A Tribute to Dr. Hermann Awo

November 19, 2021

Hermann Awo was a genuinely honourable man.

There are few who can wear this mantle, and so young; who have that inherent character embedded into their very being, but Hermann was one of these rarities.

Quietly enthusiastic and passionate about his chosen academic path, he was available for everyone, whatever was happening. In every moment, of every day, he fought for life—for his family, better communities, and the biodiversity he treasured. But his was not a haphazard approach to these loves. He did everything with the careful intent of a natural investigator—an examiner of truths—and always to professional standards that lifted the whole team he worked with. Always smiling, calm and reflective, he was cherished by his peers, and inspired them to do more. Yet, all these attributes were unconscious to him. They were just his natural being.

His family was foremost in his mind, and he wanted them to feel proud of his scientific achievements—his mission to fill a data gap in Benin. He dreamt of doing more in manatee science, too. For those who relied upon his work, he was a motivated partner in conservation. His quiet assurance and composed confidence produced profound results and leaps in knowledge in a region that needs champions like Hermann.

His loss will be felt by those he loved and what he loved for decades to come.