Wetlands expert and advocate Dr Beverley Clarkson was today presented with New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award – the Loder Cup.
Dr Clarkson is a plant ecologist based at Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research in Hamilton. She is nationally renowned for her knowledge and championing of the value of New Zealand’s wetlands, and has written or co-authored dozens of research papers, guides and handbooks on wetland care and restoration.
“Dr Clarkson encapsulated the objective of the Loder Cup and, without a doubt, has made a tangible difference to the health of our wetlands,” said Minister of Conservation, Kiri Allan.
“Today we thank Beverley for her integrity and passion.”
Minister Allan presented Dr Clarkson with the award at the Hamilton Department of Conservation office today at a small gathering which included Dr Bruce Clarkson – Dr Clarkson’s husband and winner of the award in 2006.
The Loder Cup was first donated in 1926 to encourage and honour New Zealanders who work to investigate, promote, retain and cherish our indigenous flora – an ethos resonating throughout Dr Clarkson’s life and work.
Since 1995, Dr Clarkson has successfully obtained government funding for and led the national terrestrial wetland research programme.
As a founding trustee of the National Wetland Trust, she continues to connect science with the public through symposia, field days, restoration projects, events, articles, policy input, and advice.
“Dr Clarkson’s investigations into the ecology and functioning of terrestrial freshwater wetlands, and other rare and threatened ecosystems, has greatly assisted those working to improve the state of New Zealand’s wetlands. We need more like her,” Minister Allan said.
Dr Clarkson was nominated by both the University of Waikato and the Waikato Conservation Board, with supporting letters from Northland Regional Council, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, National Wetland Trust, Ministry for the Environment, and Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research.