IIASA researcher Marta Kozicka is one of the 23 National Champions of the Frontiers Planet Prize announced today. The winners were drawn from research teams across six continents.

Portrait of Marta Kozicka © Silveri | IIASA

Launched by the Frontiers Research Foundation on Earth Day 2022, the Frontiers Planet Prize aims to mobilize science for a global green renaissance. The prize rewards and promotes breakthroughs in sustainability science that show the greatest potential to keep the planet from crossing the nine planetary boundaries, a framework put forward by long time IIASA collaborator Johan Rockström, and which he continues to develop with colleagues from around the world, including several IIASA researchers. Kozicka is the National Champion for Austria and will now move forward to the final round of the competition, where three International Champions will be selected and awarded CHF 1 million (just over EUR 1 million) each to support their research.

Kozicka is an agricultural economist working on trade-offs and synergies between multiple objectives of sustainable development with a focus on diets and food security in the Integrated Biosphere Futures Research Group of the IIASA Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program. She was nominated for the Frontiers planet Prized based on a study where she led a large multidisciplinary team allowing a truly integrated analysis of global food security and environmental impacts of novel plant-based meat and milk consumption at large scales considering the complexity of food systems.

“The research I was nominated for investigates the potential of a plant-based dietary transition to meet several sustainability objectives, including climate change mitigation and biodiversity loss reduction. Our team included several IIASA colleagues and was conducted in partnership with the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, USAID, and also researchers at Impossible Foods (a company that develops plant-based substitutes for meat products) as a potential user of the data to ensure relevance. It was a fantastic experience to be part of such a team,” Kozicka says.

Now in its second edition, the Prize has engaged with 20 academies of science and 475 leading universities and research institutions from 43 countries to showcase transformational and globally scalable research on planetary science, with a focus on enabling healthy lives on a healthy planet. This year's 23 National Champions represent a diverse group of researchers at various stages of their academic careers, each of whom have published groundbreaking articles that put forward unique, transformative solutions.

"We couldn't be prouder of Marta’s outstanding achievement as one of the 23 National Champions of the Frontiers Planet Prize. Her dedication to advancing sustainable development through her research on food security is commendable and her work exemplifies IIASA's commitment to driving impactful solutions for a healthier planet. We congratulate her on this well-deserved recognition," concludes IIASA Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program Director and a coauthor of the study, Petr Havlík.

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