Heroes from marine world honored with Grand Medals Albert I from the hands of Prince Albert II

Recognizing commitment to love & protect our ocean

On Friday, October 12, 2018, Dame Ellen MacArthur and Pr. Eric Karsenti, both received the prestigious Grand Medals Albert I from HSH Prince Albert II, an annual event  that was created in 1948,  recognizing the greatest figures of the marine world, French and International. They received a bronze medal with the profile of Prince Albert I in relieve, pioneer of the modern oceanography and founder of the Oceanographic Institute. Prince Albert II continues the legacy of this great-great-grandfather to love and protect the ocean.

(Photo: HSH Prince Albert II, R. Calcagno, P.Cury, C.Delavergne, Dame E. MacArthur, B. Fautrier, HE. S. Telle, E. Karsenti, X. Darcos, A. Thiebault, P. Taquet © M. Dagnino-MOM)

Dame Ellen MacArthur, former navigator and President of the foundation that bears her name, was given the medal in the Mediation section, for her mission in accelerating the transition toward a circular economy, a framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design. (Photo below:HSH Prince Albert II and Dame Ellen MacArthur © M. Dagnino- MOM)

The Mediation section highlights the commitment of men and women in the public life working within civil society to give a voice to the ocean. Since 2014 the Grand Medal Albert I, reserved just for scientists, is awarded to public personalities. In creating this section, the Oceanographic Institute chose to honor those who put themselves to the service of the oceans, not only scientifically, but that through their active participation to create awareness and call for action. These new pilgrims moved by their passion and communicative energy, provoke real interest to love and protect our oceans and our ecosystem.

Up to date 4 personalities committed to the service of the Ocean have received medals in the Mediation section, notably Leonardo DiCaprio a fervent environment activist who was awarded in 2015.

Pr. Eric KarsentiScientific director of the Tara Oceans expedition and Co-director of the Tara Oceans Polar Circle expedition, was given the medal in the Science section, for his work as a cellular biologist and bio-physician, interested in plankton, marine organisms of essential value for oceanic and terrestrial life. (Photo below: HSH Prince Albert II de Monaco and Professor Eric Karsenti © M. Dagnino- MOM)

The Science Section compensates highly qualified researchers in the oceanographic field for the ensemble of his carrier, specific works or an exceptional discovery. Up to this date 71 researchers have been honored, notably the famous French oceanographic explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau in 1981.

Below is a collage of some of the previous recipients of the Grand Medal Albert I.

Years of research exposed in 180 seconds

With the aim to provide support to new generations of researchers whose work is linked to the ocean, the Oceanographic Institute awarded to Thesis Prizes. The laureates received a bourse of Euro 3,000 to aid in their investigations.  The presentations were done in an innovative and interesting way as each of them had 180 seconds for their creative exposition on stage, incredible to see many years of research condensed into 3 minutes.

Dr. Casimir de Lavergne was compensated for his thesis: Elements of the lifecycle of Antarctic bottom water.

Dr. Andrea Thiebault for her thesis: “Come aboard with Cape gannets: social influences in foraging strategies, observed from videos”

Today’s Quote

“I hope for your help to explore and protect the wild ocean in ways that will restore the health and, in so doing, secure hope for humankind. Health to the ocean means health for us.”  Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer


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