University of St Andrews

School of Biology News Centre

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[29-07-2011 to 03-10-2011]

News Item:
Dr Jose Xavier to be awarded Muse Prize at the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity

On the first day of the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity, to be co-hosted by the Universities of St Andrews and Aberdeen, 26th – 30th September, 2011, Dr. Jose Xavier, a marine ecologist at the Institute of Marine Research of the University of Coimbra in Portugal and the British Antarctic Survey in UK, will be awarded the 2011 Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica (
Beginning with his doctoral research (Ph.D. Cambridge University, 2003), Dr. Xavier has conducted outstanding research on the predator-prey dynamics that sustain populations of albatrosses, penguins, and other top predators in the Southern Ocean. One example of his leadership in this field is his recent publication of a comprehensive monograph on cephalopods, an important top predators prey, titled “Cephalopods beak guide for the Southern Ocean” (Xavier and Cherel 2009), that will be a great aid to many Antarctic researchers.
"It is AMAZING and a true honour to receive such a prestigious prize”, said Dr. Xavier. "Such a prize will strengthen and open new doors to international collaborations, agreeing with the true spirit of how Antarctic science is carried out today!"
The Prize, which carries with it a $100K monetary award, is supported by the Tinker Foundation, whose founding director was Martha T. Muse. The Prize is inspired by Martha Muse’s passion for Antarctica and is intended to be a legacy of the International Polar Year 2007-2008.
The prize selection committee of leading Antarctic scientists and policy makers also cited his leadership in the establishment of a new and thriving Antarctic research program in Portugal during the International Polar Year (IPY, 2007-2008) and in launching a highly successful educational program, LATITUDE 60! during the IPY. Furthermore, Dr. Xavier was an active leader, as member of the executive committee, in the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) between 2007-2009 and was an active member of the IPY Education and Outreach sub-committee, contributing significantly for making Portugal an example worldwide in terms of science, education and outreach during IPY. He has also been recognized by being invited to serve in various scientific research committees, expert groups and international research programs.

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