Luc Hoffmann

Doctor Honoris Causa 2013

Dr. Luc Hoffmann, Co-founder of WWF, received the Honorary Degree of BSL in 2013 in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the global conservation of nature and biodiversity.

Born in Basel in 1923, Dr. Luc Hoffmann is the grandson of Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche, who founded the company Hoffmann La Roche in 1896. He studied at the Basel University and obtained his Ph.D. in Zoology in 1952. Dr. Hoffmann was member of the board of Hoffmann-La Roche & Co from 1953 to 1990 and Vice-President from 1990 to 1996.

Dr. Luc Hoffmann has always been interested in the conservation of nature and very active in this domain. It would be difficult to mention all his initiatives in that field, but here are a few examples: In 1954, he founded the Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat in Southern France, a private research institute devoted to the study and management of wetlands. He was Managing Director of the station for twenty years. In 1958, he started to collaborate with IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and was appointed Vice-President from 1960 to 1969. In September 1961, he was one of the co-founders of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and was Vice-President of the Board from 1961 to 1988. He also directed in 1961 the MAR project, which ultimately resulted in an international convention for the protection of wetlands of international importance, known as the Ramsar Convention, and signed in 1971.

Dr. Hoffmann was actively involved in the creation of several natural parks and reserves in France, Greece and Mauritania. In 1994, Dr. Hoffmann founded the MAVA Foundation for the protection of nature, and became Chairman of its Board. Luc Hoffmann is the author of more than 60 publications in the field of ornithology, wetlands ecology and conservation.