The Main Prize goes to PD Dr. Patricia Holm, head of the Fishnet project (Swiss network for fish decline) at the Swiss aquatic research institute EAWAG, in Dübendorf, for her post-doctoral thesis “The Fish as Bioindicator: The Effect of Environmental Influences on Selected Molecules, Cells and Organs”. The work dealt with an applied and societally very relevant issue in a comprehensive, scientifically sound manner: the pollution of our rivers by various environmental chemicals and their effects on the fish fauna. The work shows convincingly how, by means of tests at different levels of the biological hierarchy, an ecosystem can be assessed in order to make a broad-based statement about causal relationships.
The Recognition Award goes to historian Urban Caluori for his master's thesis, “The Wolf – Game or Wild Animal? An interpretation pattern analysis in the Swiss population” (Der Wolf – Wildtier oder wildes Tier? Eine Deutungsmusteranalyse in der Schweizer Bevölkerung). The work examines the attitudes of people and their behavior towards nature based on a recent example, that of the relationship between man and wolf. Both theoretically and empirically, it argues persuasively in a clear and vivid style for an enlightened and cautiously enlightening behaviour, and provides an impressive guide how strategies to promote acceptance can be developed in the environmental field..