Finding a balance between ocean conservation and sustainability has led to a University of Queensland (UQ) scientist winning a prestigious international prize.
Dr Carissa Klein, an Australian Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellow with UQ's School of Biological Sciences, was awarded the $US25,000 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE) in Indonesia on Monday.
Indonesian Research and Technology Minister Gusti M. Hatta said Dr Klein's work covered issues at the heart of Indonesia's 2013 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation priority of sustainable development with equity.
“We selected Dr Klein as the 2013 ASPIRE winner based on her solution to negotiating the fragile balance between ocean conservation and sustainable livelihoods,” Mr Hatta said.
Dr Klein said her research looks at developing conservation plans that achieve triple bottom line solutions to meet biodiversity goals cost-effectively, while distributing the benefits or costs equally throughout society.
“The establishment of marine protected areas is often viewed as a conflict between conservation and fishing,” Dr Klein said.
“But we can zone the ocean to meet the needs of multiple stakeholders, from fishermen and scientists to scuba divers and conservationists.”
UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Max Lu congratulated Dr Klein on this significant recognition of her research excellence and collaboration with scientists across APEC economies.
“Dr Klein's work has already helped Malaysia and the United States zone the ocean for fishing and conservation,” Professor Lu said.
“Her work is also evidence of the commitment of UQ's researchers to delivering real-life solutions to communities around the world.”
ASPIRE is an annual award that recognises young scientists. Each APEC member representative on the APEC Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation nominates a scientist under the age of 40 to be considered for the prize.
The $US25,000 ASPIRE prize is sponsored by scholarly scientific knowledge publishers Wiley and Elsevier.