American marine biologist Jane Lubchenco from Oregon State University has also jointly won the Tyler prize along with Gadgil, who is a D. D. Kosambi Visiting Research Professor in Interdisciplinary Studies at Goa University.
Gadgil is known for his work in preservation of ecology in the Western Ghats and has headed several expert panels in India on forest conservation. Both the recipients will share the $200,000 cash prize that is awarded for leadership in environment.
The Tyler prize was established by the late John and Alice Tyler in 1973, which is presently administered by the University of Southern California.
Gadgil has reportedly set up new methods to look after the biodiversity through “people’s biodiversity registers” in conjunction with India’s Biological Diversity Act and helped reform resource management in India, leading to increased forest preservation in culturally significant locations such as Silent Valley National Park.
The Tyler Prize Executive Committee will hold a Banquet and an award ceremony on April 24 to honor both Gadgil and Lubencho.
Gadgil who was born in Pune in 1942 had completed his M sc. in zoology from Bombay University. He received a Ph.D. in Biology for his thesis in mathematical ecology from Harvard University. After receiving a IBM fellowship from the Harvard computing center, he stayed on at the university as a lecturer in biology. Gadgil returned to India in 1971 to support the applications of ecological research and began his work as a scientific officer for the Maharashtra Association for Cultivation of Science in Pune.