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About the Society Awards Past Award Winners 2015 Awardees 2015 (SEDN - Scientists from Economically Developing Nations Award) Tsiory H. Andrianavalona


I was inspired to be a scientist since I was a child, and always found the subject fascinating. After graduating from high school in 2004, I pursued my studies in the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Antananarivo (Madagascar), receiving my Master’s degree in Paleontology and Biostratigraphy in 2011.

My current research focuses on the origin and evolution of Malagasy sharks. Little work has been done on this subject, and my work was the first significant review of Malagasy Cenozoic sharks. From their identification, I was able to perform a paleoenvironmental reconstruction of Madagascar during the mid-Miocene. I am particularly interested in small selachian fossils, as they can be important indicators of climate change, and can contribute greatly to our understanding of past environments.

I love exploration and fieldwork, and have worked extensively in Cenozoic sedimentary formations of Madagascar, working with the team of Dr. Karen Samonds since 2010. In 2013 I was awarded the National Geographic Young Explorer grant, which allowed me to lead my first field expedition in northern Madagascar. In addition to my research career, I volunteered for the WWF Explore Program in 2012, working on the conservation of Malagasy biodiversity. I am also the international secretary of Iota Nu, an International Chapter of GWIS, the Graduate Women in Science Organization. I strongly believe that we must empower women and encourage more of them to go into STEM fields.
 
I am currently finishing up my PhD at the University of Antananarivo, and submitting papers in order to bring the results of my work to the international academic community. After completing my PhD, I plan to continue my research and fieldwork, and also make science more accessible to the general public, especially children, as I believe that they are the next generation of scientists.

To receive the SEDN this year means a lot for me and for my career as it allows me to show the results of my work, and to meet and exchange experience with highly qualified and passionate colleagues all other the world.