Dr. David Wake, professor of integrative biology and curator of herpetology at the University of California, Berkeley, will receive the Joseph Leidy Award at a free public lecture and ceremony at The Academy of Natural Sciences on Tuesday, Feb. 7.
Wake has studied amphibians for more than 40 years. Since the 1970s, Wake and other biologists have monitored their alarmingly steady decline in every part of the world but have been unable to pinpoint one single culprit. Habitat loss, pollution, over-harvesting and a recently discovered fungal disease can explain the disappearance of only about half the decline, according to the National Wildlife Federation.
"We selected Dr. Wake for the award in recognition of his ground-breaking work in conservation biology, with a particular focus on the worldwide disappearance of amphibians and for his many outstanding contributions to systematics and evolutionary biology," said Academy President and CEO Dr. D. James Baker.
Established in 1923 in honor of Dr. Joseph Leidy (1823-1891), anatomist, paleontologist and Academy president, the award consists of a bronze medal and $5,000. Leidy helped popularize dinosaurs when he described the first dinosaur discovered in America, Hadrosaurus foulkii, which became the first mounted dinosaur when it went on display at the Academy in 1868. Past recipients of the Leidy medal include ornithologist James Bond, biologist G. Evelyn Hutchinson and entomologist Edward O. Wilson.
Wake's appearance at the Academy on Feb. 7 coincides with the traveling exhibition on display in the museum, Frogs--A Chorus of Colors. The exhibit will be open specially that night for the lecture audience. Wake's talk entitled "Disappearing Amphib
Contact: Carolyn Belardo
The Academy of Natural Sciences