Earlier this month, Dr. Heather Koldewey, Associate Director of Project Seahorse and Section Head for Global Programmes at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), received ZSL's prestigious Staff Medal.
First awarded in 1866, the medal (originally called the Bronze Medal) recognizes “long and meritorious or outstanding achievements” by ZSL team members — in Dr. Koldewey’s case, her vital contributions to marine and freshwater conservation.
Dr. Koldewey co-founded Project Seahorse in 1996 with Dr. Amanda Vincent. She joined ZSL in 1995 as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Institute of Zoology and moved to ZSL London Zoo in 1997.
Since then, in her various roles at ZSL, she has worked to advance the role of aquariums in fish conservation globally. Historically, aquariums have not been well connected to conservation of animals in their natural habitats. Dr. Koldewey has developed a more direct engagement in marine and freshwater conservation efforts, including programmes in the UK, Philippines, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Nepal and Mozambique.
Dr. Koldewey was part of the Chagos Environment Network's recent, successful campaign to have the Chagos Archipelago, a critically important area of marine biodiversity in the Indian Ocean, designated by the UK government as a no-take marine sanctuary — the largest of its kind in the world.
Dr. Koldewey is involved in many national and international initiatives, ranging from being Chair of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums' aquarium committee to a board member of the Shark Trust, Chagos Conservation Trust and Project Seahorse Foundation for Marine Conservation, Philippines.