Ecology in Action Award

The nominations for the Ecology in Action award for 2021 have now closed.

The Ecology in Action award reflects one of the primary aims of the society: the promotion of the study of ecology and the application of ecological knowledge in all its aspects. This award was established to recognise individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the application of ecological knowledge, including communication, education and transfer of ecological science at the grass roots in NZ or the Pacific. The Society would like to recognise such individuals’ achievements in promoting ecology and education, with landowners, community groups, politicians, councils and others. The society recognises the important role of the transfer of ecological knowledge in changing behaviours and achieving practical protection and restoration of biodiversity.

Recipients of the award are invited to give a plenary talk at the next annual NZ Ecological Society Conference. The Society awards recipients complimentary registration for this conference, and support towards associated travel and accommodation costs to attend - normally up to $1000 at the discretion of the council.  The work can also be given profile via a media item, or highlighted in the NZ Ecological Society newsletter.

Nominations can be made by the nominee or an independent nominator and must include a detailed statement of support outlining the nominee’s outstanding contributions to the practice and application of ecology. Nominations should provide specific evidence for each achievement. Evidence for outstanding application of ecological knowledge may include, but is not limited to, applied ecological breakthroughs, development of innovative new techniques, significant uptake or application of knowledge or new techniques by others, changing the way we do things and transfer of ecological knowledge to others including community groups, regulatory agencies and landowners. Nominations may include letters of support from others. Nominations will be held for three years from submission for consideration, and may be updated annually by way of re-submission.


The selection panel shall consist of current elected council members of the New Zealand Ecological Society. Where deemed appropriate the council may co-opt ex-officio members of the council on to the selection panel, and/or delegate a sub-committee to oversee selection. At the discretion of the nominated committee no award may be made in any given year.  

Past Recipients Ecology in Action Award

2020 Karen Pratt (Project Reef - South Taranaki)
2019 Laura Young (Kea Conservation Trust)
2018 Susan Walker (Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research)
2017 Richelle Kahui McConnell
2016 Chris Green (Department of Conservation)
2015 Laura Molles (Lincoln University)


Kevin Parker (Parker Conservation)

2013 Not presented


John Ogden (Great Barrier Island Charitable Trust)


John Sawyer (Auckland Council)


Marieke Lettink (Fauna Finders, Christchurch)


Mike Joy (Massey University)


Henrik Moller (University of Otago)


Frances Schmechel (Environment Canterbury)


Colin Meurk (Landcare Research)


Karen Denyer (Waikato Regional Council)