Alum receives prestigious award in the sciences
February 10, 2006
Self-described “commander salamander” David Wake ’58 was recently recognized by the Academy of Natural Sciences for his work documenting world-wide amphibian declines.
Wake received the Academy’s Joseph Leidy Award at a ceremony Feb. 7.
Since the 1970s, Wake and other biologists have monitored the alarmingly steady decline of amphibians in every part of the world, but have been unable to pinpoint a single culprit. Habitat loss, pollution, over-harvesting and a recently discovered fungal disease can only account for about half the recorded 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 D. James Baker.
Established in 1923 in honor of 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.
Read more about Wake’s work on his Web site at http://ib.berkeley.edu/labs/wake/wakelab.htm.