Stuart Pimm To Be Awarded The Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement!

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | March 9, 2010 9:36 am

pimmI’m thrilled to announce that StuartIndyPimm has just been named one of two recipients of the 2010 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement: “the premier award for environmental science, environmental health and energy conferring great benefit upon mankind. Through their work, Tyler Laureates have focused worldwide attention on environmental problems by their discoveries and the solutions that resulted.”

Stuart is one of the most incredible individuals I’ve had the pleasure of working with. It has been an honor and privilege to reside in The Pimm Group and I’ll miss him most of all from Texas. He has been a mentor, a source of endless encouragement, and most of all, a friend during my time with The Family. Stuart’s research, intense curiosity, and passion to make a difference takes him from the field to the classroom and onto Capitol Hill and the big screen, yet somehow, he’s managed to maintain a terrific sense of humor along the way.

Earth is truly a better place because of scientists like Stuart Pimm and we are all lucky to have him fighting hard everyday to save the planet’s biodiversity.

From the Press Release:

Stuart Pimm has a long career in conservation research, teaching and public policy, and when Pimm’s colleagues refer to his work, they frequently cite its influence as well as its substance.  His Tyler Prize award is made in recognition of his work to delineate the structures of ecological food webs, to understand the expected lifetimes of plant and animal populations, and to determine the populations that are most vulnerable to risks of extinction and those that have the capacity to recover most rapidly from disturbances.  In his letter of nomination for the Tyler Prize, Edward O. Wilson, an emeritus Harvard University professor and himself a Tyler Laureate, said Pimm’s achievements “serve as an environmental conservation template.”

Pimm has studied the structure of ecological communities and the consequences of diminished species diversity across the trophic levels of ecological communities.  In addition, Pimm has developed theory and empirical analysis to address the conservation of endangered species in terms of their communities and populations. Pimm has contributed to more than 200 journal articles, many of them as the lead author or sole author, has managed research projects around the world and has worked as a university-level professor for 36 years.

Pimm is well known for working beyond the scientific community as a policy advisor and source for media interviews.  One of his colleagues, in a letter of support for his nomination for the Tyler Prize, said Pimm’s contributions to conservation science are notable because he cares enough to “find a way to make a difference.”

I’m delighted with this morning’s wonderful news! Stuart shares the 2010 Tyler prize with Laurie Marker, co-founder and executive director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Otjiwarongo, Namibia. Congratulations to both!


Comments (16)

  1. Wonderful news! A well-deserved award.

    This calls for a celebration!

  2. John Kwok


    Didn’t know you had worked closely with Pimm. Without question, he’s one of our foremost ecologists, whose work I was acquainted with years ago, especially in the realm of population ecology.

    On an entirely different note, you should be able to find scientists of similar caliber to Pimm over at the University of Texas, Austin.



  3. John Kwok


    Am especially delighted to hear that Pimm has earned this award, not only because of his important contributions to both community and population ecology, but also because he now joins the ranks of such eminent ecologists as Eugene Odum, E. O. Wilson and Jared Diamond, who have also been so honored.

    Again my congratulations!



  4. bilbo

    Congrats to Dr. Pimm! He’s a deserving recipient.

    …now he needs to be publically shamed for taking such a “bribe” from a group with an obvious agenda for furthering the advancement of enviromental initiatives. That prize makes the Templeton Fellowship look like pocket change! He has clearly been working his entire career to forward a narrative just to receive this award.

    (Sorry. I couldn’t resist.)

  5. Seminatrix

    @ bilbo #4: *snicker*

    But seriously, major congrats to Stuart. He’s easily one of our best living scientists, period.

  6. bilbo

    Oh, Seminatrix, perhaps you misunderstood me. Here – let me put it this way:

    “When I claimed that the (Tyler Prize) Foundation was engaged in bribing (scientists and industry innovators), I didn’t mean that they directly paid off those (scientists and industry innvators) for writing articles that blurred the lines between (scientific neutrality and the economics of green energy policy). It’s nothing so crass as that. What I meant was that (Tyler) creates a climate in which (scientists and industry innovators) who take a certain line in their (research) can expect sizable monetary and career rewards”

    Clearer now?

  7. Seminatrix

    Oh goodness…

  8. blogger

    Congratulations to Dr. Pimm!

    Bilbo, You should be clear about referencing Jerry Coyne’s sad display of poor behavior with a link:

    Coyne seems intent on embarrassing himself publicly these days.

  9. Philip Jr.

    …but we can’t like Dr. Stuart Pimm – he’s a Christian and an accommodationist!!!

    It’s all his fault that we have creationism and environmental destruction to begin with! He’s a hypocrite of the worst regard – intellectually dishonest!!!

    (Hopefully my sarcasm is duly noted. Congratulations, Dr. Pimm. You’ve had an entire career that has earned this.)

  10. bilbo

    Oh Philip, we all know that E.O. Wilson and Stuart Pimm are two of the world’s biggest accommodationists.

    And we know that they’ve certainly failed in the scientific arena. What losers.

  11. Bob S.

    A Christian AND an accommodationist?!! By Pharyngula standards, we should all be hurling violent/sexually-explicit epithets at him, because that’s being intellectually dishonest.”

    But more appropriately – congratulations to Pimm! He’s earned it.

  12. Guy

    I think it would be better to have a person like Dr. Stuart Pimm as a mentor rather than someone on an anti-religious crusade.

    Congrats to Dr. Stuart Pimm.

  13. Passerby

    They forgot to list your name in “The Family”

  14. Alexa

    Sheril’s there at the top with her book. She’s not in the “students” column.
    Congratulations Dr. Pimm!


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About Sheril Kirshenbaum

Sheril Kirshenbaum is a research scientist with the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin's Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy where she works on projects to enhance public understanding of energy issues as they relate to food, oceans, and culture. She is involved in conservation initiatives across levels of government, working to improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public. Sheril is the author of The Science of Kissing, which explores one of humanity's fondest pastimes. She also co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama's science advisor John Holdren as his top recommended read. Sheril contributes to popular publications including Newsweek, The Washington Post, Discover Magazine, and The Nation, frequently covering topics that bridge science and society from climate change to genetically modified foods. Her writing is featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010. In 2006 Sheril served as a legislative Knauss science fellow on Capitol Hill with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) where she was involved in energy, climate, and ocean policy. She also has experience working on pop radio and her work has been published in Science, Fisheries Bulletin, Oecologia, and Issues in Science and Technology. In 2007, she helped to found Science Debate; an initiative encouraging candidates to debate science research and innovation issues on the campaign trail. Previously, Sheril was a research associate at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and has served as a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. She has contributed reports to The Nature Conservancy and provided assistance on international protected area projects. Sheril serves as a science advisor to NPR's Science Friday and its nonprofit partner, Science Friday Initiative. She also serves on the program committee for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She speaks regularly around the country to audiences at universities, federal agencies, and museums and has been a guest on such programs as The Today Show and The Daily Rundown on MSNBC. Sheril is a graduate of Tufts University and holds two masters of science degrees in marine biology and marine policy from the University of Maine. She co-hosts The Intersection on Discover blogs with Chris Mooney and has contributed to DeSmogBlog, Talking Science, Wired Science and Seed. She was born in Suffern, New York and is also a musician. Sheril lives in Austin, Texas with her husband David Lowry. Interested in booking Sheril Kirshenbaum to speak at your next event? Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau 866.376.6591 For more information, visit her website or email Sheril at


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