KuDos award for technician and Hon Doc

15 October 2015

Aaron Wall
Aaron Wall

University of Waikato technician Aaron Wall was a winner at last night's 2015 KuDos Hamilton Science Excellence Awards.

The School of Science Technical Officer picked up the top award in the Hill Laboratories Laboratory Technologist Award section.

Mr Wall has worked at the University for nearly five years and is working on a project that aims to mitigate soil carbon losses and increase gains in soil carbon by adjusting management practices. His work involves researching whether, by changing dairy pasture from mainly rye and clover to a mixed species that includes chicory, plantain and lucerne, this will help soils retain more carbon.

Other Waikato University finalists at the KuDos awards were School of Science Technical Team Leader – Aquatic Dudley Bell, freshwater biologist Professor Brendan Hicks, an expert on invasive species, and PhD student and CodeAvengers' developer Michael Walmsley.

Max Gibbs from NIWA won the Lifetime Achievement Award.  He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Waikato in 2010 for his work in fresh and coastal waters. He's known internationally for his work on stable isotope techniques and analysis – which involves identifying and measuring stable isotopes in specific organic compounds as biomarker tracers. Dr Gibbs was a primary mover for the use of stable isotopic techniques in ecological and environmental study. His work has enabled scientists to get far greater insight into the state of our lakes.

Dr Gibbs has supervised Waikato University graduate students and supported university staff who work in similar areas of research. His observations, opinions and scientific contributions have helped shape the thinking of colleagues and students alike.

He says science and helping people are two of the many things he enjoys in life and it's fortunate he's been able to do both in his work.

The KuDos Awards were launched in 2007 to celebrate science in the region. This year's winners were announced at an awards dinner on Wednesday 14 October.