Laureates of the Japan Prize


Dr. Peter Shaw Ashton

2007 (23rd) Japan Prize Laureate

Science and Technology of Harmonious Co-Existence
Contribution to the conservation of tropical forest
Commemorative Lecture
Fifty years of decline yet fifty years of discovery: Science towards the sustainment of biodiversity
Nationality: UK
Date of Birth: June 27 1934
Academic Degrees:
1956 B.A., Cambridge University
1960 M.A., Cambridge University
1962 Ph.D., Cambridge University
Professional Career:
1957-1962 Forest Botanist to the Brunei Government
1962-1966 Forest Botanist to the Sarawak Government
1966-1972 Lecturer, Aberdeen University
1972-1978 Senior Lecturer in botany, Aberdeen University
1978-1987 Director, The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University; and Arnold Professor of Botany, Harvard University
1978-1991 Professor of Dendrology, Harvard University
1990-2000 Faculty Fellow, Harvard Institute for International Development, Harvard University
1991-1999 Charles Bullard Professor of Forestry, Harvard University
1998-Present Faculty Fellow, Center for International Development, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
1999-2004 Charles Bullard Research Professor of Forestry, Harvard University
2004-Present Charles Bullard Professor of Forestry, emeritus Harvard University
Title: Charles Bullard Professor of Forestry
Major Publications:
  1. Ashton, P.S. Speciation among tropical forest trees: some deductions in the light of recent evidence. Biol.J.Linn.Soc.1: 155-196. 1969
  2. Ashton, P.S. Dipterocarpaceae. Fl. Males. 1 (9): 237-552. 1982.
  3. Ashton, P.S., Givnish, T.J. and Appanah, S. Staggered flowering in the Dipterocarpaceae: New insights into floral induction and the evolution of mast fruiting in the aseasonal tropics. Amer. Naturalist 132: 44-66. 1988.
  4. Potts, M.D., Ashton, P.S., Kaufman, L.S. and Plotkin, J.B. Habitat patterns in tropical rain forests: a comparison of 105 plots in northwest Borneo. Ecology 83: 2782-2797. 2002.
  5. R Condit, P Ashton, S Bunyavejchewin, H. S. Dattaraja, S Davies, S Esufali, C Ewango, R Foster, I. A. U. N. Gunatilleke, C. V. S. Gunatilleke, P Hall, K E. Harms, T Hart, C Hernandez, S Hubbell, A Itoh, S Kiratiprayoon, J LaFrankie, S L de Lao, J-R Makana, Md. Nur Supardi Noor, A R Kassim, S Russo, R Sukumar, C Samper, H S. Suresh, S Tan, S Thomas, R Valencia, M Vallejo, G Villa, T Zillio. The Importance of Demographic Niches to Tree Diversity. Science Vol. 313, pp. 98-101. 2006.
Awards and honors:
  • Environmental Merit Award, USA Environmental Protection Agency For outstanding contributions to conservation; for work as Director of the Arnold Arboretum and the quality and restoration of the collection; and for research in future sustainment of tropical rain forests (1987)
  • Recipient of UNESCO's fourth Sultan Quaboos Prize for environmental preservation for 1997 for research, management, and conservation of rain forests, shared with a team of four researchers: two from Peradeniya University, Sri Lanka, and one from Yale University, for work in Sinharaja forest, Sri Lanka (1997)
  • Honorary Doctor of Science, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (2001)

( At the time of receipt of the Prize )

More about the Laureates

Press Conference

page top