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Prof Alan Hildrew wins major ecology prize

An academic from Queen Mary, University of London has won the prestigious International Ecology Institute (ECI) prize for 2012, due to be presented at a ceremony in October.

Professor Alan Hildrew will be the 27th recipient of the prize, awarded annually to “an ecologist distinguished by outstanding and sustained scientific achievements”.

He said: “This is among the most prestigious international prizes in ecology, so of course I am absolutely delighted to be receiving the award for 2012.

“An obligation of the prize is to write a book so it will be an interesting challenge to present my work to a more general audience. However, fresh waters are a vital resource and under intense and growing pressure all over the world, so I look forward to interesting people in these dynamic and fascinating ecological systems.”

Professor Hildrew has contributed a significant body of knowledge of the ecology of streams and rivers since he first began publishing his research in the 1970s.

He has helped show how biological interactions, food webs and predator–prey relations combine with water chemistry, the structure of the bed, and the physical effects of vigorous water flow to explain the complex changes in invertebrate communities that occur both naturally and with impacts such as acidification.

Dean for Research in Queen Mary’s Faculty for Science and Engineering, Professor Wen Wang, said: “It is an outstanding achievement and well-deserved recognition of Alan’s work.

“He has dedicated most of his life to the understanding of the ecology of streams and rivers, and the ecological and wider scientific communities are better informed because of it.”

Professor Hildrew will receive the €6000 2012 ECI Prize on 11 October at Oldendorf, Germany where he will present a talk entitled ‘Titrating the landscape: the ecology of freshwater acidification’.

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