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Stony Brook Scientist Wins National Prize For Penguin Supercolony Discovery

Jason Auch
Wikimedia Commons
Adélie penguins on an iceberg in Antarctica."

A Stony Brook University scientist who discovered a penguin supercolony in Antarctica has won a national science prize of $250,000.

Researchers at Stony Brook found 1.5 million Adélie penguins by tracking their guano – excrement – from satellite imagery of the Danger Islands, an archipelago off the Antarctic coast.

Heather Lynch says her team’s work shows that these penguins will have multiple refuges as Antarctica warms from climate change.

“Now it looks like there are two regions of Antarctica where we have these very large Adélie populations and both of these areas will be somewhat buffered from the worst effects of climate change at least over the next 50 or 60 years.”

Lynch says her work will also help determine which areas are designated as protected regions.

She was named a national laureate by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and New York Academy of Sciences.