UC Riverside Ecologist Receives 2015 Prigogine Gold Medal

Bai-Lian (Larry) Li is an international expert on mathematical, statistical and computational modeling applications in ecological studies

Bai-Lian (Larry) Li is a professor of ecology at UC Riverside.

Bai-Lian (Larry) Li is a professor of ecology at UC Riverside.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The Prigogine Gold Medal is awarded annually to a leading scientist in the field of ecological systems. This year, Bai-Lian (Larry) Li, a professor of ecology at the University of California, Riverside, has been selected to receive it.

The medal was established in 2004 by the University of Siena and the Wessex Institute of Technology, and honors the memory of Ilya Prigogine, who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1977.

Li is the director of three research centers: the International Center for Ecology and Sustainability, the International Center for Arid Land Ecology and the U.S. Department of Agriculture — China Joint Research Center for AgroEcology and Sustainability.

His research interests include quantitative plant ecology, ecological complexity and modeling, theoretical and mathematical ecology, systems ecology, landscape ecology, computational biology, and ecological informatics. His lab at UCR addresses questions such as: How do biological and ecological systems self-organize? What are the origins and mechanisms of emergence of scaling from individual to landscape levels? And what are the physical bases of non-equilibrium biological and ecological systems? To address these questions, Li’s lab uses mathematical, statistical, and computational modeling approaches. The lab also addresses applied ecological problems in conservation biology, biological invasion, restoration ecology, ecological monitoring and assessment, global change, and sustainable development.

Li is a fellow of the Institute for Human Ecology and Chair Professor of the Chinese Academy of Science. He is also honorary professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Currently, he presides over the Eco-Summit Foundation. He has served as the founder and editor of the International Journal of Ecological Complexity and the Journal of Arid Land. He has organized many symposia and courses with organizations such as the Max Planck Institute and the Santa Fe Institute. He is the author of more than 200 refereed journal articles, conference papers, 30 book chapters and eight books or edited special issues.

The 2015 Prigogine Gold Medal award ceremony will take place on June 3, 2015, at the Politecnic University of València, Spain. Li is scheduled to give the Prigogine Lecture at the event. His lecture is titled “Towards an energetically and thermodynamically-sounded approach to ecological complexity, modeling and sustainability.”

Born in Moscow, Ilya Prigogine was awarded the Nobel Prize for his contribution to non-equilibrium thermodynamics. The main theme of his scientific work was the role of time in the physical sciences and biology. His ideas established the basis for ecological systems research.

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Additional Contacts

Bai-Lian (Larry) Li
Tel: (951) 827-4776
E-mail: bai-lian.li@ucr.edu

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