Marine Park Research Wins John Holliday Award

29 Jan 2021

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Director Fisheries Research Natalie Moltschaniwskyj has presented Australian National University PhD researcher Mae Noble with the 2020 John Holliday award.

The John Holliday Student Conservation Award is granted each year in recognition of university research into fisheries management and habitats.

Ms Noble received a $3,000 cash prize in addition to a certificate of achievement in recognition of her research into protecting social and ecological values within the Port Stephens – Great Lakes Marine Park.

DPI established the annual award in 1999 in memory of Dr Holliday’s outstanding career in the Department and his pioneering involvement in aquatic habitat and fish conservation issues.

“Ms Noble’s PhD developed models to improve the management of the NSW marine estate by protecting and enhancing the environment while supporting the continued use of this shared resource by fishers, visitors and the community,” Dr Moltschaniwskyj said.

“This research acknowledges the recent increased focus in integrating and protecting the social and economic value of these areas, in addition to their priceless ecological value.”

“Ms Noble used the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park as a case study and worked with a range of stakeholders, demonstrating that spatial management plans should prioritise all stakeholder groups.”

Dr Moltschaniwskyj said developing an understanding of how the various stakeholder groups use the marine park, and which areas they used, would support the discussion and adoption of management approaches that support social, economic and ecological priorities.

“There were three particularly outstanding applications for this year’s John Holliday award.

“The assessment panel would also like to commend Laura Michie for her paper titled ‘Thermal pollution in Australian freshwater ecosystems: ecological impacts on fish communities’ and to Meryl Larkin for her paper titled ‘The biology, ecology, and conservation of the threatened soft coral Dendronephthya australis’.

“Congratulations in particular to Mae, keep up the excellent work and I wish you all the best for your PhD, and every success in a long and successful career that follows.”

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