NUS professor becomes first Singaporean to win ‘Nobel prize’ of geography

Professor Brenda Yeoh of the National University of Singapore receiving the Vautrin Lud Prize, the world's highest honour in the field of geography, at a presentation in France. ― Picture courtesy of Professor Brenda Yeoh/NUS
Professor Brenda Yeoh of the National University of Singapore receiving the Vautrin Lud Prize, the world's highest honour in the field of geography, at a presentation in France. ― Picture courtesy of Professor Brenda Yeoh/NUS

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SINGAPORE, Oct 14 — Professor Brenda Yeoh from the National University Singapore (NUS) has become the first Singaporean to be awarded the prestigious Vautrin Lud Prize, the highest award in geography, for her outstanding achievements in the field.

The prize, regarded as the “Nobel Prize” for geography, has been awarded annually for the past 30 years.

The recipient is decided by a five-member international jury at the International Geography Festival held in Saint-Die-des-Vosges, France.

Prof Yeoh, whose work focuses on transnational migration, was presented with the prize at the 32nd edition of the festival, which took place between October 1 and 3 this year. She attended in person.

Previous winners of the prize include British geographer and Distinguished Professor David Harvey, British social scientist and geographer Doreen Massey and British geographer Ron Johnston.

“I am honoured and humbled that my research has received a nod from peers for whom I have the utmost respect and admiration.

“I thank (NUS) for giving me support, encouragement and the opportunity to work on the salient issues related to transnational migration that is affecting our society and I look forward to advancing research in this field,” said Prof Yeoh, who is also the Raffles Professor of Social Sciences.

In a statement on Tuesday (October 12), NUS said Prof Yeoh studied geography at Cambridge and completed her doctorate in the field at Oxford University.

She joined the NUS’ Department of Geography in 1987 and has been teaching and researching in the department for more than three decades.

She has expertise in a wide range of migration research in Asia, in areas such as cosmopolitanism and highly skilled talent migration.

As the research leader of the Asian migration cluster at NUS’ Asia Research Institute, Prof Yeoh has also published in 35 books and more than 230 journal articles.

She serves as the editor of the Asian Population Studies journal and sits on the international advisory boards of notable migration journals such as the International Migration Review and International Migration.

Prof Yeoh was also recently elected to the Fellowship of the distinguished British Academy — the United Kingdom’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences — for achieving distinction in the field. ― TODAY

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