Top communicator award for scientist
Top communicator award for Lincoln University scientist
Lincoln University’s Professor of Nature Conservation Ian Spellerberg has been awarded the country’s top Science Communicator Award for 2008.
The award, made by the New Zealand Association of Scientists, is presented to practising scientists for excellence in communicating to the general public in any area of science or technology. The association is an independent body of scientists working to promote science in New Zealand, increase public awareness of science and encourage excellence in science.
It is the second time a Lincoln University academic has won the award and the third time a staff member has been in the winning line-up. Associate Professor John Hickford won the top award in 2002 and Associate Professor Ravi Gooneratne won a Merit Award in 1994 when the awards were run by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.
Professor Spellerberg’s citation refers to his science communication efforts spanning “decades of research” undertaken in New Zealand and Britain.
“His numerous academic publications and books, newspaper columns and articles, public lectures, and community and education initiatives cement his place as one of the country’s most respected scientists and science communicators,” says the citation.
Professor Spellerberg has been a staff member at Lincoln University since 1994 and is a member of the Environmental Management Group within the Environment, Society and Design Division. He is also Director of the Isaac Centre for Nature Conservation.
Among his many books An Introduction to Applied Biogeography, published by Cambridge University Press in 1999 and co-authored with John Sawyer, is a standard text in New Zealand and UK universities and has been translated into Korean for recommended reading at some Korean universities. His 1991 book Monitoring Ecological Change was translated into Czech. Recent books include Going Native: making sense of New Zealand plants, co-authored with the late Dr David Given and Living With Natives, co-edited with Michele Frey.
Professor Spellerberg founded the annual presentation of a Lincoln University State of the Nation’s Environment Address, an event now in its 10th year.
The Director of Lincoln University’s Environment Society and Design Division, Dr Stefanie Rixecker, says the communicator award “rightly recognises” Professor Spellerberg’s lifetime record of outstanding and sustained service to the science of nature conservation and environmental science.
“His efforts have enriched students, staff and the public for many years,” she says.