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News Story - 2011 Martha T. Muse Prize awarded to BAS marine ecologist Dr José Xavier

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Date: 25 Jul 2011

Dr. José Xavier, a marine ecologist at the Institute of Marine Research of the University of Coimbra in Portugal and the British Antarctic Survey in UK, has been awarded the 2011 Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica.

Beginning with his doctoral research (Ph.D. Cambridge University, 2003), Dr. Xavier has conducted outstanding research on the predator-prey dynamics that sustain populations of albatrosses, penguins, and other top predators in the Southern Ocean. One example of his leadership in this field is his recent publication of a comprehensive monograph on cephalopods, an important top predators prey, titled “Cephalopods beak guide for the Southern Ocean” (Xavier and Cherel 2009), that will be a great aid to many Antarctic researchers.

“It is AMAZING and a true honour to receive such a prestigious prize”, said Dr. Xavier. “Such a prize will strengthen and open new doors to international collaborations, agreeing with the true spirit of how Antarctic science is carried out today!”

The Prize, which carries with it a $100K monetary award, is supported by the Tinker Foundation, whose founding director was Martha T. Muse. The Prize is inspired by Martha Muse’s passion for Antarctica and is intended to be a legacy of the International Polar Year 2007–2008.

The prize selection committee of leading Antarctic scientists and policy makers also cited his leadership in the establishment of a new and thriving Antarctic research program in Portugal during the International Polar Year (IPY, 2007–2008) and in launching a highly successful educational program, LATITUDE 60! during the IPY. Furthermore, Dr. Xavier was an active leader, as member of the executive committee, in the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) between 2007–2009 and was an active member of the IPY Education and Outreach sub-committee, contributing significantly for making Portugal an example worldwide in terms of science, education and outreach during IPY. He has also been recognized by being invited to serve in various scientific research committees, expert groups and international research programmes.

The Prize ceremony will take place at the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity, to be held at Aberdeen, 26th – 30th September, 2011.

Notes for editors:

The Martha T. Muse Prize

The Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica is a US$ 100,000 unrestricted award presented to an individual in the fields of Antarctic science or policy that has demonstrated potential for sustained and significant contributions that will enhance the understanding and/or preservation of Antarctica. The Tinker Foundation’s goal is to establish a prestigious award that recognizes excellence in Antarctic research by honouring someone in the early to mid-stages of his or her career. The Prize is inspired by Martha T. Muse’s passion for Antarctica and is intended to be a legacy of the International Polar Year 2007–2008.

The prize-winner can be from any country and work in any field of Antarctic science or policy. The goal is to provide recognition of the important work being done by the individual and to call attention to the significance of understanding Antarctica in a time of change.

The Prize is awarded by the Tinker Foundation and administered by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR).

The 2011 Prize Ceremony

The Prize ceremony will take place at the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity, Aberdeen, 26th – 30th September, 2011. The World Conference on Marine Biodiversity has the overall aim of bringing together scientists, practitioners and the public to discuss and advance our understanding of the issues surrounding the importance of biodiversity in the marine environment.

Contact:

Dr José Xavier (currently in San Francisco until 10th of August), mobile +35 1936728419 email jccx@cantab.net

Dr Renuka Badhe, mobile +44 7889719766, email rb302@cam.ac.uk