The International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS) was founded in 1980, after which membership increased rapidly as interest in and concern for coral reefs has grown. It is the principal learned society to which reef scientists and managers from across the world belong.
The principal objective of the Society is to promote the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge and understanding of coral reefs, both living and fossil.
To achieve its objectives the Society:
- publishes and distributes the well-regarded scientific journal Coral Reefs (click here for ISRS member access)
- coordinates the International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS), a major scientific congress held every four years, typically attended by some 2000 delegates
- promotes or supports smaller regional conferences or inter-congresses, in years between successive ICRS
- publishes Briefing Papers and Statements on emerging issues related to coral reefs and a newsletter called Reef Encounter
- acknowledges the scholarship and work of its members with Society awards and honors.
New Society Awards and Honors Announced!
Since its inception the International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS) has awarded only four established honors or prizes, and these at only relatively low frequency: The Darwin Medal, once every 4 years, Honorary Membership to a maximum of 10 individuals at any one time, A Best Paper Prize awarded once per year, and a Graduate Fellowships in Reef Conservation, currently in abeyance. Over April to June this year, however, the Council of the Society agreed to establish an expanded system of awards and recognitions as a means by which the Society can acknowledge exceptional achievement or commitment by a larger number of members ranging from students, through early- and mid-career researchers, to the most senior or eminent scientists. The measures include the establishment of ISRS Fellows, and also an award to recognise achievement by under-represented groups. The award system has been designed to be comparable to the recognition systems of other similar scientific societies (e.g. Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, American Geological Society, Geochemical Society, British Ecological Society, etc.).
In addition to the four existing honors and prizes listed above, five new awards have been established available to full members:
- A Young Scientist Award – one awarded each year to a scientist under the age of 35, in recognition of a publication or series of publications.
- A Mid-Career Scientist Award – one awarded each year in recognition of excellence in research during the preceding approximately 10 years by a mid-career scientist.
- An Eminence in Research Award – up to two awarded per year to an established scientist in recognition of an outstanding body of research over an extended period of time. (The award is seen as being second in status to the Darwin award of which only one is awarded every 4 years.)
- ISRS Fellow – the status of ISRS Fellow being awarded to a member in recognition of scientific achievement and / or service to reef conservation or management and / or service to ISRS over a significant period of time. Up to 15% of full members may be recognised as Fellows as a result of a competitive application / nomination process.
- The World Reef Award – one awarded per year in recognition of scientific or conservation achievement by an individual who is a member of a group under-represented in the field of reef science or management.
In addition, two new awards, officially recognised and promoted by ISRS, will be available to student members. At each International Coral Reef Symposium, or other Conference sponsored by ISRS, there will be awarded:
- A Best Poster Award, and
- A Best Presentation Award
For additional details, visit the Awards & Honors Page.
Other News & Notables
- Read a recent message from Bob Richmond, President of ISRS.
- Read a statement about the state of the world’s coral reefs.
- The latest issue of Reef Encounter (#39, Feb 2014) is now available as well as past issues.
- Mark your calendar! Next International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS 13) to be held in Honolulu, Hawaii, from 19th-24th June 2016.
- Special low society membership dues are available for students (from as low as $20 per year) and developing country nationals (from as low as $40 per year). Click here for more information.