Hal Caswell, professor of Mathematical Demography and Ecology, received the 2014 Mindel C. Sheps Award for his contributions to the field of mathematical demography. The award is one of the most prestigious international awards in demography and is presented biennially by the Population Association of America (PAA). Professor Caswell received the award at the PAA meeting in Boston, on 2 May 2014.
Caswell was cited for his lifetime contributions to mathematical demographic analysis, especially his work on matrix population models, spanning studies of plants, animals, and humans. His results have had a great influence on such diverse areas as life history theory, conservation biology, and the evolution of aging. At the University of Amsterdam, he is applying models of these phenomena to study fundamental theoretical questions about the roles of stochastic variation and individual heterogeneity in population dynamics.
Hal Caswell is currently a Professor in the Theoretical Ecology Group within the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics. He is also a Senior Scientist in Biology at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, holds an Honorary Professorship of Biodemography at Southern Denmark University, and is a Distinguished Research Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany.
The award is named in honour of Mindel C. Sheps, MD (1913-1973), who became an expert in statistics and who made fundamental contributions to the demographic and biological aspects of fertility through her research on the impact of social factors in public health. It is awarded on the basis of important contributions to knowledge, either in the form of a single piece of work or a continuing record of high achievement.