The Linnean Medal Awarded for the First Time to an Indian Botanist

Prof. Kamal Bawa, President ATREE, becomes the first Indian to receive the Linnean Medal for his pioneering research and service to science.

Bengaluru, May 27, 2018: Prof. Kamal Bawa, President, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) and Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, was awarded the Linnean Medal in Botany by the Linnean Society of London at its annual meeting.

The Society has been awarding the Linnean Medal every year since 1888. Prof. Bawa is the first Indian to receive the medal in the 140-year old history of the Society awarding the medal. The Medal according to the Society’s web site is awarded as an expression of Society's “esteem and appreciation for service to science.”

Prof. Bawa was recognized for his pioneering research on the evolution of tropical plants, tropical deforestation, non-timber forest products, and for decades of work on the biodiversity of forests in Central America, the Western Ghats and the Eastern Himalaya.

Also cited were Prof. Bawa’s efforts to establish a world-class environmental center, ATREE, in Bengaluru, the journal Conservation and Society and the India Biodiversity Portal.

“The Linnean Medal is a good recognition of our work on conservation and sustainability, and will serve as a fresh reminder that we need to redouble our efforts to fully document and study our planet’s incredible plant wealth that is rapidly declining,” said Prof. Bawa.

Incidentally, the first scientist to receive the Linnean Medal, in 1888, was Sir Joseph D. Hooker who compiled the monumental seven volume Flora of British India—the first comprehensive account of India’s plants.

The Linnean Society, named after the famous Swedish biologist Carl Linnaeus, who gave us a system of naming plants and animals, was established in 1788, and is among the oldest academic societies of the world.

About Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE): ATREE is a global non-profit that generates interdisciplinary knowledge to inform policy and practice to achieve environmental conservation and sustainable development.

For further information, please contact: Payal 9980854851 payalp@atree.org