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Scientists worldwide in line for US$1.1 million Frontiers Planet Prize as 2024 National Champions announced

23 scientists selected as finalists for the second edition of the international sustainability science competition by Johan Rockström

Scientists worldwide in line for US$1.1 million Frontiers Planet Prize as 2024 National Champions announced
( The Frontiers Planet Prize today (22 April) announced 23 National Champions drawn from science research teams across six continents in the second year of the global competition. The Prize recognizes scientists whose research contributes to accelerating solutions that ensure humanity remains safely within the boundaries of the Earth's ecosystem. The National Champions now move forward to the final round of the competition, where three International Champions will be awarded 1 million CHF each to support their research. Launched by the Frontiers Research Foundation on Earth Day 2022, the Frontiers Planet Prize aims to mobilize science for a global green renaissance. The Prize rewards and promotes breakthroughs in sustainability science that show the greatest potential to keep the planet from crossing the nine planetary boundaries, a framework put forward by Prof Johan Rockström. The National Champions are selected by the independent Jury of 100, a group of renowned sustainability and planetary health experts chaired by Prof Rockström. These National Champions will undergo a second round of voting, where the Jury select the three International Champions who each receive one million Swiss francs to further support their research. 

Now in its second edition, the Prize has engaged with 20 academies of science and 475 leading  universities and research institutions from 43 countries to showcase transformational and globally scalable research on planetary science, with a focus on enabling healthy lives on a healthy planet. This year's 23 National Champions represent a diverse group of researchers at various stages of their academic careers, each of whom have published groundbreaking articles that put forward unique, transformative solutions. 

The 2024 National Champions are: 

Argentina: Dr Pedro Jaureguiberry, Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal (CONICET-UNC), The direct drivers of recent global anthropogenic biodiversity loss 

Australia: Dr Federico Maggi, The University of Sydney, Agricultural pesticide land budget and river discharge to oceans 

Austria: Dr Marta Kozicka, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Feeding climate and biodiversity goals with novel plant-based meat and milk alternatives 

Brazil: Prof Dr Alexander Turra, the University of São Paulo, Advancing plastic pollution hotspotting at the subnational level: Brazil as a case study in the Global South 

Canada: Dr Umberto Berardi, Toronto Metropolitan University, Health-informed predictive regression for statistical-simulation decision-making in urban heat mitigation 

China: Dr Yang Ou, Peking University, Can updated climate pledges limit warming well below 2°C? 

Denmark: Prof Minik Rosing, the University of Copenhagen, Quantification of CO2 uptake by enhanced weathering of silicate minerals applied to acidic soils 

Finland: Dr Olga Tammeorg, University of Helsinki, Sustainable lake restoration: From challenges to solutions 

Germany: Prof Dr Peter Haase, Senckenberg Research institute and the University of Duisburg-Essen, The recovery of European freshwater biodiversity has come to a halt 

Hungary: Dr Daniel Muth, HUN-REN, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Budapest, Pathways to stringent carbon pricing: Configurations of political economy conditions and revenue recycling strategies. A comparison of thirty national level policies 

Italy: Dr Francesco Maria Sabatini, University of Bologna Global patterns of vascular plant alpha diversity 

Japan: Prof Evan Economo, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST), The global distribution of known and undiscovered ant diversity 

New Zealand: Dr Rebecca Gladstone-Gallagher, the University of Auckland, Social–ecological connections across land, water, and sea demand a reprioritization of environmental management 

Poland: Prof Michal Bogdziewicz, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Reproductive collapse in European beech results from declining pollination efficiency in large trees 

Saudi-Arabia: Prof Raquel Peixoto, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Harnessing the microbiome to prevent global biodiversity loss 

South Africa: Dr Mia Strand, Nelson Mandela University, Reimagining Ocean Stewardship: Arts-Based Methods to ‘Hear’ and ‘See’ Indigenous and Local Knowledge in Ocean Management 

South Korea: Prof Seung-Ki Min, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Observationally-constrained projections of an ice-free Arctic even under a low emission scenario 

Spain: Dr Alexandra Velty, the Technical University of Valencia, Advanced zeolite and ordered mesoporous silica-based catalysts for the conversion of CO2 to chemicals and fuels 

Sweden: Dr Gerard Rocher-Ros, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Umeå University, Global methane emissions from rivers and streams 

Switzerland: Prof Dr Gabriela Schaepman-Strub, the University of Zurich, Vegetation type is an important predictor of the arctic summer land surface energy budget 

Turkey: Prof Dr Mustafa Sahmaran, Hacettepe University, The effects of various operational- and materials-oriented parameters on the carbonation performance of low-quality recycled concrete aggregate 

United Kingdom: Prof Stephen Widdicombe, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Unifying biological field observations to detect and compare ocean acidification impacts across marine species and ecosystems: what to monitor and why 

United States: Prof Jason Rohr, the University of Notre Dame, A planetary health innovation for disease, food, and water challenges in Africa 

As National Champions, each researcher will have the opportunity to share their award-winning research through national and international conferences to facilitate the systemic change needed to safeguard our planet's health. This is made possible through the support of the Prize's strategic partners, including Future Earth, the Potsdam Institute of Climate Research Impact, the International Science Council, and the Villars Institute. 

The Frontiers Planet Prize Award Ceremony will take place on 26 June 2024 at the Villars Symposium in Villar-sur-Ollon, Switzerland. Led by the Villars Institute, an international non-profit foundation dedicated to accelerating the transition to net-zero emissions, the Villars Symposium brings thought leaders from policy, practice, and philanthropy together. Each Champion will present their research and engage with key planetary health figures across academia, policy, business, and non-governmental agencies, all of whom have the capability to shape policy and influence civil society. The Symposium also includes a global cohort of system and solution-oriented high school students from schools all over the world, which will offer an additional chance to foster intergenerational collaboration and prepare the next generation to combat climate change. 

Commenting on the 2024 Frontiers Planet Prize, Jean-Claude Burgelman, director of the Frontiers Planet Prize, said: “We are confronted with an environmental crisis on a planetary scale, creating a true threat for humanity. The ambition of the Frontiers Planet Prize is to directly address this crisis by mobilizing scientists engaged in breakthrough research. We congratulate the National Champions and thank all the nominees for their valuable research and ongoing commitment to saving our planet.” 


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[] Scientists worldwide in line for US$1.1 million Frontiers Planet Prize as 2024 National Champions announced
23 scientists selected as finalists for the second edition of the international sustainability science competition by Johan Rockström