Polar activist and evolutionary biologist among the winners of 2023 Oceanographic Awards

The Oceanographic Awards, led by Prince Albert II and presented by the Oceanographic Institute and the Prince Albert I Foundation, are a celebration of the finest minds in ocean research and conservation. Here are the winners of 2023.  

The Oceanographic Awards, founded in 1948 in the memory of Monaco’s ‘Explorer’ Prince Albert I, spotlight exceptional individuals at the forefront of oceanographic research and conservation by formally recognising their contributions to their respective realms.  

Prince Albert II was at the helm of this year’s ceremony, which was held at the Musée Océanographique de Monaco on 22nd November, and congratulated each of the 2023 laureates personally for their diverse expertise and efforts. 

The Oceanographic Awards and the Grande Médaille Albert Ier were founded in 1948 in memory of ‘Explorer’ Prince Albert I. Photo credit: Institut Océanographique de Monaco / Michel Dagnino / Cedou 

Distinguished contributions in marine science  

In the Science category, both Professor Nils Christian Stenseth, an ecologist and evolutionary biologist, and Professor Rashid Ussif Sumaila, an ocean economist, received awards. Professor Stenseth was recognised for his extensive research into marine ecosystems while Professor Sumaila was honoured for his work on the sustainable management of sea resources, which have helped shed light on the economic impact of human activities on the oceans. 

The Mediation category applauded Doctor Jean-Louis Étienne, an environmental activist known for his polar explorations, for his efforts in raising global awareness about the challenges facing our oceans, which have been crucial in mobilising public interest and action. 

Emerging researchers in oceanography 

Then it was on to the Thesis category, in which two young researchers, Doctor Charly de Marez from France and Doctor Adrian Van Kan from Germany, were welcomed to the stage to receive their respective awards. 

Doctor de Marez is currently specialising in the physics of high seas’ currents and was acknowledged for his significant post-doctoral research into ocean current dynamics at the University of Iceland. 

Doctor Van Kan, meanwhile, is a post-doctoral researcher in Physical Oceanography at the University of California, Berkeley and was recognised by the Awards for his contributions to our knowledge of marine physical properties. 


Join the Monaco Life community – the largest English media in the Principality. 

Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter, and follow us on  Facebook, Instagram  and  LinkedIn.    


Photo credit: Institut Océanographique de Monaco / Michel Dagnino / Cedou