The Emerging River Leader Award (ERLA), sponsored by OceanaGold Corporation, recognises, rewards and fosters those in the early stages of their careers in rivers. The award is presented to those who have demonstrated innovation, excellence and leadership in river, basin or river-dependent community management.
Jose Fernandez gained a degree in Forestry Engineering in 2015. He began lecturing to undergraduate students about the application of geographic information systems before taking on the position of Environmental Specialist for the Water Fund for Lima and Callao (AQUAFONDO). He is currently responsible for the management and conservation of water resources and has been involved in a project to develop an integrated water management system in the local peasant community of San Pedro de Casta, Lima Peru.
Nantale Nsibirwa (South Africa)
Julie Francis (Australia)
Lauren Zielinski (USA)
Lauren Zielinski specialises in the monitoring and evaluation of river systems, focusing on river restoration and environmental flow projects. She was awarded the ERPA for her work on creating a monitoring and adaptive management framework for environmental flows in the Mara River Basin.
Dean Muruven (Netherlands)
Tatenda Dalu (South Africa)
Tero Mustonen (Finland)
Tero is a post-doctoral researcher with the University of Eastern Finland and a professional fisher. Tero won the ERPA in 2016 for his successful efforts to incorporate traditional knowledge and science into monitoring and restoring watersheds in North Karelia, Finland.
Lee Garnett (Australia)
Jamie Ruprecht (Australia)
Tom Scarborough (Australia)
In 2015, the ERPA was awarded to Tom Scarborough, Estuary Planning Coordinator for the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority in Victoria, Australia. Tom won the award for successfully improving community awareness and understanding about the causes of acid discharges and fish deaths in the Anglesea River and estuary in south-west Victoria.
Nitin Kaushal (India)
Joachim Ezeji (Nigeria)
Oghenekaro ‘Nelson’ Odume (South Africa)
Dr Oghenekaro ‘Nelson’ Odume won the 2014 ERPA for his comprehensive research on freshwater systems, and for turning this research into new tools and approaches to help people better manage these important natural resources. Born and educated in Nigeria, Nelson’s study took him to South Africa where his PhD research explored the effects of industrial-sewage effluent on river health. The results of the study provided a new early warning system to improve effluent management for river health, ecological structure and function.