New Zealand Marine Science Society

John Morton Medal 

The NZMSS John Morton Medal can be awarded to a person whose scientific work has, in the opinion of the NZMSS Council, made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of marine conservation and sustainability in New Zealand.

The award is tailored to the intended recipient with an engraved plaque to be presented at the NZMSS annual conference. Any NZMSS member can make a nomination to the Secretary or as advised. Nominations will be sought and considered annually, but the Council need not present the medal each year. 

John Morton Medal Nomination Procedure

All nominations must be made using a nomination form. In order to produce comparable citations we ask nominators to summarise the case for the nominee under the headings provided. Nominators should aim to write concisely and highlight the main arguments to support the nomination made. The Council can make additional enquiries, via referees, as it sees fit.

Call for 2019 nominations is now open (nomination forms due by 5pm 7 April)

Please email the completed nomination form to secretary@nzmss.org. Please insert ‘John Morton Medal’ in the subject line and the name of the nominee in the file name when sending the completed form. The Council will choose the recipient from the nominations, and all nominations remain confidential to the Council. The award is presented at the NZMSS annual conference. The award need not be given every year.

 

2018 Recipient 

Dr Roger Grace

Dr Roger Grace was awarded the John Morton Award in 2019 in recognition of his life-long dedication and contribution to marine conservation. Roger did his PhD under the supervision of Professor John Morton on the benthic ecology of the Whangateau Harbour and was the first student at the University of Auckland to carry out a diving-based thesis.  Roger was a true pioneer in scientific diving and underwater photography.  Photography has been a major component of Roger’s contribution to marine science and marine conservation, documenting and telling a story.  He was the photographer on many Greenpeace campaigns in the 1990’s and early 2000’s that took him all over the world and shone a spotlight on important issues in the marine environment such as the effects of bottom trawling. Roger also pioneered habitat mapping and marine reserve monitoring in NZ, including developing rapid methods for seabed habitat mapping, including aerial photography, underwater video, and sonar. Roger remains active in marine conservation, he is a frequent speaker at public meetings, to local community groups, schools and workshops, and regularly provides expert advice on MPAs and other issues in the marine environment. Through his research, photos, presentations and hundreds of popular articles on marine conservation Roger has played an important role in informing the wider public on the situation and issues regarding marine biodiversity in New Zealand.

2017 Recipient 

Dr Ken Grange

Dr Grange’s public explanations of the science behind the fragile nature of Fiordland led to the establishment of the first two marine reserves there in 1993. Furthermore, his scientific advice was integral to the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Management Act and he remains a ministerially appointed Fiordland Marine Guardian today.

The 2017 John Morton award was presented to Dr Ken Grange for his outstanding contribution to marine conservation in New Zealand. Dr Grange has been described as providing a measured, steady hand, and operating with a high degree of professionalism that embodies both scientific rigour and kaitiakitanga.

Dr Grange’s public explanations of the science behind the fragile nature of Fiordland led to the establishment of the first two marine reserves there in 1993. Furthermore, his scientific advice was integral to the Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Management Act and he remains a ministerially appointed Fiordland Marine Guardian today.

The 2017 award was a glass sculpture made by Justin Culina.

 

2016 Recipients

Dr Steve Dawson and Dr Elisabeth Slooten 

Otago University's Dr Steve Dawson (left) and Dr Elisabeth Slooten (right) who received the 2016 John Morton Award, for person or persons who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of marine conservation and sustainability in New Zealand.