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Ecologist Heather Lynch is a National Finalist for 2019 Blavatnik Award

Heather Lynch

Associate Professor Heather J. Lynch, who holds a joint appointment in the Department of Ecology and Evolution and the Institute for Advanced Computational Science at Stony Brook University, has been selected as a national finalist for the highly prestigious 2019 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists in the category of Life Sciences.

Heather Lynch
Heather Lynch

Lynch is one of 31 of the nation’s rising stars in science that will compete for three Blavatnik National Laureate Awards in the categories of Chemistry, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Life Sciences. Each of the three 2019 National Laureates will win $250,000 — the world’s largest unrestricted prize for early-career scientists. The three winners will be announced on June 26, and the 2019 national laureates and finalists will be honored at the Blavatnik National Awards ceremony on September 23 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Lynch is a quantitative ecologist who monitors Antarctic penguin populations using field surveys in concert with satellite imagery that can track the size of penguin colonies on the ground. Using advanced mathematical modeling and data on the spatiotemporal patterns of penguin populations, she can detect population declines predictive of penguin colony collapse. Her work with Adélie penguins is of particular importance as this species provides key data on the health of the Southern Ocean ecosystem.

Now in its 13th year, the Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists recognize the past accomplishments and the future promise of the most-talented faculty-rank scientists and engineers aged 42 years and younger at America’s top academic and research institutions. This year, the Blavatnik National Awards received an unprecedented 343 nominations from 169 academic and research centers across 44 states — a record in all three categories.

To follow the progress of the Blavatnik Awards, please visit

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