Argentine scientist wins the “Nobel Prize” of nature conservation

Juan Pablo García Borboroglu received the prize for his work with penguins

The Argentine biologist and investigator Juan Pablo García Borboroglu received the 9th Indianapolis Prize today for his work on penguin research and conservation. This is the first time the award, considered the “Nobel Prize” of nature conservation, has been given to a South American citizen. 

“This award is a tremendous recognition of my life’s work. I have been working on penguin conservation and research for years, and to be chosen by such an international organization is an honor and validates that what we are doing is aligned with global conservation priorities”, Borboroglu told Télam

Borboroglu, who studied Biological Sciences at the Patagonia University and received his PhD in Biology from Comahue National University, created the Global Penguin Society in 2009. 

As president of the organization, he has helped protect 13 million hectares (13,000 square kilometers) of penguin habitat on land and sea. He is currently an investigator at the National Council of Technological and Scientific Investigations (Conicet, in Spanish), and an associate professor at the University of Washington. 

“Sometimes, being from a country as far south as Argentina, from a region as far south as Patagonia, it’s difficult to get our message across. This is a way of validating that the work we do is important at a global level,” he said.

The Indianapolis Prize was created in 2006 as a way of acknowledging and rewarding the efforts of conservationists who have accomplished significant advances in saving endangered animal species from extinction. 

Winners receive a monetary prize of US$ 250,000 with no strings attached, the largest amount of any organization that supports animal conservation. 

The US ambassador in Argentina, Marc Stanley, tweeted his congratulations to Borboroglu, who is known affectionately as ‘Popi’. 

“Wow! Congratulations Popi on winning the prestigious Indianapolis Prize, the Nobel Prize of nature conservation (…) Your passion, work and achievements are a huge inspiration! I hope to celebrate with you at the awards ceremony in Indianapolis in September!”.



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