The Eugenie Clark Award
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.
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. Candidates can be Master’s or Ph.D. students to five years post-graduate degree. Eligible fields of research are broad but must include some aspect of organismal-level field biology of elasmobranchs. In addition to conducting innovative field studies on elasmobranchs, successful candidates must have communicated the results of their research through effective, broad-based public outreach and scientific publications. This is not intended to be an annual award, but rather bestowed periodically to truly distinguished candidates.
The award consists of a cash prize of US$2,500, dependent upon candidate eligibility and funding availability. Funding for the award is made possible through a donation to AES of $1,250 by the Save Our Seas Foundation and $1,250 by Mote Marine Laboratory’s Center for Shark Research.
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 or Lifetime members, by AES officers, by non-AES professional scientists, or by the candidates themselves. Nominees are screened by the Eugenie Clark Award Committee (comprised of the previous winners), and applications are requested from eligible candidates. If an awardee is selected by the Eugenie Clark Award Committee, a final decision is made through 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. Announcement of the winner of the “Genie” award will be made at the AES annual meeting. The winner need not be present at the meeting to win.
The nomination form and the application form must each be submitted by the annual due dates.
The American Elasmobranch Society has honored the following members with the Eugenie Clark Award: