CORVALLIS, Ore. – Jane Lubchenco, the Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology at Oregon State University, has received the Zayed International Prize for the Environment, in recognition of her accomplishments as “a world leader in environmental sciences.”
Lubchenco shares the “scientific and technological achievement” category of this award with V. Ramanathan, an atmospheric physicist from India. It includes a trophy and diploma, plus $300,000 to be divided between the two winners, and will be presented at ceremonies next month in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The international award jury cited Lubchenco’s “discovery of the fundamental ecological and evolutionary relationship among animals and plants in complex coastal ecosystems.” They also recognized work she has done to help understand the impact of aquaculture on world fish supplies, and studies on the distribution, abundance and biodiversity of species.
Previous recipients of this prize include three scientists who helped create the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the collective work of the World Commission on Dams and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. The Zayed Prize is awarded every two years. It was established by H.H. Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, in recognition of the philosophy, vision and achievements of former President Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. It recognizes and promotes pioneering contributions in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development.
Winners in other categories of the Zayed Prize have included President Jimmy Carter, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), and former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Lubchenco, who received her doctorate in marine ecology from Harvard University, does research on marine biology, the causes and consequences of global changes, and sustainable ecological systems.
She has received multiple career honors and awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship, the Heinz Award for the Environment, nine honorary degrees and other major awards. She is past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Ecological Society of America, and the International Council for Science.
Lubchenco co-founded two organizations that communicate scientific knowledge to the public and policy makers. The Leopold Leadership Program teaches outstanding academic environmental scientists to be effective leaders and communicators, and the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS) enhances communication of marine sciences. She is also lead investigator of the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO), a collaboration of universities to understand the coastal ecosystems off Washington, Oregon and California.