Outstanding Publication on New Zealand Ecology

Application materials for the Outstanding Publication on New Zealand Ecology award for 2023 should be emailed directly to the awards convenor by Friday 18 August 2023 Friday 25 August 2023 (deadline extended).

The purpose of this award is to recognise a publication made in the last three years that has made an outstanding contribution to our understanding and/or management of ecosystems (terrestrial, aquatic or marine) in New Zealand or its dependencies (including the Ross Dependency). Publications may take the form of peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters or books. They are not restricted to articles in the New Zealand Journal of Ecology, although these are eligible for nomination.  Since many papers in ecology are collaborative with multiple authors, for papers with more than one author this award provides recognition for the group, not an individual.  Council removed the monetary aspect of this award in 2023.

Application process: email the awards convenor (nicola.day@vuw.ac.nz) and attach your paper, with a short paragraph about the significance of the paper to ecology/New Zealand ecology.

Nominations for the 2023 award must have a first publication date (including online early) of 1 January 2021 or later.


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: Outstanding publication on New Zealand Ecology

2022. Grant Norbury, Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research for the paper:

Norbury, G.L., Price, C.J., Latham, M.C., Brown, S.J., Latham, A.D.M., Brownstein, G.E., Ricardo, H.C., McArthur, N.J., Banks, P.B. (2021). Misinformation tactics protect rare birds from problem predators. Science Advances 7: eabe4164.

2021. The award was awarded jointly to:

Md Azharul Alam, Lincoln University for the paper:

Alam, M.A., Wyse, S.V., Buckley, H.L., Perry, G.L.W., Sullivan, J.J., Mason, N.W.H., Buxton, R., Richardson, S.J., Curran, T.J. (2020). Shoot flammability is decoupled from leaf flammability, but controlled by leaf functional traits. Journal of Ecology 108: 641-653.

Zachary Carter, The University of Auckland for the paper:

Carter, Z.T., Lumley, T., Bodey, T.W., Russell, J.C. (2021). The clock is ticking: temporally prioritizing eradications on islands. Global Change Biology 27: 1443-1456.​

2020. Jo Carpenter, Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research for the paper:

Carpenter, J.K., Wood, J.R., Wilmshurst, J.M. & Kelly, D. (2018). An avian seed dispersal paradox: New Zealand's extinct megafaunal birds did not disperse large seeds. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 285: 20180352.

2019. The award was awarded jointly to:

Angus McIntosh, University of Canterbury for the paper:

McIntosh, A.R., McHugh, P.A., Plank, M.J., Jellyman, P.G., Warburton, H.J., Greig, H.S. (2018). Capacity to support predators scales with habitat size. Science Advances 4(7): eaap7523.

Priscilla Wehi, Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research for the paper:

Wehi, P.M., Cox, M.P., Roa, T., Whaanga, H. (2018). Human perceptions of megafaunal extinction events revealed by linguistic analysis of indigenous oral traditions. Human Ecology 46: 461-470.​

2018. Alex Boast, Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research for the paper:

Boast, A., Weyrich, L., Wood, J., Metcalf, J., Knight, R., & Cooper, A. (2018). Coprolites reveal ecological interactions lost with the extinction of New Zealand birds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115(7): 1546-1551.

2016. Janet Wilmshurst, Landcare Research for the paper:

Wilmshurst JM, Moar NT, Wood JR, Bellingham PJ, Findlater AM, Robinson JJ and Stone C 2013. Use of pollen and ancient DNA as conservation baselines for offshore islands in New Zealand. Conservation Biology 28(1): 202-212.

2015. Josie Galbraith, University of Auckland for the paper:

Galbraith, J.A., Beggs, J.R., Jones, D.N. and Stanley, M.C., 2015. Supplementary feeding restructures urban bird communities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(20), pp.E2648-E2657.

2014. Grant Norbury, Landcare Research, for the paper:

Norbury, G., Byrom A., Pech R., Smith J., Clarke D., Anderson D., and Forrester G.. 2013. Invasive mammals and habitat modification interact to generate unforeseen outcomes for indigenous fauna. Ecological Applications 23:1707–1721.