Dr Lauren Weisenberger, a Hawaiian botanist and member of the Hawaiian Plant Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC), has received the David Given Award for Excellence in Plant Conservation.
The award was announced on 2 September 2016, in Honolulu, during the 6th World Conservation Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Dr Weisenberger, who works with the Oahu Army Natural Resources Program, Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit of the University of Hawaiʻi, received the award for her exceptional contributions to conservation of rare plants in Hawaiʻi.
Dr Weisenberger’s PhD research on extremely rare Hawaiian plant species has guided restoration of viable populations of Critically Endangered plants from a few remaining individuals. She was a lead author of the Hawaiʻi Strategy for Plant Conservation, a regional complement to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation. Dr. Weisenberger has made extraordinary and lasting contributions to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and conservation of plant species in Hawai’i. She is also a volunteer member of the Advisory Council for Laukahi: The Hawai’i Plant Conservation Network.
The David Given Award was established by the IUCN SSC in 2012 to enhance the profile of plant conservation and encourage outstanding efforts of young plant conservation professionals. This award is named for the late Dr. David Given to honour his outstanding contributions to global plant conservation.