Penn Biologist to Receive Blue Planet Prize

June 19, 2014

Penn biologist Daniel Janzen has been chosen to receive a 2014 Blue Planet Prize, an international environmental award sponsored by the Asahi Glass Foundation. The award announcement recognizes Janzen and Costa Rica’s Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad for work on sustainable development, environmental education, and conservation of biodiversity. 

Janzen is the DiMaura Professor of Biology. He has studied and catalogued the biodiversity of Costa Rica for more than four decades, involving local people in the research and restoration work. Together with his wife, Penn biologist Winnie Hallwachs, Janzen helped create the Área de Conservación Guanacaste, a tropical forest reserve covering 163,000 hectares in northwestern Costa Rica.

Janzen’s work has earned him honors including the 2011 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Ecology and Conservation Biology, the 2003 John Scott Award from the City Trusts of Philadelphia, and the Kyoto Prize in Basic Biology in 1997. In 1984 Janzen received the first Crafoord Prize in biology, awarded by the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences. He also won the Albert Einstein World Award for Science, presented by the World Cultural Council, in 2002. Janzen, a former MacArthur Fellow, joined Penn’s faculty in 1976 and has received the School’s Ira H. Abrams Memorial Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Two Blue Planet Prizes are awarded each year to individuals or organizations “that make outstanding achievements in scientific research and its application and, in so doing, help to solve global environmental problems.”

The award will be presented on November 12 at the Palace Hotel Tokyo. Commemorative lectures by the prize recipients will be given on November 13 at United Nations University in Tokyo.