NIWA fisheries expert honoured


NIWA fisheries scientist Dr Malcolm Francis has been awarded the prestigious New Zealand Marine Sciences Society Award for his “continued outstanding contribution to marine science in New Zealand.”

11 November 2008

Dr Francis received the award at the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Science Honours Dinner, held at Te Papa in Wellington, last night.

A fisheries scientist and fish biologist, Dr Francis is also New Zealand’s foremost shark researcher. He has been a scientist, diver, and underwater photographer for more than 30 years.

“I’m very lucky to get paid to do what I enjoy,” Dr Francis says.

“Having the opportunity to discover things no-one else knew before me keeps me highly motivated.”

His remarkable career has included providing scientific advice for fisheries management in New Zealand, promoting shark conservation as a representative to the IUCN Shark Specialist Group, and studies on sharks and estuarine fishes nationwide.

Dr Francis says his roles in establishing the Kermadec Island Marine Reserve and tracking great white sharks to the tropics are two of his greatest achievements.

“I regard this award as a big honour,” he says. “I also think it’s recognition of the importance of fisheries research.”

The highly prestigious honour was first awarded in 1985 and carries with it lifetime membership in the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society.

Dr Malcolm Francis at work in his laboratory, dissecting a ray. (Photo: Alan Blacklock, NIWA)


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