World Water Day 2011: U.S. Scientist named Stockholm prize laureate

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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Mar. 22, 2011 -- In connection with World Water Day being celebrated around the globe today, a professor from the U.S. has been named the winner of the 2011 Stockholm Water Prize.

Stephen Carpenter, professor of Zoology and Limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison had led research over the years on strategies for dealing with eutrophication and provided a practical framework for the management of freshwater resources.

Among the world's most highly-cited researchers in environmental science, professor Carpenter, 59, is best known for his work on trophic cascades in lakes. This concept describes how impacts of any species in an ecosystem will cascade up or down the food chain.

An example suggests that by overfishing large fish, there will be an increase in small fish, which will help decrease the abundance of zooplankton further down the food chain. Ultimately, this would increase the growth of algae and amplify the effects of eutrophication. By seeking collaboration outside of academia, he has managed to link research to both policy and practice.

Born in 1952, Professor Carpenter holds a Ph.D in Botany/Oceanography and Limnology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and a affiliate of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The Stockholm Water Prize Nominating committee said: "Professor Carpenter has shown outstanding leadership in setting the ecological research agenda, integrating it into a socio-ecological context, and in providing guidance for the management of aquatic resources."

Founded in 1991, last year's winner was Dr Rita Colwell, distinguished professor from the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health in the U.S.. (see Water & Wastewater International story).

Recognised as one of this century's most influential voices in science, technology and policy associated with water and health, Dr Colwell's research on the prevention of waterborne infectious diseases has helped protect the health and lives of millions (see WWi video interview).

H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden will present the prize to Professor Carpenter at a royal award ceremony during the World Water Week in Stockholm on August 25.

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