Emmett Duffy ’81 wins international award in marine biology

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 2:15pm

Emmett Duffy, who graduated with a B.S. in biology from Spring Hill College in 1981, was recently honored with the inaugural Kobe Award for his achievements in marine science.

The international award, which includes a cash prize of 1 million Japanese yen (US $11,900), was established by Suma Aqualife Park in Kobe, Japan to recognize and honor an individual who has contributed to progress in the fields of marine biology and ecology. The ceremony was originally scheduled for March 26 but was postponed due to the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the island nation. Duffy donated half of his cash prize to Japanese relief efforts and used the remainder to fund research travel.

Duffy is a professor of marine science at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) at the College of William and Mary in Gloucester Point, Pa. He earned an M.S. in zoology from the University of Maine at Orono and a Ph.D. in marine sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The selection panel recognized Duffy for his pioneering work in marine ecology and biodiversity. Duffy’s recent work has focused on the importance of biodiversity in marine ecosystems. He is the lead scientist on a three-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. He is also an active member of a collaborative effort at VIMS and the College of William and Mary to harvest algae for nutrient reduction and use as a biofuel.

Duffy blogs on marine-related topics at www.theseamonster.net.