UT Knoxville Researcher Earns Top Enviro Prize

Jul 23, 2012

MURFREESBORO, Tenn, (WMOT)  --  A University of Tennessee researcher has been awarded the world’s top prize in the field of environmental science.

UT Knoxville’s Dr. Daniel Simberloff has won Spains 2012 Ramon Margalef Award for Ecology. Simberloff specializes in the study of invasive species.

Although he's conducted research worldwide, Simberloff says he doesn’t have to leave Tennessee to find invasive species.  He notes, for instance, the imported insects that are currently killing Tennessee’s hemlocks and ash trees.

Dr. Simberloff says invasive species can impact your health and wallet.

“You’ve probably heard about the bat white-nose syndrome, which is an introduced pathogen that’s now killing bats. Bats, or course, eat huge numbers of insects so the impact both on human health and on agriculture would be enormous.”

Semberloff is also one of only a handful of Tennesseans to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He’ll be traveling to Spain in the October to pick up his prize and a $100,000 cash award.