Projects / Wen Giving gifts UWA Chair in Conservation

Wen Giving gifts UWA Chair in Conservation

University of Western Australia

Wen Giving Foundation is pleased to present the inaugural Wen Family Chair in Conservation to the University of Western Australia, a position dedicated to meeting environmental challenges with rigorous research and public engagement.

Professor Jessica Meeuwig, an esteemed researcher from the University of Western Australia and “resilient oceans” expert, has been appointed to the Chair.

Professor Meeuwig, from UWA’s School of Biological Sciences is the director and lead researcher of the Marine Futures Lab and has pioneered the use of video-based systems to identify, count and measure open ocean wildlife in her internationally-recognised research on open-ocean, “Big Blue” marine parks. Her work has amassed the world’s largest database of open-ocean wildlife collected via non-lethal sampling.

Wen Giving Foundation has been supporting the work of the Marine Futures Lab since 2018 and Mei Wen of Wen Giving Foundation said the Wen Family Chair in Conservation, which has been endowed in perpetuity at the University of Western Australia, will create and drive ambitious research in marine conservation and educate the public and decision-makers to affect policy change.

“Western Australia, and UWA, is located in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. This unique location enables teams at the University of WA to produce innovative research, with a worldwide application. At the University of WA, researchers are on-the-ground, or in this case, below-the-water’s surface, studying Western Australia’s unique marine environment,” Mrs Wen said.

“So much still remains unknown about our marine world. The more we understand the ecologies, the better we can protect ocean wildlife and create sustainable ocean management. And this can only be achieved through quality research.”

“It is our hope the Wen Family Chair in Conservation will make a significant contribution to the national and international policy agenda for marine conservation – and we look forward to seeing the meaningful impact this work will bring to the marine world.”

In a public lecture titled Hope for an Exhausted Ocean presented at the University Club of WA to commemorate the new Chair, Professor Meeuwig said her appointment to the Chair was a great honour and would significantly help her and her team achieve important marine research work.

“A reset is needed to reflect a global population of nearly eight billion human beings,” Professor Meeuwig said.

“Hope is, in and of itself, not a strategy, however the ability to scale knowledge generation and embrace the art of the possible, do provide hope for our planet’s largest ecosystem – the ocean.”

Jessica Meeuwig deploying baited underwater systems to survey fish at 68 degrees south.
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