AsianScientist (Sep. 6, 2017) – Professor Kenneth Leung Mei Yee of the Swire Institute of Marine Science and School of Biological Sciences of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) has been awarded the 19th Biwako Prize for Ecology jointly by the Government of Shiga Prefecture and the Ecological Society of Japan.
An award presentation ceremony was held at the Lake Biwa Museum in Japan. This award recognizes outstanding ecologists under the age of 50 who have made academically and socially significant achievements in the field of aquatic ecology in Asia. They must also have demonstrated great potential to become a central figure in ecology.
The Biwako Prize for Ecology was established in 1991, and 36 individuals have received the award to date. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Leung is the third ecologist in Hong Kong to receive this award. Professor David Dudgeon, Director of School of Biological Sciences, HKU, and Professor Wang Wen-xiong, Division of Life Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, were former recipients of this award in 2000 and 2003, respectively.
Leung’s research interests include marine ecology, ecotoxicology, eco-shoreline engineering, marine biodiversity and conservation. He has published more than 170 peer-reviewed articles on these subjects.
Over the years, Leung has developed expertise in how marine organisms respond to chemical pollution, especially in the context of natural variations in temperature, salinity and pH. Based on his research findings, he has developed novel scientific methods to derive site-specific water and sediment quality criteria which can be used to quantify chemical contaminants and protect marine ecosystems in different parts of the world.
Leung has also made contributions to the development of marine water quality objectives in Hong Kong and is currently collaborating with the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences to refine the water quality criteria system in China.
Leung also devotes his time and effort to various community services, especially in environmental protection and biodiversity conservation. He is the current Chairman of the Marine Parks Committee, the Fisheries Enhancement Fund Management Committee and the Marine Mammal Conservation Working Group.
In addition, he serves on the Advisory Council on the Environment, the Advisory Council on Food and Environmental Hygiene, the Red Tide/Harmful Algal Bloom Expert Advisory Group, the Appeal Board Panel (Town Planning) and the Board of the Ocean Park Corporation.
Owing to his professional achievements and community services, he was selected as one of the ‘Ten Outstanding Young Persons’ in 2010 by the Junior Chamber International Hong Kong.
“Professor Leung’s works have made great contribution to both science and society, and he is very well deserved for winning the Biwako Prize for Ecology,” said Professor Shin-ichi Nakano, the Chairman of the Selection Committee of the 19th Biwako Prize for Ecology.
“I am immensely grateful and honored to receive this award and to be recognized as one of the outstanding aquatic ecologists in Asia. This award is dedicated to my research team for their efforts and research achievements in the past. It also encourages me to keep on striving for research excellence,” said Leung
Source: University of Hong Kong.
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