India-born biologist bags world's 1st major int'l award

India-born biologist Kamal Bawa has bagged the world's first international award for outstanding scientific work that promotes sustainable development globally.

Dr Bawa, distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, will receive the Gunnerus Sustainability Award from the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters (DKNVS) at a function in Trondheim, Norway on April 17, an official announcement said.

"We are very pleased to have selected such a worthy winner of the first Gunnerus award," said Professor Kristian Fossheim, president of DKNVS.

The Gunnerus award is the first major international prize for outstanding scientific work that promotes sustainable development globally, and will be awarded every two years starting in 2012.

Dr Bawa is most noted for his pioneering work on population biology in rainforest areas.His wide span of research includes groundbreaking biological discoveries made in Central America, Western Ghats in India and the Himalayas.

He is specially noted for the establishment, and as President, of Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) in Bangalore. Until recently, he also held Ruffolo Giorgio Fellowship in Sustainability Science and Bullard Fellowship at Harvard University.

"I am very pleased over the recognition that our work has received," Dr Bawa said. The award is named after DKNVS' founder Bishop Johan Ernst Gunnerus (1718-1773) and is the result of collaboration between DKNVS, Sparebank1 SMN and the society Technoport.

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