a prestigious scholarship that will send him to the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean to work for the recovery of endangered species.
The “Canada’s New Noah” Scholarship is funded by Wildlife Preservation Canada. It gives young Canadian biologists the opportunity to study, train, and conduct field research while providing several months of practical experience with teams working to save species in Mauritius and its offshore islands. Each year, Wildlife Preservation Canada considers more than 100 applications for the coveted scholarship, from candidates who include undergraduates, master’s and PhD students, practicing wildlife biologists and veterinarians.
“We were impressed by Patrick’s great enthusiasm, his scholarship, and his broad range of research interests, and we are excited about the contributions he will make through the Canada’s New Noah program,” said Wildlife Preservation Canada’s Executive Director, Elaine Williams.
Moldowan completed his MSc at Laurentian University in 2014 under the supervision of Dr. Jacqueline Litzgus, Professor, Department of Biology. His research interests are herpetology (reptile and amphibian biology), conservation biology, evolutionary ecology, and natural history.
“It is an incredible honour to be named Canada’s New Noah,” said Moldowan. “Working collaboratively with Wildlife Preservation Canada, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, and Mauritius Wildlife Foundation will be an exceptional opportunity for training and field research in one of the world’s greatest biodiversity and conservation hotspots.”
The full New Noah scholarship includes travel, living and training expenses for six months to enable the New Noah to participate in the Durrell Post-Graduate Diploma in Endangered Species Recovery (offered through Kent University), designed to provide the student with the field experience and species and human resource management skills necessary to run wildlife conservation projects.
Previous recipients of the New Noah Scholarship have helped to save three species from almost certain extinction, according to Wildlife Preservation Canada. They include the Mauritius kestrel, a tiny falcon that was once reduced to only four individuals in the wild, and is no longer classified as endangered.
Wildlife Preservation Canada was formed by the internationally-renowned conservationist and author Gerald Durrell in 1985.