University student wins John Holliday Conservation Award

4 Oct 2019

Dr Natalie Moltschaniwskyj, Ms Giulia Ferretto and Mrs Sue Holliday

Giulia Ferretto, a PhD student at the University of New South Wales, has taken out the John Holliday Student Conservation Award for 2019.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Director Fisheries Research, Dr Natalie Moltschaniwskyj, said that Ms Ferretto’s paper, ‘Restoring the threatened seagrass Posidonia australis in old boat mooring scars’ developed a novel restoration approach to revegetate areas damaged by boat moorings.

“While there are programs in place to continue the implementation of seagrass friendly moorings, Posidonia - which is protected in NSW and listed as an endangered population in Greater Sydney – is very slow to recover from damage, and the outcomes of Ms Ferretto’s work provides a fantastic framework for the conservation and regeneration of the species,” Dr Moltschaniwskyj said.

“Winning the John Holliday Award for 2019 is an exciting acknowledgement of Giulia’s notable contribution to future conservation management in NSW.”

The award was introduced by the Department in 1999, in memory of the late Dr John Holliday, a Senior Fisheries Conservation Manager who made a huge contribution to aquatic habitat management and fish conservation.

“Dr Holliday was inspirational in leading our understanding of aquatic conservation issues in the Murray Darling Basin, such as the impacts of river regulation and cold water pollution on our native freshwater fisheries,” Dr Moltschaniwskyj said.

The John Holliday Student Conservation Award is open to postgraduate students enrolled at Australian universities and undertaking fisheries-orientated research in NSW.

The award provides students with an opportunity to promote their diverse and valuable research which addresses knowledge gaps on a range of conservation issues in the marine and freshwater environment.

To find out more about the award and how to apply, visit the DPI website at

Media contact: Ellie Hampton (02) 6391 3686