Imperial College London

Conservation and biodiversity research wins international prize for British scientist


Imperial conservation scientist named as Cosmos Prize winner<em> - News Release</em>

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Division of Biology

NERC Centre for Population Biology

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International Cosmos Prize

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Imperial College London press release

For immediate use
Thursday 5 July 2007

Professor MaceResearch on conservation, biodiversity, and extinction risk is recognised with the announcement of the winner of the prestigious 2007 International Cosmos Prize. This year's award goes to Professor Georgina Mace FRS  , Director of the NERC Centre for Population Biology at Imperial College London, who was recently awarded the CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

The International Cosmos Prize is an annual award presented by the Expo '90 Foundation. The foundation seeks to recognise scientists who look at the big picture of all life on earth, and who take a holistic approach to managing mankind's impact on the natural environment.

Professor Mace, formerly Director of Science at the Zoological Society of London, has been based at Imperial's NERC Centre for Population Biology since 2006. Her current research focuses on the pressing issues of global environmental changes, and their potential impacts on biodiversity and people.

Her research career began with an interest in the differences between species and the respective roles of evolutionary history and environmental factors. Later she began to study the consequences for individual species of reduced population sizes, and options for conserving threatened species in the wild and in breeding programmes. This work led to her 10-year involvement with the IUCN (World Conservation Union) Red Lists of threatened species, during which time she led the work to define the criteria for species being included on the list of the world's most endangered species.

The 40 million yen International Cosmos Prize will be presented to Professor Mace at a special ceremony in Osaka, Japan on 4 October 2007. Professor Mace will travel to Japan to receive the award, and to deliver commemorative lectures in both Osaka and Tokyo. She will also meet the Crown Prince of Japan and attend a symposium of environmental scientists held in her honour.

On hearing news of receiving the award, Professor Mace said: "I am very honoured to be awarded the 2007 International Cosmos Prize, and proud to be included among the many inspirational scientists who have received this award previously. Over the past 25 years I have been very fortunate to have worked with many people who have supported and encouraged me and the work I have done in conservation biology. I regard this prize as a testament to them – without them I would have little to show."

The Expo '90 Foundation was set up following Expo '90 with the aim of honouring scientists that uphold the theme of the original event: namely "the harmonious coexistence of nature and mankind." Previous winners of the International Cosmos Prize include Sir David Attenborough (2000), Professor Richard Dawkins (1997), and the scientific team from the Charles Darwin Research Station on the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador (2002).

For more information please contact:

Danielle Reeves, Imperial College London Press Office,
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 2198
Mob: +44 (0)7803 886248

Notes to editors:

1. About Imperial College London

Rated as the world's ninth best university in the 2006 Times Higher Education Supplement University Rankings, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts 11,500 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality.

Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that improve quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.

With 66 Fellows of the Royal Society among our current academic staff and distinguished past members of the College including 14 Nobel Laureates and two Fields Medallists, Imperial's contribution to society has been immense. Inventions and innovations include the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography and the foundations of fibre optics. This commitment to the application of our research for the benefit of all continues today with current focuses including interdisciplinary collaborations to tackle climate change and mathematical modelling to predict and control the spread of infectious diseases.

The College's 100 years of living science will be celebrated throughout 2007 with a range of events to mark the Centenary of the signing of Imperial's founding charter on 8 July 1907.


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