'Lord of the Ants' wins major environment award
Wednesday 09 February 2011
A leading US biologist known as the Lord of the Ants for his groundbreaking study of insects won a 400,000-euro ($546,000) Spanish award Tuesday for his life's work.
Edward Wilson, 81, was the first scientist to describe the social behaviour of ants, the BBVA Foundation said in a statement after conferring on him its Frontiers of Knowledge Award for ecology and conservation.
Wilson succeeded in deciphering ants' use of pheromones as a chemical language to communicate and plan routes, it said.
The biologist also coined and popularised the term biodiversity, the prize jury said.
His studies spread into other fields including a seminal work on island habitats, and he provided the basis for the new field of evolutionary psychology, the jury said.
Informed of the jury's decision on the eve of the announcement, Wilson said he saw the prize as a "culminating award" that recognised the advance of knowledge in the broadest sense, the foundation said.
Wilson, emeritus professor at Harvard University, had not lost his interest in ants, it added.
"I will certainly enjoy looking out for them when I come to Madrid for the award ceremony," he was quoted as saying.
"They have the most complex social systems of any creatures on Earth apart from humans. People often ask me how I can connect ants to people and I point out that the study of ants has had a huge impact on the study of human behaviour."
Greenland’s dark snow may start global warming ‘feedback loop’
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
Climate change means rate of growth of trees has gone up by 77%
Animal Extinction - the greatest threat to mankind
BMC GF01 Ultegra Disc Road Bike, review: Road bike brakes are going through a revolution
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...
£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...
£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...