TORONTO, Oct. 24, 2014 /CNW/ - An award winning researcher and lifelong teacher, Dr. Charles Krebs was awarded today with the Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research by The W. Garfield Weston Foundation. For over fifty-five years, Dr. Krebs has studied diverse mammal populations in the north – from reindeer to snowshoe hares. His groundbreaking work on small rodents led to the discovery of the fence effect, later dubbed the Krebs effect. This research demonstrated the impact a rodent-proof fence had on the population increase of field mice when all other control factors remained the same.
The $50,000 Weston Family Prize recognizes a leading northern researcher in natural science and is the largest of its kind. It is administered by the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS) and awarded by the Churchill Northern Studies Centre.
"The honouring of Dr. Krebs embodies what the Northern Research prize was designed to do – recognizing a researcher for an outstanding body of work," said Geordie Dalglish, Chair of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation's Northern Committee. "His contributions to ecology research and his commitment to knowledge sharing are among the many reasons we are pleased to recognize him."
A Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Krebs is one of the world's preeminent field ecologists. Accolades for his work are numerous and include Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Norwegian Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Australian Academy of Science and of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales. He has also been awarded the President's Medal from the Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution and is an Honorary Professor in the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Zoology.
"I am honoured to have worked with so many colleagues and students who share my passion for understanding the North," said Dr. Krebs. "This honour only re-energizes me to keep sharing my knowledge and continue with the research I began over half a century ago."
A collaborator by nature, Dr. Krebs has also worked closely with Canada's Territorial Governments, including a long-term monitoring program in the Yukon – the Community Ecological Monitoring Program. This is a freely available data source that all Canadians can access to monitor changes happening in this part of the North.
According to Michael Goodyear, who knew Dr. Krebs while Executive Director of the Churchill Northern Studies Centre, "Dr. Krebs has dedicated a lifetime to the study of northern ecosystems and inspired and worked with so many of today's top northern researchers. He has used his more than 40 years of rigorous, yet elegant research to illustrate the fundamentals of population ecology to countless thousands of students, myself included."
The Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research was created in 2011 to honour leading northern researchers who have advanced our knowledge of Canada's northern environment, and significantly contributed to better our understanding of the physical and biological environments, ecosystems, demographics of the North, and evolving climate issues. Previous winners have included Dr. Serge Payette (2011) and Dr. Louis Fortier (2012) and Dr. John Smol (2013).
The Foundation's support is a catalyst that enables leading Canadian scientists to pursue rigorous exploration of Canada's North. Since 2007, over 130 scholarships have been awarded to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from 27 different Universities. The W. Garfield Weston Foundation is committed to ensuring that Weston scholars are well positioned to pursue their passions in northern research.
"Dr. Krebs' scientific contributions exemplify the world class nature and global reach of Canada's northern researchers. The impact of Dr. Krebs work can be felt in research facilities around the world, including numerous governments, universities and non-government organizations," noted Peter Geller, President, ACUNS. "He is well known within academic circles for generosity, compassion and commitment. Dr. Krebs is a strong advocate for ensuring that his students are able to experience the North first hand."
The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
The W. Garfield Weston Foundation is a private Canadian family foundation, established in the 1950's by Willard Garfield Weston, his wife Reta and their children. For three generations, the Foundation has maintained a family tradition of supporting charitable organizations across Canada, with resources directed to projects in the fields of land conservation, education, and neuroscience. In addition, the organization is the largest private supporter of scientific research in northern Canada. Through its Northern Committee, the Foundation supports leading scientists and fosters innovative collaborations. Most recently, it enabled private partners to join the Victoria Strait Expedition, which contributed to the successful discovery of one of the lost Franklin ships, HMS Erebus.
About Churchill Northern Studies Centre
Founded in 1976, the Churchill Northern Studies Centre is an independent, non-profit research and education facility located 23 km east of the town of Churchill, Manitoba. In addition to research, the Centre facilitates a wide range of educational programming ranging from general interest courses for the visiting public to university credit courses for students.
For over thirty years the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS) has successfully promoted the advancement of northern scholarship through its mandate and programs. Established in 1978, ACUNS is a registered charitable organization operating with an office in Ottawa, and active volunteer representatives at over 40 member institutions across the country.
SOURCE: The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
For further information: Ryan Lockhart, Environics Communications, 416-969-2749, [email protected]