Iain Douglas-Hamilton Named Finalist for the 2010 Indianapolis Prize

Date Published

Press Release

1200 West Washington Street P.O. Box 22309, Indianapolis, Indiana 46222-0309 317.630.2711 ph 317.630.5153 fx


Iain Douglas-Hamilton Named Finalist

for the 2010 Indianapolis Prize

Award Celebrates Outstanding Achievement in Animal Conservation

INDIANAPOLIS — Nothing holds Iain Douglas-Hamilton back. Neither poachers nor a 36-month drought can deter this Save the Elephants director and founder from his work. He patiently, relentlessly counters efforts to kill the African elephant for ivory, while continuing to educate others through his extensive conservation research. Because of his lifelong devotion to the elephants’ survival, Douglas-Hamilton, Ph.D., is one of six finalists contending for the $100,000 Indianapolis Prize.

The other Prize finalists are Gerardo Ceballos, Ph.D., leader in conservation strategy;

Rodney Jackson, Ph.D., founder of the Snow Leopard Conservancy; famed cheetah researcher Laurie Marker, D.Phil., Blue Ocean Institute founder Carl Safina, Ph.D. and Amanda Vincent, Ph.D., seahorse expert with the University of British Columbia.

“The passion and energy of these six finalists are the essence of the Indianapolis Prize. Their ability to connect conservation with the community has established hope for all species, including us,” said Indianapolis Prize Chair Myrta Pulliam.

“Iain has inspired scientists, conservationists, local communities and ordinary citizens alike to work toward a secure future for elephants and the biodiversity of the world,” said Eve Schaeffer, program manager, Wildlife Conservation Network. “He is fully deserving of the prestigious recognition the Indianapolis Prize bestows.”

Douglas-Hamilton protects the African elephant through supporting wildlife departments in their anti-poaching aid programs in Africa. He continues to provide key research findings to the international community about poaching, now spurred by a renewed demand for ivory. His pioneering Global Positioning System (GPS) elephant tracking, widely emulated in Africa and Asia, has become a model survey technique. He recently partnered with Google Earth to show elephant movement in real time via satellite images.

In September 2009, Douglas-Hamilton worked to rescue a rare herd of desert elephants in northern Kenya and Mali, threatened from one of the worst droughts in nearly a dozen years.

Just weeks ago, a devastating flood destroyed the Save the Elephants camp in Kenya including staff tents, computers and years of field research notes. With a team of local researchers, the camp is now being rebuilt.

Born in Dorset, England, Douglas-Hamilton attended Gordonstoun School in Scotland and received his bachelor’s degree and doctorate from the University of Oxford in Oxford, England. He currently works and resides in Nairobi, Kenya.

The 2008 Indianapolis Prize was awarded to legendary field biologist George Schaller, Ph.D. Schaller’s accomplishments span decades and continents, bringing fresh focus to the plight of several endangered species – from tigers in India to gorillas in Rwanda – and inspiring others to join the crusade.

To learn more about each of the finalists, how you can support their work, and the Indianapolis Prize, please visit indianapolisprize.org.


Downloadable jpg images to accompany this story are available

on the Indianapolis Prize Web site:


The biennial $100,000 Indianapolis Prize represents the largest individual monetary award for animal conservation in the world and is given as an unrestricted gift to the chosen honoree. The Indianapolis Prize was initiated by the Indianapolis Zoo as a significant component of its mission to inspire local and global communities and to celebrate, protect and preserve our natural world through conservation, education and research. This award brings the world’s attention to the cause of animal conservation and the brave, talented and dedicated men and women who spend their lives saving the Earth’s endangered animal species. It was first awarded in 2006 to Dr. George Archibald, the co-founder of the International Crane Foundation and one of the world’s great field biologists. In 2008, the Indianapolis Prize went to Dr. George Schaller, the world’s preeminent field biologist and vice president of Panthera and senior conservationist for the Wildlife Conservation Society. The Eli Lilly and Company Foundation has provided funding for the Indianapolis Prize since 2006

The winner of the 2010 Indianapolis Prize receives $100,000, along with the Lilly Medal, to be awarded at the Indianapolis Prize Gala presented by Cummins Inc. The Gala is scheduled for September 25, 2010, at The Westin Hotel in Indianapolis.