Audubon Remembers Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy and Dr. Edward O. Wilson

The Audubon community is heartbroken to announce that two of the most renowned environmentalists of our generation, Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy and Dr. Edward O. Wilson, or "E.O. Wilson," have recently passed.

Thomas Lovejoy, world-renowned conservation biologist, was awarded the Audubon Connecticut Environmental Leadership Award in 2019. His well-known saying, “If you take care of birds, you take care of most of the environmental problems in the world,” was a launchpad for 2018’s “Year of the Bird” collaboration between the National Audubon Society, National Geographic, BirdLife International, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 

Thomas E. Lovejoy, PhD, receives the Environmental Leadership Award. Photo: Luke Franke/Audubon

E.O. Wilson was honored with the Audubon New York Award for Environmental Writing at the 2016 Keesee Award Luncheon, an award which recognizes writers who use the power of the pen to influence positive change in the world of environmental conservation in support Audubon’s mission. He was generally recognized as one of several leading biologists in the world. 

Dr. E.O. Wilson, former Audubon New York Executive Director Erin Croddy, and Kim Elliman at the 2016 Keesee Award Luncheon. Photo: Sunny Norton/Guest of a Guest Photography

"Nature has lost one of its most ardent advocates today," said National Audubon Society CEO Dr. Elizabeth Gray on Twitter, "Being a student of Professor Wilson inspired me to become a biologist and devote my career to conservation. He will be sorely missed. E.O. Wilson’s messages reached millions, whether in the classroom, the field, or through his writings. His love of the natural world taught us to observe wildlife with razor sharp curiosity. But most inspiring of all, he taught us that we have a deep, collective responsibility to protect our planet. E.O. Wilson’s legacy spans generations. It is up to all of us to carry his vision forward."

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