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Treves receives Fulbright Award to study predator conservation

April 1, 2014

Adrian Treves, an associate professor in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant for research at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences during the 2014-15 academic year, the U.S. Department of State and J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board have announced.

Treves will study how to balance human needs with predator conservation in Sweden and Wisconsin. He will be hosted by professors Jens Karlsson and Guillaume Chapron of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Grimsö from September to October 2014 and in the summer of 2015.

Through the collaboration, Treves aims to advance research and teaching about conservation conflicts, a subfield of conservation biology that integrates ecology and social sciences relating to human attitudes and behavior. According to Treves, this emerging subfield provides a path toward environmentally sound and politically viable solutions. 

As founder of the Carnivore Coexistence Lab in the Nelson Institute, Treves examines spatial patterns of conflicts with carnivores and human responses to these conflicts, and measures attitudes toward carnivore management and policy.

Wolves and brown (grizzly) bears have recovered in many parts of North America and Europe due to strict protection during recent decades. These animals play a key role in maintaining diverse, resilient ecosystems, but predators sometimes threaten property, domestic animals, or human safety. Such threats may anger local citizens, be costly and undermine carnivore recovery programs.

Treves says Sweden and SLU-Grimsö are an ideal setting for his research, teaching and outreach projects because the government is addressing conservation conflicts with novel policy interventions to balance the competing demands of people, economy and wildlife. Treves will work with Karlsson and Chapron to adapt his lab’s research successes to the practices and sociopolitical-cultural conditions of their region. He will also help to teach a wildlife biology course in the fall.

He is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2014-15, and one of only eight scholars awarded a grant to travel to Sweden.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Council for International Exchange of Scholars, a division of the Institute of International Education, administers the program.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given more than 318,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, scientists and other professionals the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. It operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.