Russell A. Mittermeier
2007 John P. McGovern Science and Society Award
Conservational International president Russell Mittermeier is a prominent primatologist, herpetologist and wildlife conservationist with 37 years of field experience in Central and South America, Africa and Asia. He is the only active field biologist to head an international conservation organization. Mittermeier's fieldwork has been on primates, protected areas and other conservation issues in Brazil, Suriname, Madagascar and more than 20 other countries. His areas of expertise include biological diversity and its value to humanity, tropical biology and species conservation. He has written 15 books, including the trilogy Megadiversity, Hotspots, and Wilderness, and more than 500 papers and popular articles on primates, reptiles, tropical forests and biodiversity. Mittermeier has served as chairman of the IUCN Species Survival Commission's Primate Specialist Group since 1977, has been an adjunct professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook since 1978, and president of the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation since 1996. Prior to coming to CI, he was with the World Wildlife Fund-U.S. for 11 years, where his last role was as vice president for science. His many awards include the Order of the Golden Ark from His Royal Highness Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, the Grand Order of the Southern Cross from the President of Brazil, and the Grand Sash and Order of the Yellow Star from the President of Suriname (1998), the San Diego Zoo Gold Medal and the Aldo Leopold Prize of the American Society of Mammalogists. In 1998, he was one of Time magazine's "EcoHeroes for the Planet."