Fellow Hernandez named the recipient of E.O. Wilson Award for Outstanding Science in Biodiversity Conservation


Muir Institute Fellow Rebecca R. Hernandez, an assistant professor in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, has been named the recipient of this year’s E.O. Wilson Award for Outstanding Science in Biodiversity Conservation, given by the Center for Biological Diversity and named after the “father of biodiversity.”

The center cited Hernandez’s work aimed at protecting desert lands and developing sustainable renewable energy that preserves wildlife and community.

“I congratulate Dr. Hernandez and thank her for her important work to protect desert lands,” Wilson said. “Her research on sustainable solar energy development is relevant and urgent in addressing the modern extinction crisis.”

Hernandez studies how energy, ecology and the global environment affect arid lands. Her research helps find solutions to problems where human and natural system interact in water-limited environments. For example, one of her recent studies showed how siting solar energy projects on unconventional areas like rooftops and old landfill sites could provide more than enough energy for California while sparing prime agricultural lands needed to feed a growing population on a planet with decreasing available land.

Hernandez will receive the award at a ceremony in Oakland on January 23.

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