Bill Laurance wins ‘Outstanding Contributions to Conservation’ prize

16 02 2015

ZSL-standard-blackWilliam Laurance, a distinguished research professor at James Cook University in Cairns, has received the most esteemed prize awarded by the renowned Zoological Society of London.

The Society voted unanimously to honour Laurance with its 2015 “Award for Outstanding Contributions to Conservation”, for his longstanding work to save wildlife species and habitats, especially in the world’s imperilled tropical forests.

Laurance was cited as “a leading scientist, a science communicator and an advocate for conservation policy.”

The recognition was immediately applauded by several of Laurance’s colleagues.

“Bill’s passion for conservation is matched only by his hard work, his vision and communication skills,” said professor Thomas Lovejoy, a leading U.S. scientist and former environmental advisor to three US presidents.

“His scientific contributions have been both prescient and catalytic. He is one of the great conservation figures of his time,” said Lovejoy.

Professor Corey Bradshaw of the University of Adelaide added, “Bill is undoubtedly one of the most influential biodiversity scientists of our era.”

“He is not only a scientific giant – his dedication to communicating his findings to the general public and politicians means he is so much more effective than most in driving societal change,” said Bradshaw.

Last year Laurance was recognised by James Cook University with its “Outstanding Achievements in Research Prize.”

He has also received several other important awards. In 2009 he and Lovejoy co-won the “BBVA Frontiers in Ecology and Conservation Biology Award,” likened by many to a Nobel Prize in the environmental sciences.

“I was completely shell-shocked to hear about this terrific honour from the Zoological Society of London,” said Laurance. “I am truly grateful to the Society for this recognition.”

At James Cook University, Laurance is the director of the Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science, a research group with nearly 100 scientists working in over 40 nations around the world.

He also founded and directs ALERT—the Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers and Thinkers, an international scientific organisation that advocates for nature conservation.


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17 02 2015
Priya Davidar

Congratulations to Bill Laurance. Well deserved

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