Stony Brook biologist and doctoral candidate, Fannie M. Cornejo, selected as finalist for the inaugural Indianapolis Prize |

Fannie M Cornejo

Stony Brook, New York, September 23, 2022—Stony Brook University graduate student Fannie M. Cornego has been shortlisted for the Emerging Conservation Emerging Award presented by the Indianapolis Prize. This award honors professional wildlife conservationists, biologists, and scientists under the age of 40 who are working to take steps to save animal species from extinction. The winner, chosen from among 10 finalists, will be announced in April 2023 and awarded $50,000 to advance their work to protect the species.

Fanny Cornejo is a Peruvian primatologist, anthropologist, and executive director of Yunkawasi, an organization that works with Amazonian and Andean communities to conserve threatened species through sustainable economic development and protected area management approaches. Cornejo is also the Director of the Peruvian Rainforest Partnership, Lionkawase’s strategic partner for conservation and sustainable development activities in Peru.

Cornejo is a member of the Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences (IDPAS) at Stony Brook University and works in the Pat Wright Laboratory, where she focuses on the study of primates and large mammals, focusing on diversity, sustainability hunting and environmental studies also as conservation activities to protect forests and improve the livelihoods of local and indigenous communities . Cornejo has also conducted research on black and white bulbous lemurs in Ranomafana National Park in Madagascar. Its graduate teachers are Professor Patricia C. Wright and Liliana Davalos.

Professor Patricia Wright said: “Fanny is an excellent researcher who has put her knowledge to work to save Peruvian wildlife and communities.” “She is a dynamic leader, working with governments as well as with local farmers. She has inspired the government to mint a coin in honor of the endangered species that she studies.”

“The Emerging Conservationist Award supports the next generation of conservationists who are making a positive difference for the future of biodiversity,” said Dr. Rob Shoemaker, President and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc. The award is honored, and we share a deep commitment to protecting nature and inspiring people to take care of our world.”

The Emerging Conservationist Award was made possible by a grant from the Kobé Foundation. The finalists were selected through a two-stage selection process, in which the review committee evaluated and then narrowed the pool of applications to 10 finalists. The work of the finalists will be shared with the selection committee to select the winner. The winner of the inaugural Emerging Conservation Prize will be announced in April 2023 and honored at the Indianapolis Award Ceremony presented by Cummins Inc. in downtown Indianapolis on September 30, 2023. For more information about this award, please visit this website.

The Indianapolis Award recognizes the world’s leading environmentalists whose work provides for future generations repeatable and actionable conservation practices. Finalists from emerging conservationists represent the people we can count on to save species around the world. Stony Brook University professors Patricia Wright (2014) and Ross Mettermere (2018) received the Indianapolis Award.

About the Indianapolis Prize

The Indianapolis Prize is the distinctive conservation initiative of the Indianapolis Zoological Society, and the Indianapolis Prize Corporation rewards and rewards conservationists who have achieved significant victories in promoting the sustainability of an animal species or group of species. Winners receive an unrestricted prize of $250,000. The remaining finalists will each receive $50,000. Since 2006, the Indianapolis Prize has provided more than $5 million in cash prizes.

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Image source: Gerson Ferrer, Yunkawasi

About Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University – New York’s premier and No. 1 public university far exceeds the expectations of today’s public universities. It is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. With nearly 26,000 students, more than 2,800 faculty, more than 200,000 alumni, a major academic health center and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs, Stony Brook is a center of excellence, research-intensive for innovation dedicated to addressing the world’s greatest challenges. Embracing its mission to provide comprehensive undergraduate, graduate, and professional education of the highest quality, the university has been ranked among the top 35 public universities by Forbes and one of the nation’s top 100 universities by the US News & World Report Best Colleges List. Reinforcing a commitment to academic research and intellectual pursuits, Stony Brook’s membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places it among the top 65 research institutions in North America. The university’s distinguished faculty have received prestigious awards such as the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the Indianapolis Prize for Animal Conservation, the Abel Prize, and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. Stony Brook is responsible for the joint management of the US Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory – one of only eight universities with a role in running a national laboratory. By providing economic growth to neighboring communities and the broader geographic area, the university’s total economic output is $7.23 billion in increased economic output on Long Island. Follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter (@stonybrooku)

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