Ian Athol Edward Atkinson MSc (NZ) PhD (Hawaii) 1932–2019
Ian Atkinson was one of the most versatile ecologists ever to work on our shores, an original thinker and true allrounder whose broad scope covered plants, animals, and soils. A generalist of the old school rather than a narrowly focussed specialist, his career was notable for collaboration with experts in a variety of fields and for lasting contributions to vegetation mapping, soil mapping, volcanic succession, introduced rodent ecology, mammal-plant interactions, island ecology, and restoration ecology. A stalwart of the New Zealand Ecological Society, he held a number of offices, serving as Secretary 1960–1962, Vice-President 1965 and 1983–1985 and President 1985–1987, and he was also a longtime Councillor from 1962 till 1983. He was made a Life Member in 2001. Ian died in Dunedin on 23 August 2019 and is survived by his daughter Toni and his sisters Cynthia and Jeanette. He will be fondly remembered as a thoughtful, shy and genial, modest and self-effacing man, a great New Zealand ecologist.