Congratulations Dr James Russell: 2012 Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize
A huge congratulations to our staff member, Dr James Russell who has been awarded the 2012 Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize for his internationally-recognised conservation work.
Dr Russell uses an innovative combination of ecology, statistics and genetics to study how rats and other mammalian pests invade predator-free islands and how to prevent this from happening. His work is helping to protect endangered native species and to maintain New Zealand’s reputation as a world leader in island conservation. With more than 80 per cent of the world’s island groups infested with rats, his expertise is also sought internationally to help eradicate and manage pest species.
His doctoral research examined how far rats could travel to predator-free islands and how they spread once they arrive. It led to greater understanding of how pest invasions occur and to new pest management techniques. Dr Russell is now focusing on the interactions between climate change, native and invasive species and ecosystem linkages, to help conserve native species.
He will spend several months in France next year working on conservation projects, and is involved with the Department of Conservation and philanthropist Gareth Morgan on the “Million Dollar Mouse” eradication project on the Antipodes Islands.