Peter R. Grant and Barbara Rosemary Grant  are the winners of the 2009 Kyoto Prize in basic sciences for their work on environment and evolution.

They are emeritus professors at Princeton University, and are the first husband-and-wife team to win the prize.

The Grants are best known for their long-term studies on two species of Darwin ’s finches that demonstrated how environmental changes promoted the rapid evolution of body and beak size through natural selection.

In addition, Isamu Akasaki and Pierre Boulez will be honored as Kyoto laureates in the Advanced Technology and Arts and Philosophy categories, respectively. Each of the winners will receive approximately $500,000 from the Inamori Foundation.  

The award will be presented to the Grants in November. The prize is sponsored by the Inamori Foundation which seeks to recognize “significant contributions to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of mankind.”

  Image courtesy of Putneymark via flickr