Dr. Vidrine Named 2022 Rivers Prize Recipient

Malcolm Vidrine

LAFAYETTE, La. – LSU Eunice Professor Emeritus Dr. Malcolm Vidrine has been selected by The Center for Louisiana Studies as the 2022 recipient of the James Williams Rivers Prize in Louisiana Studies, it was recently announced.  Dr. Vidrine is the co-recipient this year with former LSUE professor Dr. Charles Allen.


The prize is one of the most prestigious awards recognizing contributions related to Louisiana’s culture and history.  They join a group consisting of past award winners such as Leah Chase, Zachary Richard, George Rodrigue, James Lee Burke and Ernest J. Gaines among others.

“It is truly a humbling honor to be recognized in this fashion and to be included with some of the most well-known advocates for Louisiana,” LSU Eunice Professor Emeritus Dr. Malcolm Vidrine said. 

One of Vidrine’s key contributions to the LSU Eunice and Acadiana communities is the Cajun Prairie Restoration Project.  Officially started by Dr. Vidrine, fellow LSUE professor Dr. Charles Allen and a group of local prairie enthusiasts in 1988, the project consists of a 10-area living exhibit of Louisiana native plants, flowers, and grasses.  It is touted as one of the United States’ leading restoration sites with more than 100 flora species. 

He is also responsible for two other prairie reconstructions: a small section of the LSUE campus known as the LSU Eunice Prairie Project and his own Cajun Prairie Garden at his residence.

Dr. Vidrine is an accomplished author, having published 20 books, 116 scientific papers and 125 published abstracts.  In addition to his writing, he has worked with the Gulf South Research Institute on armadillos and Hansen’s disease, wit the Jefferson Davis Parish Mosquito Abatement District on mosquito control and biology/ecology of rice fields with LSU Eunice as a professor.

The biologist earned a B.S. and M.S. in Zoology from Louisiana State University in 1970 and 1974, and a Ph.D. in biology from University of Louisiana at Lafayette (then University of Southwestern Louisiana).

Dr. Vidrine joined LSU Eunice in 1984 as an instructor of biology.  In 1995, Vidrine was promoted to professor of biology and retired in 2012.  He has taught since his retirement at LSU Eunice as an adjunct instructor.

Drs. Vidrine and Allen will receive the award in April at a special ceremony at the Center for Louisiana Studies’ main offices at the J. Arthur Roy House on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.