A University of Waikato academic has been recognised along with his wife for a lifetime of work dedicated to restoration ecology.
The Kudos Science Excellence Awards were held last night in Hamilton, highlighting the world-class achievements of Waikato and Bay of Plenty scientists. They are the only regional science awards in New Zealand.
Professor Bruce Clarkson and Dr Bev Clarkson were announced as winners of the Kudos Lifetime Achievement Award as leaders in New Zealand’s terrestrial ecology for more than 30 years.
Professor Clarkson is a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research at the University. He leads the People, Cities and Nature research programme, which focuses on restoring highly damaged or depleted indigenous ecosystems in cities. Professor Clarkson is known for his effective environmental research leadership as well as his significant efforts towards public awareness of our heritage ecosystems.
Dr Clarkson is an honorary lecturer at the University of Waikato and a senior scientist at Landcare Research. She is well known for her best practice handbook on wetland restoration.
University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley says the Clarksons are instrumental in protecting, maintaining and managing our natural areas.
“Their contribution to restoration ecology is not just as researchers, but as community members as well.”
Two other University of Waikato staff were also recognised with Kudos Awards last night.
Professional Development Facilitator and Content Developer Greta Dromgool was given the Wintec Secondary Science Teacher/Educator Award for her work with the Science Learning Hub. She is known for creating engaging science experiences for students as well as leading the Hub’s professional learning programme for science teachers.
Senior Lecturer Dr Adam Hartland received the Waikato Regional Council Environmental Science Award for his leading research that bridges geochemistry and environmental chemistry. His focus is using chemical approaches to understand the natural world and our role in it. He is also a technological innovator, contributing to the development of more than one device used in his field of research.
The University of Waikato is also the proud sponsor of the Vision Mātauranga Science Award, which Professor Quigley presented last night to Waikato alumnus Dr Ian Kusabs (PhD 2015) of Kusabs and Associates. Dr Kusabs’ work has enhanced understanding of key threats to kōura and revived engagement in traditional fishing practices.
Professor Quigley says the Kudos Awards, in which a further seven University of Waikato academics featured as finalists, are a reminder of the quality of the region’s science research.
“Our people being recognised for their excellence is confirmation our science teaching and research are outstanding, with global impact, and we can be proud of what we achieve.”