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Coral reef scientist receives royal honor

The exemplary research of Distinguished Professor Terry Hughes has been honored by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation

ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies

The exemplary research of Distinguished Professor Terry Hughes, coral reef scientist and Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies based at James Cook University, has been honoured by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.

At a prestigious ceremony held at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco presented Professor Hughes with the 2018 Climate Change Award, recognising his contribution to advancing understanding of the influence of rapid climate change on the world's coral reefs.

"I wanted to create these Awards in order to offer all my support to the exceptional men and women who have made a commitment to saving our planet," said H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Professor Hughes is internationally renowned for his outstanding research leadership in the field of coral reef ecology and his work to raise the profile of coral reefs and their vulnerability to unchecked climate change.

In 2016, Professor Hughes convened the National Coral Reef Taskforce to coordinate Australia's response during the global mass coral bleaching event.

Later that year, Professor Hughes was recognised by Nature magazine as one of Nature's "Top Ten People Who Mattered This Year" for his leadership in responding to this unprecedented event. Nature dubbed him "Reef Sentinel" for the global role he plays in applying multi-disciplinary science to securing reef sustainability.

"Professor Terry Hughes is a highly decorated and well respected scientist--an esteemed Australian Laureate Fellow who has provided important leadership as Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies," said Australian Research Council CEO, Professor Sue Thomas.

"On behalf of the Australian Research Council, I commend Professor Hughes on achieving this international recognition, which recognises his ongoing efforts and contribution to advancing reef science research." Professor Terry Hughes said he was delighted to receive the award.

"I am deeply grateful to Prince Albert and the Foundation for honouring me in this way, and I would like to acknowledge the important contribution by many, many colleagues around the world."

Professor Hughes is one of the world's most highly cited coral reef scientists. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, and a recipient of the International Society for Reef Studies' Darwin Medal and an Einstein Professorship from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.


The Foundation's awards ceremony has taken place every year since 2008 to honour key international figures and organisations who have made an exceptional commitment to safeguarding the planet. Recognition is given for exceptional contributions to one of three priority fields of activity, including climate change. Previous recipients of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Awards include Dr Jane Goodall, Prof David Suzuki and Sir David Attenborough.

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