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"Corals of the World" nets Science Prize

Australasian Science, the respected Melbourne-based science magazine, has named Dr Charlie Veron and Dr Mary Stafford-Smith as the winners of its inaugural Science Prize, in recognition of their decade-long collaboration in producing Corals of the World.

Dr Veron, who is Chief Scientist for the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), wrote the three-volume reference work based on his 30 years as a reef researcher and more than 200 expeditions to reefs around the world. His wife, Dr Stafford-Smith, was the scientific editor and publisher. Australasian Science honours both equally for their work on the project.

Corals of the World was officially launched by the Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Senator the Hon Nick Minchin, at Parliament House in Canberra last month. It was unveiled to the world coral reef research community at the International Coral Reef Research Conference in Bali at the end of October, to broad acclaim.

Dr Peter Pockley, well-known science journalist and correspondent for Australasian Science, announced the awarding of the prize to Dr Veron and Dr Stafford-Smith in the November / December issue of the magazine.

He described Corals of the World as "a truly monumental achievement in coral reef research and publication". The nearly 1,500-page all-colour set was one of the biggest publishing tasks of its kind in Australia. As Dr Pockley points out, it is "no mere catalogue" and it integrates Dr Veron’s formidable knowledge base in "a new and challenging theory of how species change", a theory now known as reticulate evolution.

Corals of the World is an AIMS publication. Information on how to order it may be obtained from the AIMS Corals of the World web page at

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