Kenneth Lee Marten

1978 Laureate, Environment
United States, 1946-2010

Project Goal

Save the Abyssinian wolf in Ethiopia by developing a conservation programme

Location: Ethiopia

"Because of the Award … I have been able to progress and carry out very important work in terms of trying to save endangered animals on the planet."

War prevented Kenneth Marten from carrying through his project to work with Ethiopian authorities on a management plan for the rare Abyssinian wolf. But he used his Rolex Award to complete a conservation study of the African wild dog. And his scientific learning and passion for conservation led to new endeavours and a remarkable career in other areas, including the protection of dolphins. Marten, now director of research for Project Delphis based in Hawaii, describes his 1978 Rolex Award as an amazing act of faith by the Selection Committee. A part-time teaching assistant at the University of California at Berkeley while completing his zoology doctorate, Marten had planned a project combining science and conservation to protect the Abyssinian wolf Canis simensis (also known as the Simèn fox).

Kenneth Lee Marten died in 2010.


year in which Marten visited Ethiopia and discovered the wolf faced extinction in several areas


year in which Somalia invaded Ethiopia, derailing Kenneth's wolf recovery plan


period during which Marten conducted his research and conservation study, forming the basis of his doctoral thesis


years in which Marten helped create a computer dolphins can use to make choices and perform tasks

Other 1978 Laureates