SARAS Director, Dr. Marten Scheffer, receives award in Ecology and Conservation Biology


Dr. Marten Scheffer has been distinguished by The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Ecology and Conservation Biology category, for contributing decisively to what the jury describes as "one of the major challenges" of this scientific discipline: to understand and, where possible, anticipate, ecosystem responses to human-induced alterations of the natural environment.

In this ninth edition, the award was given to Dr. Marten Scheffer and the ecologist Gene E. Likens. Likens revealed the impact across North America of acid rain, a phenomenon with severe environmental consequences, and Scheffer subsequently showed that human action, though gradual, can trigger abrupt and fundamental ecosystem shifts of a potentially irreversible nature. The work of the American and Dutch ecologists is today instrumental in informing decisions on how to confront pollution risks, and policies to manage ecosystems safely, and even successfully restore them after serious deterioration.

According to the press release of the BBVA Foundation on February 7th 2017 (Madrid) , both scientists "have transformed our understanding of how human activities are changing the structure and function of natural ecosystems, and provided tools to inform ecosystem management."

To read the full press release, please click here.

Listen Marten Scheffer's interview here

About Saras

The South American Institute for Resilience and Sustainability Studies (SARAS) is an emerging transdisciplinary institute designed to generate critical insights allowing South America to build sustainable futures. It seeks integration across a broad range of knowledge using innovative approaches and integrating social and natural sciences, mathematics and arts.

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