The USA-born professor and researcher Paul Dayton is the winner of the First Edition of the Premi Ramon Margalef d’Ecologia.
Paul Dayton is a recognized personality in ecology at the international level, to the point that his investigations have marked the dominant trends in research through the decades. The relevance of his work, which has made him a pioneer in population and community ecology among aquatic, marine and terrestrial researchers, determined the decision of the Jury of scientific and international renown, to declare him the winner of the First Edition of the Premi Ramon Margalef d’Ecologia at a meeting held in Paris on November 24th, 2005. This decision was confirmed by the Management Board of the Prize on November 30th, 2005.
Professor Dayton, who modestly declares benthic ecology as his field of concentration, continues to carry on his research studies, always from the perspective of a naturalist. However, in the meantime, in the most recent period of his long and distinguished career, he has utilized his knowledge towards contributing directly to solving environmental problems, and in particular stressing the need to manage marine resources from a sustainable ecological perspective. His contributions have thus become fundamental to obtain adequate approaches to assumptions such as conservation, the impact of fishing, the restoration of coastal habitats and biodiversity.
However, Dr Paul Dayton is not only one of the most distinguished ecologists at international level, but is also a most dedicated teacher who has trained many generations of young scientists to observe and think critically of the environment. He has inspired students at all levels and stemming from all social conditions, instilling into them the value of natural history and field studies, the importance of historical literature, the vulnerability and fragility of coastal ecosystems, and the significance of working for the benefit of Nature. His teachings include philosophical and ethical considerations which scientists should face, and the assumptions on environmental policies for which ecologists have increasing responsibility.
Dr Dayton's workplace is the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in La Jolla (San Diego), California on the Pacific coast, which is one of the most renowned research centers of the world in the marine sciences, with a long-standing tradition for the excellence of its professional staff, the training of research workers s and public service. Thus, Professor Dayton's contribution to ecological knowledge and its application is known and appreciated all over the world. In this sense, it should be known that Professor Dayton's candidacy to the Prize has been proposed by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in Hamilton, New Zealand, a highly recognized research and consulting organization at international level.