Paper co-authored by UW–Madison professor and student receives Frontiers Planet Prize

Professor Holly Gibbs and one of her students collaborate on an award-winning paper about the environmental benefits of plant-based diets

Holly GibbsIn spring 2023, Nelson Institute faculty member Holly Gibbs and Seth Spawn-Lee, a UW–Madison graduate research assistant and member of the Gibbs Land Use and Environment Lab, worked on a team that published a paper featured in Nature Food. Led by Dr. Paul Behrens of Leiden University (Netherlands), the paper investigates the potential reduction in greenhouse gasses if first world/high-income countries switch to plant-based diets instead of consuming animal products. The team found that large scale plant-based consumption would not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also remove existing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere due to increased growth of vegetation. 

The paper Gibbs and Spawn-Lee contributed to, along with other papers from around the world, received a Frontiers Planet Prize from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in collaboration with the International Science Council. This award “recognizes scientists whose research contributes to the future of the planet” and promotes stewardship of our world. The International Science Council’s CEO, Salvatore Aricò, applauds these award-winning scientists, claiming “they demonstrate science in action, science for sustainability, and science for a new moral pact with our planet.”