SOLAMAC - Awards SOLAMAC
Robin was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, in Canada and has been associated to activities on research and conservation of wild animals since his youth, influenced by father Alan Best, who encouraged him to work in various projects, among them, a volunteer at the Stanley Park Zoo and the Vancouver Aquarium. Graduated in Zoology by the prestigious University of British Columbia, he moved to Ontario during his post graduate studies at the University of Guelph, where he investigated aspects of the biology and ecology of polar bears. In 1976, he went to work on the specialists team of the Projeto Peixe-Boi of the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA). In 1980 he became head of the project and expanded his research activities to study river dolphins and otters. Although his main interest was in aquatic mammals, Robin had an inquiring mind and many other interests in different aspects of biology of other groups and organisms, such as anteaters, sloths, turtles and crab-eating foxes, as well as on wildlife in general. Deeply involved with the conservation of the Amazon Rainforest, he never missed an opportunity to promote this cause and encourage students interested in studying the Amazon and aquatic mammals.
The main purpose of the Robin Best award is precisely to encourage the development and spread of studies on aquatic mammals in South America, where Robin Best worked for over 10 years. The award is presented during the Reuniões de Trabalho de Especialistas em Mamíferos Aquáticos da América do Sul (RT) to the best works in the student category. This award first granted during the 6th RT in Florianópolis, Brazil, in 1994.
The award is presented to the best work selected among the abstracts of students enrolled in the RTs. The ones interested in competing for the Robin Best Award must be registered as full time students in an acknowledged higher education instution (graduate or post graduate), and must possess proof of the connection to the university. The participation is allowed through only one work, where the student must be first author of said work. In case of there being more authors, these must attest that the work was accomplished through initiative and responsibility of the student.
The works are divided into two categories: graduate and post graduate. The best works of each category are then chosen through pre-determined criteria by a selection committee, following the guidelines established by the SMM. The best general work will receive an award in cash, a book and a SMM certificate. The best works in the graduate and post graduate categories will also receive a book and a SMM certificate.