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Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Dr Lorien Pichegru, a marine biologist at Mandela University and Acting Director of the Coastal and Marine Research Institute, has received the Chevalier de l’Ordre du Merite (Knight of the Order of Merit) award from the ambassador of France in SA.

This award honours individuals for their distinguished civil achievements and is very much deserved by Lorien who has dedicated her life to the conservation of the marine environment in our country.

Her work includes testing conservation measures for African penguins in Algoa Bay and South Africa to try and prevent the only penguin in Africa from becoming extinct. She also works with the Wildlife and Environment Society of SA (WESSA) and Bayworld, in presenting a public talks series called “Know Your Bay”, sharing information on biodiversity in the Metro along with its history and environmental issues, such as energy and water. In addition, she helps the Sustainable Seas Trust with their programme, “Zero Plastic to the Sea of Africa”.

On accepting the award from Ambassador Aurelien Lechevallier, Lorien shared the honour with colleagues from South African National Parks (SANParks), the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB), BirdLife SA, and Bayworld as well as the Sustainable Seas Trust.

Next on her agenda is to have Algoa Bay proclaimed a World Heritage Site. Exploration around this has begun with the Wilderness Foundation Africa and Dr Andrew Muir, assisted by the French embassy.

In 2018, Lorien became an Honorary Consul for France to assist French citizens with various issues. During the lockdown period she was involved in rescuing mariners stuck in Gqeberha when their sailing expedition was derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Contact information
Dr Lorien Pichegru
Research Fellow
Tel: +27 78 844 38 63