The Ecological Society of Japan

Call for applicants for the 17th Biwako Prize for Ecology

Kihachiro Kikuzawa (Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the Biwako Prize for Ecology)

The Biwako Prize for Ecology is awarded to outstanding researchers in the field of aquatic ecology and related disciplines that are under the age of 50 years. This year, the 17th prize will be awarded. Historically Shiga Prefecture has organized this prize (until the 14th award), but the Ecological Society of Japan took responsibility for this thereafter. An explanation as to why Shiga Prefecture stopped and the Ecological Society of Japan commenced organizing this internationally established award was provided in the text of the 15th edition, so is not repeated here.

“What are the benefits for applicants and recipients if they won’t receive a monetary prize?” I think there are many. Prize money can be spent, but the honor of being awarded this prestigious prize is everlasting.

Previously Dr. Hisato Iwata and Dr. Taikan Oki were awarded this prize. Dr. Iwata's achievements continue to be of great significance, and focus on pollution by chemical substances and how they spread in ecosystems. We should heed his words as we spread radioactive materials into ecosystems today. Dr. Oki's achievements examine the circulation of water at a global scale—an important but often overlooked aspect for our daily life. This year, the 17th Biwako Prize for Ecology will solicit applicants working on aquatic-related environmental issues up to 50 years of age.

Previous events have revealed many outstanding applicants in Japan, to such an extent that it has proven difficult to select recipients. Unfortunately there have been few international or female applicants for this award, possibly because applicants believe that (if successful in their application) travel expenses will not be paid (owing to lack of a monetary prize). Travel expenses will be provided. Regardless of whether by self-nomination or recommendation, prospective applicants are urged to apply. An award ceremony will be held next July, on the Day of Lake Biwa (July 1), where recipients will be invited to give a lecture.