The recipients of the Louis De Pauw award are listed by year. A short introduction concerning their research and contributions to Belgian paleontology are briefly discussed. The biography of each awardee will be updated after the annual award ceremony
The first Louis De Pauw award (2020), was presented to none other than Marcel Vervoenen. Originally a printer by profession, Marcel was able to develop a very special technique in the 1990s that made it possible to preserve entire fossilised sea beds and lumachellas (shell banks) in their soft sediment context. Thus, these otherwise very ephemeral discoveries provided more insight into the influence that tides, storms or calmer periods could have on the fauna of Cenozoic seabeds in Flanders. Although he had no academic training, Marcel Vervoenen published the well-known Taphonomy of some Cenozoic seabeds from the Flemish region through the Belgian Geological Service in 1995. Hey also studied the Pleistocene fauna of Bos Van Aa in Zemst during the 1980’s and 1990’s in collaboration with professional researchers from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. His international collaboration, eye for detail, hands on mentality and passion make him the perfect example of what citizen science should be.
The 2021 citizen scientist award went to Mark Bosselaers, who, through numerous publications and fruitful collaboration with the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, has established himself as a regional authority on fossil cetaceans and tunicates. On a local level, this former art teacher at many academies does not shy away from cooperation with fossil collectors who, thanks to him, contribute to ongoing research. His contagious drive, amazing versatility and human approach make Mark Bosselaers a figurehead of what citizen science has been able to achieve to date, but can also achieve for future generations. a citizen scientist, Mark has an impressive list of important scientific publications to his name. In addition, like many other citizen scientists, he spares no time nor effort to, save, store and make an inventory of all the material he has found or that has been brought to him by other collectors and volunteers. Because Mark Bosselaers is also very active abroad and has made valuable contributions to research, he has already deservedly received several international awards such as the Saporta prize in France in 2018 and the van der Lijn prize in the Netherlands in 2019. Today, there is also a Belgian recognition.