Eugenie Clark Award

Genie Clark

Dr. Eugenie Clark (1922-2015) was a pioneer in field and laboratory research on the biology of elasmobranch fishes. She established her long and illustrious career during a time when women were discouraged from becoming research scientists. Always the inquisitive explorer, Genie made her mark in studying the natural history, reproductive biology, and behavior of sharks and other fishes observed in the wild and in captivity. As a university professor, Genie educated thousands of college students in ichthyology and shark biology. In addition to her hundreds of technical publications in journals including Science, Genie wrote many books and articles for popular audiences around the world, for she believed that public understanding of her discoveries was important. In 1999, the American Elasmobranch Society honored Genie with its Distinguished Fellow Award.

The Eugenie Clark Award

Genie’s legacy as a remarkably successful marine scientist and educator in a male-dominated field has served as inspiration for countless numbers of young women aspiring to be the next Genie Clark. To honor her memory and continue to inspire female members of the American Elasmobranch Society, AES established the Eugenie Clark Award. This award recognizes female early-career scientists who demonstrate uncommon perseverance, dedication, and innovation in biological research and public outreach on elasmobranch fishes. Awardees will be female scientists ranging from Master’s and Ph.D. students to five years after receiving their graduate degree. Eligible fields of research are broad but must include some aspect of organismal biology of elasmobranchs studied in the field. Effective and broad-based public outreach in elasmobranch biology also is a requirement for the award.

The award consists of a cash prize of US$2,500 to be given annually, dependent upon candidate eligibility and funding availability. Funding for the award is made possible through an annual donation to AES of $1,250 by the Save Our Seas Foundation and $1,250 by Mote Marine Laboratory’s Center for Shark Research.

Application and eligibility

Awardees must: be AES members in good standing (society dues paid by January 1 of the calendar year of the award); be in at least their second year of consecutive, in-good-standing AES membership; and have all necessary application materials submitted by the relevant deadline.

Candidates may be nominated by AES Regular, Senior or Lifetime members, by AES officers, by non-AES professional scientists, or by the candidates themselves. Nominees are screened by the AES Grant Fund Committee and selection of the annual awardee will be done in consultation with the AES Executive Committee, a representative of the Save Our Seas Foundation, and a representative of Mote Marine Laboratory’s Center for Shark Research. The winner of the “Genie” award will be announced at the AES annual meeting.

The application will be available here when open.

Past winners

Brit Finucci (2021)

Jill Brooks (2020)

Christine Bedore (2017)

Kady Lyons (2016)