A Bangladeshi-American scientist and his team member have won the prestigious creativity prize of the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW).
The prize was awarded to the team of Dr Rita Colwell of University of Maryland and Dr Shafiqul Islam of Tufts University, USA for developing and testing a model that uses chlorophyll information from satellite data to predict cholera outbreaks at least three to six months in advance.
The awards ceremony for the 7th Award, which was announced on October 5, will be held at the United Nations headquarters in New York on November 2 this year, according to the PSIPW official website.
Shafiqul Islam applied Rita Colwell’s findings to relate chlorophyll levels and cholera outbreaks in the Bay of Bengal, according to the website.
The satellite-based model has been tested with chlorophyll information from satellites over the Bay of Bengal region to predict cholera outbreaks in Bangladesh. The team is currently working on testing the model with ground-based observations, according to the website.
“I am pleased, honored, and humbled,” Shafiqul Islam said in a personal email.
The creativity prize is shared by two teams this year. Dr Peter J Webster of Georgia Institute of Technology, USA was the other recipient of the creativity prize for his work on ocean-atmosphere interactions and their effect on monsoon strength, which is used to provide one to two-week lead time forecasts of monsoonal floods that often provoke catastrophic inundations in highly populated coastal regions.