Lexington, Virginia • April 13, 2009
Cleveland P. Hickman Jr., professor emeritus of biology at Washington and Lee University, will receive the Thomas Jefferson Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Natural Science from the Virginia Museum for Natural History Foundation at the organization's 22nd annual Thomas Jefferson Awards on Earth Day on April 22, at the museum in Martinsville, Va.
The medal is presented to an individual who has consistently made outstanding contributions to natural history.
Hickman taught at Washington and Lee from 1967 until his retirement in 1993. He specialized in animal physiology, general zoology and ecology. He is the author of three textbooks of zoology - Integrated Principles of Zoology, Biology of Animals and Animal Diversity. Integrated Principles of Zoology is currently in its 14th edition.
Hickman's early research concentrated on fish physiology but he later focused on the Galapagos Islands. He an international expert on the aquatic invertebrates of the Galapagos and has had two species that he discovered named after him.
In retirement, he has published four field guides in the Galapagos Marine Life Series, the most recent, published in 2008, on corals and other radiate invertebrates.These field guides and photographs of the two species named after Hickman are currently on display in the Boatwright Room of Leyburn Library as part of an exhibition honoring the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth.
Founded in 1984 as The Boaz Foundation, a private institution, the Virginia Museum of Natural History is a state agency that has earned recognition as one of the nation's leading museums in its field. It is accredited by the American Association of Museums, a distinction earned by fewer than 10 percent of museums in the United States.