• The Associated Press


A husband-and-wife team of biologists from Princeton University are among the winners of this year’s Kyoto Prizes for their decades of research on evolution in the Galapagos Islands and will share an award of $515,000.

Peter and Rosemary Grant were awarded the prize in biological sciences for conducting more than 35 years of field work on the response of organisms to environmental change, the prize foundation said Friday.

The Grants studied how evolution works in finches, watching as the dimensions of the birds’ beaks changed in response to weather and other variables.

The emeritus professors are both 72.

The Kyoto Prize was established in 1985 and is given to people who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural and spiritual betterment of humankind.

This year’s award in arts and philosophy goes to 84-year-old French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, the foundation said.

Isamu Akasaki, 80, a professor at Nagoya University, will receive the award for advanced technology in recognition of his pioneering work in the development of blue light-emitting diodes.

The prize winners will receive gold medals and ¥50 million awards ($515,000) in each category during a ceremony to be held in Kyoto in November.

The prizes are awarded by the Inamori Foundation, a charitable body established by Kazuo Inamori, the founder of electronic component maker Kyocera Corp.

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