The Field Museum in Chicago has named Dr. David E. Vaughan the 2017 recipient of its Parker/Gentry Award, which has been given annually since 1996 to a person, team or organization whose work has made a significant impact on conservation and serves as a model for others.
Vaughan is executive director of Mote Marine Laboratory’s campus on Summerland Key, leading Mote’s Coral Reef Restoration Program to restore the underwater forest.
Vaughan and colleagues from Mote’s Coral Reef Monitoring & Assessment Program have collectively restored more than 20,000 corals onto depleted reefs in the Florida Keys. Their research and restoration efforts are poised to expand with the spring opening of a new International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration on Mote’s Summerland campus.
“Dave’s unique approach to rapidly re-surfacing dead reef-building corals with lab-grown polyps makes an enormous difference in the protection of this unique natural treasure,” says Dr. Rüdiger Bieler, curator of zoology/invertebrates at the Field Museum’s Integrative Research center, who recently joined forces with Vaughan on a reef restoration and monitoring project in the Keys.
Vaughan will present a keynote address and receive the 22nd annual Parker/Gentry Award during the Conservation Celebration on April 24 at the Field Museum in Chicago.
The Parker/Gentry Award was created in 1996 in memory of Theodore A. Parker III and Alwyn Gentry, conservationists and naturalists who died while surveying hill forests of western Ecuador.