The Per Brinck Oikos Award 2011 has been awarded to Professor Michel Loreau, McGill University, Canada.
Professor Michel Loreau will give his 'Per Brinck Oikos Award Lecture' during The Swedish Oikos Society meeting in Tjärnö, Sweden, Feb 2011.
Professor Loreau describes his research interest:
My goal in my scientific work is to build a synthetic ecological theory that integrates the divergent perspectives of ecosystem, community, and evolutionary ecology. I view theory as a powerful tool to generate, clarify and generalise new concepts and hypotheses; accordingly, I attach great importance to a tight interaction between the mathematical models I develop and empirical or experimental work on a wide range of ecosystems, both terrestrial and aquatic.
An important focus of my research during the past 15 years has been on the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and on the ecological and societal consequences of biodiversity loss. This topic has experienced a dramatic growth, to which I have contributed actively through both my scientific work and my responsibilities in a number of national and international initiatives. I have also taken a keen interest in metacommunity and metaecosystem theory to address the spatial dimension of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. And, lastly, I am seeking to build theoretical foundations for a new evolutionary ecosystem ecology. I have explored such topics as the evolutionary emergence of food webs, the ecological and evolutionary consequences of niche construction, and the interactions between nutrient cycling and evolution in ecosystems.
I also strongly believe that science is but one facet of social activity, and that it should become aware of its social responsibilities. Therefore, I have devoted significant efforts to fostering new research initiatives and linking science and policy in the area of biodiversity and ecosystem services internationally. In particular, I initiated and chaired the LINKECOL European Science Foundation programme, I restructured and chaired the DIVERSITAS international programme, and I initiated and chaired the consultative process towards an International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity, which has now become the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.
As part of the Per Brinck Oikos Award Michel Loreau received a diploma: