I am nominating a team – Professors Liz Slooten and Steve Dawson – tireless researchers on our native dolphins.
LIz and Steve have worked tirelessly over the years to raise awareness of the impact human activities, particularly fishing have on dolphins, specially the endangered Maui and Hector’s Dolphins. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10473955 and http://mcguinnessinstituteblog.org/2015/04/25/one-ocean-perspectives-professor-liz-slooten/
They are currently running a project on Acoustic monitoring of Hector’s dolphin presence in Akaroa Harbour – they want to understand the impact the use of motorboats and sea-doos (personal watercraft) on Hector’s.
These two scientists have been at the forefront of marine research for some 30+ years and whilst they have been recognised by the scientific community I think it would be great for more people to know of their enormously important work. Liz has also represented New Zealand at the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission. In 2004 both LIz and Steve won the NZ Royal Society’s Sir Charles Fleming Award for outstanding contribution to conservation science. http://info.scoop.co.nz/Liz_Slooten. I met them both back in 2010 when I was part of a Walk for Hector’s Dolphins. Liz spoke to the audience at the end of the walk about the work she and Steve have undertaken since 1984. Liz is an engaging and passionate speaker as is Steve – they certainly know their stuff!
Photo credit: Otago Daily Times
Liz Slooten: Dept. of Zoology, Otago Uni http://www.otago.ac.nz/zoology/staff/otago008935.html http://www.odt.co.nz/lifestyle/magazine/88478/best-jobworst-job-swimming-with-captive-dolphins-led-saving-wild-ones
Steve Dawson: Dept. of Marine Science, Otago Uni http://www.otago.ac.nz/marinescience/staff/stevedawson.html Steve is a conservation biologist with over 30 years of research experience, working mostly with marine mammals.
In 2012 Steve won an Otago University Teaching Excellence Award. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/4680/steve-dawson
Both Liz & Steve are well profiled on the Otago University site plus on numerous websites – this is the best http://whaledolphintrust.org.nz/about-us/trustees/ and http://www.odt.co.nz/lifestyle/magazine/192649/champions-our-rare-dolphins
Nominated by: Jocelyn Papprill, Environment Canterbury on 11 January 2016.