May 05, 2007
Ray Troll, an artist, naturalist, author and musician living in Ketchikan, Alaska, will receive the Gold Medal for Distinction in Natural History Art for contributing to a better understanding and appreciation of living things.
Armed with a life-long interest in natural history, Troll got his start in pop culture by creating offbeat depictions of fish and other sea creatures for T-shirts. He has co-written and illustrated six books including Rapture of the Deep and Sharkabet, has written blues songs about fish and is the art director for a traveling exhibition that opens June 2 at the Academy called Amazon Voyages: Vicious Fishes and Other Riches.
Dr. Ted Daeschler, who co-discovered the 375-million-year-old Canadian Arctic fossil that is an evolutionary link between fish and limbed animals, will receive the Hayden Memorial Geological Award for excellence in scientific discovery and research.
The Academy's Associate Curator of Vertebrate Biology, Daeschler joined Philadelphia's natural history museum in 1987 as a collection manager. Besides overseeing an active research collection, Daeschler has made numerous key discoveries in northern Pennsylvania and in the Arctic of Late Devonian Age (375-365 million years ago) fossils that trace the evolution of limbed animals. Daeschler received his Ph.D in geology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1998.
"These individuals have broken new ground into the history and exotica of life," said Academy President and CEO Dr. William Brown. "It's a joy to honor them both!"
The awards will be given the evening of June 1st during the Academy's annual meeting, which coincides with the Academy members' preview party for the Amazon Voyage exhibit. The meeting and the party, featuring Brazilian music and dancing by Minas, is not open to the general public -- the public opening of Amazon Voyage is scheduled for Saturday, June 2nd.
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