Professor Walker, from the CSIRO and Australian National University, has received the 2018 Blue Planet Prize, an international environmental award sponsored by Japan’s Asahi Glass foundation.
He is only the second Australian to receive the award, which recognises outstanding achievements in scientific research and their application in solving global environmental problems.
The award recognises Professor Walker's achievements as a pioneer of "resilience science" in social-ecological systems. He is a world-renowned ecologist who has published more than 160 scientific papers and contributed to a number of books.
Jobs and Innovation Minister Michaelia Cash said it was pleasing to see Australian researchers gaining the global recognition they deserve.
“Australia has elite researchers working at the cutting-edge of their respective fields. This is another example of their work being recognised,” she said.
“Professor Walker’s work is ground-breaking and he deserves this significant accolade.”
Education and Training Minister Simon Birmingham congratulated Professor Walker on his outstanding contribution to environmental science.
“We should all be incredibly proud of Professor Walker. His work on resilience science has improved our understanding of everything from environmental conservation to economics and disaster prevention," he said.
“His achievements in environmental science continue to shape the world we live in and should not be underestimated.”