Scripps Institution of Oceanography Scientist Receives International Award in Ecology and Conservation


Renowned marine ecologist Jeremy Jackson, a professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego has been selected as co-recipient of the International Award for Research In Ecology and Conservation Biology by the BBVA Foundation, Madrid, Spain.

BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria) is the second largest bank in Spain, and its foundation specializes in promoting scientific research in the areas of social science, biomedicine and the environment. Jackson's co-recipient is marine biologist Juan Carlos Castilla, a professor at the Catholic University of Chile in Santiago. The two will split a cash prize of $658,200 ($500,000 Euros) to be awarded at ceremonies in Madrid at a date to be determined.

"This prize recognizes the important work being carried out by both scientists to address the challenges of nature conservation," said Rafael Pardo Avellaneda, BBVA Foundation director. "They have made outstanding contributions to understanding and articulating human impacts on marine ecosystems worldwide."

Tony Haymet, director of Scripps Institution, said, "Jeremy Jackson is a world leader in the study of marine life ecology and evolution who is making a significant impact not only in science but also in reaching out to the public and decision-makers with crucial messages about the declining state of our oceans."

In 2001, Jackson led an international team of scientists in a study of the destructive consequences of overfishing on marine ecosystems over hundreds of years. The study, which appeared in the journal Science, gives a sobering new insight into efforts to restore and replenish biodiversity in the oceans.

He is co-founder of the Shifting Baselines Media Campaign, a public educational program bringing together ocean conservation scientists and organizations with filmmakers and producers in Hollywood. The campaign has developed unconventional outreach materials, such as public service announcements with famous actors or comic settings. The program can be viewed on the Internet at

Jackson's current research includes the long-term ecological effects of overfishing on coastal ecosystems and the ecological and evolutionary consequences of the formation of the Isthmus of Panama, which divided the Pacific and Atlantic oceans about 3 million years ago. In addition to his appointment at Scripps, Jackson also holds a senior scientist position at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in the Republic of Panama.

Jackson is the author of more than 100 scientific publications and five books. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and received the Secretary's Gold Medal for Exceptional Service of the Smithsonian Institution in 1997 and the Faculty Excellence Award for research in science and engineering from the UCSD Chancellor's Associates in 2002. He has served on committees of the National Research Council, the Advisory Board of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, and the Science Commission of the Smithsonian Institution.

Jackson and his wife, Professor Nancy Knowlton, director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Oceanography, live in La Jolla, California.

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