Dr Tan is recognised for his holistic approach to blending research with outreach and conservation education.
After publishing his doctoral research on clouded leopards, Cedric used videos and signature campaigns to inform the public about the importance of the Ulu Muda forest in Malaysia as a water source, which eventually convinced the government to revoke logging permits.
The award recognises conservationists within the first ten years of their careers who do exceptional work in making real impact on conservation issues in Asia and who demonstrate the use of innovative approaches to conservation.
“I am extremely honoured and delighted to have received this prestigious award,” said Cedric. “With my teaching and research, I hope that I can continue inspiring our future generations to contribute in every way possible to the preservation of wildlife."
Cedric uses games to teach serious scientific concepts and has mentored many young conservationists from more than 20 countries in Asia.
A recent example of Cedric’s innovative work is the development of an immersive escape room which he has created with a collaborator thanks to two major grants.
Trialled at Oxford’s Science Ideas Festival in October, the escape room encourages participants to empathise with endangered species, finding ways to change their fate.
“Our grant from British Ecological Society will enable us to make a portable version of the escape room for schools. A National Geographic Society Education grant will enable us to bring the escape room to Malaysia, Singapore and Austria. We are also conducting research on the effects of this activity on people's attitudes and behaviour towards conservation issues,” comments Cedric.
The Society for Conservation Biology Asia Section presented Dr. Tan with his award at the Society’s 2019 International Congress for Conservation Biology in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.