Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego physiologist Gerald “Jerry” Kooyman received the 2016 International Penguin Congress (IPC) lifetime achievement award in recognition of his lifelong contribution to penguin science. The award was presented during a symposium banquet at the 9th International Penguin Congress (IPC9) in Cape Town, South Africa.
During his scientific career Kooyman, a professor emeritus in the Scripps Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine, conducted research on the comparative anatomy and physiology of respiration in air-breathing vertebrates as well as the exercise physiology and diving behavior of aquatic vertebrates, marine mammals, and marine birds, particularly the emperor penguin. He has studied Weddell seals, leopard seals, and emperor penguins in Antarctica.
The award, presented by local IPC committee head Lauren Waller, a researcher at South Africa-based CapeNature, included a locally made gift of two beaded emperor penguins. Kooyman gave one of the keynote speeches at the conference on emperor penguin colony populations in the Ross Sea from 2000 to 2012.
Kooyman is a scientific fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Zoological Society of London, and the Explorers Club. He is also a member of Sigma Xi, the American Physiological Society, and the American Polar Society.
Kooyman was the first recipient of the Kenneth S. Norris Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Marine Mammalogy and received a Special Creativity Award from the National Science Foundation for his studies on the biology of emperor penguins in Antarctica. Most recently he was awarded lifetime membership in the American Polar Society. One of his favorite honors is the USGS geographical designation of Kooyman Peak in the Queen Elizabeth Range of Antarctica.
The IPC is the primary gathering of the world’s leading scientists, research managers, and policymakers working on penguin biology, ecology, health, and behavior to discuss ongoing research, identify current and emerging conservation issues, and create action plans. Kooyman was selected by the international IPC committee to receive the award.