English lecturer Carl Zimmer ’87 has been awarded one of the 2012 Kavli Science Journalism Awards, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announced this week.

Zimmer was honored in the large newspaper category for three articles he wrote for The New York TimesWhen he receives his prize of $3,000 and a plaque at the AAAS annual meeting in Boston next February, he will join an elite group of the roughly 300 writers who have been recognized since the award’s launch in 1945.

“I was thrilled to win — it’s one of the highest awards a science writer can get,” Zimmer told the News. “The articles that won the awards were three of my stories written for The New York Times – one story was about all the bacteria that live inside of our bodies and that we depend on for our well-being, one was about the evolution of life around [New York City], and the other was about the crisis that science is in right now. Scientists are increasingly cutting corners, and I looked at some explanations for why that is the case.”

Described by The New York Times Book Review as “as fine a science essayist as we have,” Zimmer teaches students how to write about science and the environment at Yale. He has published 12 books about science and contributed to magazines including National Geographic, Time, Scientific American, Science and Popular Science. His 2004 book, “Soul Made Flesh,” investigates the discovery of the role of the human brain and was named one of the top 100 books of the year by The New York Times Book Review.

Zimmer has previously won AASA science journalism awards for the large newspaper category in 2009 and in the online category in 2004.