The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) will present Thomas Eisner, a world authority on animal behavior, ecology and evolution and the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Chemical Ecology at Cornell, with the 2008 John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science.
Cited "for pathbreaking studies of the myriad ways that organisms utilize chemistry to mediate ecological interactions and providing a foundation for the field of chemical ecology," Eisner will be awarded a medal at an April ceremony and $25,000.
Eisner is one of 13 recipients of awards from the NAS to recognize "extraordinary scientific achievements" in the areas of biology, chemistry, solar physics, ecology, mathematics, oceanography, paleontology, social sciences and psychology.
The award was established by the American Telephone and Telegraph Co. in honor of telephone pioneer John J. Carty and has been awarded since 1932.
Eisner, director of the Cornell Institute for Research in Chemical Ecology, is a field biologist and a pioneer of chemical ecology, the study of chemical interactions between organisms, from the millipede to the bombardier beetle to the garden slug. With Cornell collaborators, he has chronicled in scientific papers, books and on film studies of insects and how they mate, trap their prey and defend themselves. He is author or co-author of nine books, including "For Love of Insects," winner of the Best Science Book in the 2004 Independent Publisher Book Awards.
An active conservationist, Eisner also is former president of the Xerces Society, the only organization devoted to the preservation of invertebrates.