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Honours for World class UC researcher

3 December 2004

Royal Society honours for World class UC researcher

The winner of the 2004 University of Canterbury Research Medal, Professor Robert Jackson, has yet to be presented with his prize and already he is receiving further recognition with the Royal Society of New Zealand making him one of its James Cook Research Fellows.

The government-funded James Cook fellowships, which have come to be regarded as New Zealand’s most prestigious science and technology awards, are awarded to New Zealand researchers who are considered to be world class.

Professor Jackson, of Canterbury University’s School of Biological Sciences, is a world authority on the evolutionary ecology of invertebrates and an internationally recognised expert on the behaviour of spiders.

His research career spans 30 years, 26 of which have been spent at Canterbury University.

The Royal Society awards its James Cook Research Fellowships to researchers it considers to be "forward thinking" and who are making a significant contribution to New Zealand's knowledge base.

The Fellowship will allow Professor Jackson to spend two years in western Kenya where he will conduct research into a species of spider, which he calls the “Mosquito Terminator”, that preys specifically on mosquitos carrying the malaria parasite.

He will be based at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, and will investigate how this spider might be used to control the mosquito population and potentially reduce the spreading of malaria.

He says he is delighted.

“I am well aware of the scientists who have already been honoured in this way. To succeed in this way is extraordinary.”


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