LUBBOCK, Texas — Ronald Kendall, Ph.D., a professor of environmental toxicology at Texas Tech University, told KLBK News on Friday he will receive the 2021 Founders Award from the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry for his contributions to scientific development.

He said it’s the highest honor one can receive in his field on a global level.

“We have to think larger and bigger as we think about the planet and its future, and the protection of biodiversity,’ Kendall said, adding it’s important to, “Reclaim water, air and food supply.”

His ‘think bigger’ mentality has carried him throughout his career to where he is today- months away from receiving the award in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“I’m looking forward to that, but also very pleased and grateful to have been identified as a significant contributor to the field of environmental toxicology,” he shared.

Many of his publications explored “how to structure studies that would advance the science of wildlife and environmental toxicology.”

Since 2012, Kendall has been working to save the West Texas quail population, which, according to his studies, is struggling to sustain itself.

“What emerged from that was our discovery of significant parasitic disease and our wild quail,” Kendall said.

The parasitic diseases he found affect quails’ ability to see, fly and ultimately survive.

“We’re not talking about losing a few quail. We’re talking about losing 90 to 95% of a population from a given zone, and that’s what our data is telling us,” he said.

Kendall added it takes years for quail to recover when 90% of the population is lost.

He told KLBK News he’s been working closely with the Food and Drug Administration since 2015 to get approved a medicated feed that has shown to dramatically improve the health of the species.

“We’re very excited with the results we’re seeing- and the ability to treat wild quail in their natural environment, and not hurt them, but get rid of these parasitic infections,” he shared.

See what Texas Tech said about impact below.

Texas Tech News Release

“DATE: Jan. 7, 2022

Professor Receives Global Recognition, Acclaim for Environmental Toxicology Research  

Ronald Kendall will be honored with the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry’s 2021 Founders Award in May.

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Ronald Kendall, a professor of environmental toxicology at Texas Tech University, has been selected to receive the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry’s (SETAC) 2021 Founders Award for his contributions to environmental research. Kendall will be presented with the award by the SETAC World Council and the SETAC Global Awards Committee in Copenhagen, Denmark, in May.

“I am very appreciative to be recognized by the SETAC global organization with this high honor,” Kendall said. “SETAC is making significant environmental science advancements worldwide and I am very grateful to have contributed to this advancement.”

The highest honor SETAC can bestow, the Founders Award is granted once yearly to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to scientific development. Kendall has spent much of his scientific career studying the ecological impacts of environmental contaminants on wildlife and promoting a more ecological approach to environmental risk assessment.

“Dr. Kendall richly deserves this recognition,” said Michael Honeycutt, director of the Toxicology, Risk Assessment and Research Division for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. “His cutting-edge research has led to innumerable advances in the field of ecotoxicology.”

Kendall is the founding director of Texas Tech’s Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH) as well as the founding chairman of the Department of Environmental Toxicology, in which TIEHH is housed. Kendall is a charter member of SETAC and served as president of the organization from 1992-1993. He has served as either editor or associate editor of SETAC’s scientific journal, “Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry” (ET&C), for more than three decades.

“I have known Dr. Kendall for nearly 30 years,” said Elaine Dorward-King, retired executive vice president of sustainability and external relations for Newmont Mining Corporation. “During that time, he has made numerous important contributions to environmental science and in particular wildlife toxicology. Dr. Kendall is one of those rare individuals who is able to communicate complex scientific concepts in an understandable and useful manner, helping to improve public understanding and appreciation for how science helps solve real-world problems.”

About the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) is an international nonprofit organization with more than 5,000 members in 90 countries dedicated to the advancement of environmental research and education. Click here to learn more about SETAC’s mission, vision, principles and values.”