Scientific Diving Lifetime Achievement Award
The 2014 Scientific Diving Lifetime Achievement Award has been bestowed upon J.E.N. ("Charlie") Veron.
Veron has personally studied the coral reefs of the world in the field with over 7,000 hours on scuba on 67 expeditions in 128 ecoregions, and has made it possible for the rest of us to do field work with corals by publishing a 3-volume (1382-page) book on Corals of the World, providing color photos, distribution maps and descriptions of the 794 species of reef building corals of the world. He is now preparing a website that makes this available to all. He has described and named over a hundred new species of corals. His global field experience with corals also gave him original insight into the true nature of coral species, giving us an important new scientific understanding of "reticulate" evolution which is explained in his book Corals in Time and Space. He received international awards for his contributions to science and for several of his books and monographs (listed on attached sheet). Veron's documentation of the distribution of reef-building coral species around the world led him to recognize and call attention to a region he named the Coral Triangle, a relatively small area between the Philippines and the Solomon Islands that is home to 605 species (76% of the reef-building coral species of the world), including 15 endemics. He has elicited the help of non-government organizations such as The Nature Conservancy to try to bring this region to the attention of scientists, the public, and conservation organizations in order to develop adequate management and protective programs.
He has won numerous awards, including Best Paper of the Year Award by the International Society for Reef Studies for his paper entitled “Mass extinctions and ocean acidification: biological constraints on geological dilemmas”, the Darwin Medal, the most prestigious award presented once every four years by the International Society for Reef Studies to a senior scientist who is recognized worldwide for major contributions throughout his career to our understanding of coral reefs, the Australasian Science Prize for his 3-volume (1410-page) Corals of the World, special mention in the Eureka Awards for his Corals of the World, the Australian Marine Science Association award (AMSA Silver Jubilee Pin) for his book Corals in Space and Time, and the Whitney Medal for his Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific for Austraslia’s best natural history publication.