Student Kasper Meijer wins Unilever Research Prize

On November 26, Master student in Ecology and Evolution Kasper Meijer has been awarded the prestigious 2020 Unilever Research Prize for his Master research on Curacao. Meijers project ‘The Importance of Healthy Nursery Habitats for Coral Reef Fish on Curaçao’ was completely developed based on his own idea. He focused on the importance of habitat quality for nursery fish. This novel approach provides new tools for the conservation of these fish species that are of both commercial and ecological importance.

Kasper performed his project together with two fellow students and completed it with a 9. He finished his entire Master programme with a summa cum laude. He was also nominated for the GUF 100 award. He was offered a PhD position one year into his Master programme, which he has accepted. He is currently also working on two publications as a first author. Next to his study, Meijer has chaired GBD Calamari, the student diving association, for a year and currently heads the association’s science committee.

With the prize, Kasper Meijer received EUR 2,500 and a special glass artwork called ‘The Helping Hands’, designed by Dutch artist Frans Steginga, which symbolises the collaboration that is needed between industry and science to face global challenges together. The Unilever Research Prize is awarded annually to young academics conducting promising research in chemistry, biotechnology, mechanical engineering, biology, agricultural science or social sciences.

Due to the corona virus, the prizes were awarded during an online ceremony. The online program also included an introduction from Unilever’s Chief Research & Development Officer and two speakers who discussed thr imperatives around food systems transformation.