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Ensenada scientist Eric Mellink has won Volkswagen's "For the Planet" conservation biology prize for his work trying to conserve native species.
Mellink, who has a Ph.D. in arid-lands studies from the University of Arizona, teaches at the Center for Scientific Study and Higher Learning (CICESE) and also is a research associate at the San Diego Natural History Museum. He is to receive the prize today.
The scientist, who was born in the Netherlands in 1955, has more than 70 publications dealing with natural protected zones. Volkswagen said his work has aided in conservation efforts in Mexican islands in the Gulf of California and the Pacific, in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, in the seas and coasts of the northeast, and in the central plateau.
Volkswagen said, "Eric does not just record biological data but is concerned about understanding the history of the local use of biodiversity and places this in a regional sociocultural setting."
His family moved to Mexico in 1958 and he has lived in various parts of the country. In 1978, he graduated from the National Agricultural School, now the Autonomous University of Chapingo, in Texcoco in Mexico state.
In 2010, he won the Ecological Merit Prize awarded by the federal Environment and Natural Resources Ministry, or SEMARNAT.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF).