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Marcus Wallenberg Prize 2006

Dr Antoine Kremer – recipient of the 2006 Marcus Wallenberg Prize

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The 2006 Marcus Wallenberg Prize (a sort of Nobel Prize for forestry) was awarded to the French forest geneticist, Dr Antoine Kremer, for his path-breaking discovery of the evolution, organization and distribution of the genetic diversity of Pan-European Oaks that will act as an outstanding model for the study of all other species.

The value of the prize is two million Swedish crowns and it was presented to Dr Kremer by the King of Sweden, at a ceremony in Stockholm on Thursday 28 September 2006.

The annual Prize was established in 1980 to acknowledge the lifetime activities and the memory of Marcus Wallenberg, the late Chairman of Stora Kopparbergs Bergslags AB (now Stora Enso). Each year the Prize recognizes a single breakthrough research achievement of one scientist or a small group of collaborating scientists. For the past few years the Chairman of the selection committee has been Professor Jeff Burley, the immediate past Chairman of BIHIP.

Antoine Kremer has worked for 28 years with the French national research organization, INRA, and has been a leader in both national and international research groups. His breakthrough is in the combination of information from a number of different sciences at their current state-of-the-art level (from molecular genetics to the evolutionary history of forests) to develop new knowledge about Oaks on a continental scale. This knowledge provides a major platform to facilitate decisions about the conservation and management of forests. It also allows prediction of likely future changes under the impact of climate and other environmental changes.

Dr Kremer’s individual researches and synthesis may be applicable to other tree species. The techniques will also have relevance to the introduction, management, improvement and use of exotic species elsewhere.

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