Very excited to hear today that VIMS marine biologist Emmett Duffy won a big prize in marine biology established by Suma Aqualife Park in Kobe, Japan. He is fantastic marine blogger with the awesome Sea Monster blog, as well as a twitterer. It consists of a cash prize, half of which was donated to Japan’s earthquake relief efforts.
“[...] The 5-member selection panel recognized Duffy for his pioneering work in marine ecology and biodiversity, with special mention of his discovery of “eusociality” among shrimps. Eusociality—most familiar among ants, bees, and other social insects—refers to life in large, cooperative colonies. It is marked by living with extended families in which only one or a few “queens” reproduce, and by cooperative care and defense of young. Duffy was the first to discover a case of eusociality in a marine animal, the sponge-dwelling Caribbean shrimp Synalpheus regalis. His subsequent work has identified several other eusocial shrimp species in this group.
Duffy’s recent work has focused on the importance of biodiversity in marine ecosystems. He is the lead scientist on a 3-year grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation to establish a global experimental network for studying how nutrient pollution and changes in biodiversity impact ecologically and economically important seagrass beds. [...]“