Tropical and conservation biologist Thomas Lovejoy has worked in the Brazilian Amazon since 1965. He is credited with being the first to use the term "biological diversity" in 1980 during his tenure as director of the World Wildlife Fund-U.S. For his many conservation initiatives in Brazil, Lovejoy was decorated by the Brazilian government in 1988, becoming the first environmentalist to receive the Order of Rio Branco. In 1998, Brazil also awarded him the Grand Cross of the Order of Scientific Merit. His ongoing work as both a scholar and a policy advocate has made him one of the leading protagonists for the science and conservation of the world's biodiversity, and particularly that of tropical forest ecosystems. Thomas founded the public television series Nature, and for many years he served as principal advisor to the series. A National Geographic Fellow, he currently chairs the advisory boards for the Society's Big Cats and Energy initiatives.