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The 2018 A.G. Huntsman Award is presented to Professor Terence P. Hughes of James Cook University, Australia, in recognition of his outstanding research leadership in the field of coral reef ecology and for his work to raise the profile of coral reefs and their vulnerability to unchecked climate change. Professor Hughes is one of the world's most highly cited coral reef scientists. He is an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and a recipient of the International Society for Reef Studies' Darwin Medal and an Einstein Professorship from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In June of this year, Prince Albert II of Monaco presented Professor Hughes with the 2018 Climate Change Award, recognizing his contribution to advancing understanding of the influence of rapid climate change on the world's coral reefs.

Professor Terence P. Hughes is the Director of the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, headquartered at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. Professor Hughes received his PhD from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, U.S.A., and was a National Science Foundation (NSF) Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara, before moving to Australia. A recurrent theme in Professor Hughes' studies is the application of new scientific knowledge towards improving management of marine environments. In 2016, Professor Hughes coordinated Australia's response to global mass bleaching of corals triggered by record sea temperatures. Later that year, Professor Hughes was recognised by Nature magazine as one of Nature's "Top Ten People Who Mattered This Year" for his leadership in responding to this unprecedented event. Nature dubbed Professor Hughes "Reef Sentinel" for the role he plays in applying multi-disciplinary science to securing reef sustainability.