College of Arts & Sciences

UNCW’s William McLellan Nominated for 2018 Indianapolis Prize

UNCW research associate William McLellan is a nominee for the 2018 Indianapolis Prize, the world’s leading award for animal conservation.

McLellan is a marine mammologist and an expert in cetacean necropsy focusing on large whales. He is internationally recognized for his work to protect right whales, which contributed to U.S. regulations that reduced vessel speeds approaching ports and decreased the chance of vessel strike. McLellan serves on the Board of the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium and sits on five Take Reduction Teams in the Atlantic that work to reduce marine mammal bycatch in commercial fisheries.

The Indianapolis Zoo awards the Indianapolis Prize to animal conservationists for their efforts to preserve endangered species and develop conservation techniques and practices. Thirty-two conservationists are being recognized this year with nominations; five finalists will each receive $10,000 and the winner will receive a $250,000 cash award, as well as the Lilly Medal. Eli Lilly and Company Foundation funds the program. 

“It is an honor to be recognized with this nomination,” said McLellan. “I hope that this recognition will be helpful to the cause of recovering whale species around the world, and especially the critically endangered north Atlantic right whale.”

McLellan joined UNCW’s Department of Biology and Marine Biology in 1995. He co-coordinates the Marine Mammal Program with Dr. Ann Pabst and is the North Carolina State Stranding Coordinator. McLellan is a member of the UNCW Office of Research Administration’s Five Million Dollar Club, which honors researchers that have received more than five million dollars in sponsored funding. He has co-authored over 100 scientific articles published in peer-reviewed journals.

--Gena Guthrie