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Stony Brook Ecologist Named Finalist in Competition of the Nation’s Best Young Scientists

Dr. Lynch in the field

Heather Lynch joins the ranks of Blavatnik Scholars for her pioneering work monitoring Antarctic penguins

STONY BROOK, N.Y., May 30, 2019 – Heather Lynch, PhD, an Associate Professor of Ecology & Evolution in the College of Arts and Sciences at Stony Brook University, and a faculty member of the University’s Institute for Advanced Computational Science, has been named a finalist in the Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists, an annual award sponsored by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences. The award recognizes the past accomplishments and the future promise of the most talented faculty-rank scientists and engineers aged 42 and younger at America’s top academic and research institutions.

Dr. Lynch is among 31 research scientists recognized as a finalist and Blavatnik Scholar. The group was selected from a field of 343 nominations from 169 academic and research centers across 44 states. Lynch was named a finalist in the Life Sciences Category, one of three categories for the award.

Heather Lynch on a field expedition in Antarctica.

On June 26, three 2019 National Laureates will be chosen from the 31 finalists. Each winner will receive $250,000 – the world’s largest unrestricted prize for early-career scientists.

A faculty member at Stony Brook since 2011, Lynch has received international recognition for her research as a quantitative ecologist monitoring Antarctic penguin populations, including the Adélie penguin. Her work with Adélie penguins in particular has provided key data on the health of the Southern Ocean ecosystem.

Dr. Lynch and her colleagues use field surveys in concert with satellite imagery that tracks the size of penguin colonies in the Antarctic. Using her expertise with advanced mathematical modeling, along with collected data on the spatiotemporal patterns of penguin populations, Dr. Lynch can detect population declines predictive of penguin colony collapse.

For more about the Blavatnik National Finalists, see this news release. For more about Dr. Lynch’s research and laboratory, see this link.

About Stony Brook University
Stony Brook University, widely regarded as a SUNY flagship, is going beyond the expectations of what today’s public universities can accomplish. Since its founding in 1957, this young university has grown to become one of only four University Center campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) system with over 26,000 students, more than 2,700 faculty members and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs. Our faculty have earned numerous prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. The University offers students an elite education with an outstanding return on investment: U.S.News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 40 public universities in the nation. Its membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. As part of the management team of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University joins a prestigious group of universities that have a role in running federal R&D labs. Stony Brook University fuels Long island’s economic growth. Its impact on the Long island economy amounts to $7.38 billion in increased output. Our state, country and world demand ambitious ideas, imaginative solutions and exceptional leadership to forge a better future for all. The students, alumni, researchers and faculty of Stony Brook University are prepared to meet this challenge.


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