Dr Bruce Clarkson wins Loder Cup
Dr Bruce Clarkson of Hamilton has been awarded New Zealand’s premier conservation award, the Loder Cup, for his contributions to botany and conservation.
A scientist, researcher, educator, and ecologist, Dr Clarkson has spent over forty years working to recognise and restore native plant communities in New Zealand.
“The Loder Cup is awarded for outstanding service and commitment to the protection of New Zealand’s native plant species, and it is a privilege to award the Cup this year to Dr Clarkson.
He has inspired others for over 40 years as a researcher, a teacher, and also as a role model for community conservation projects,” Minister of Conservation Chris Carter said.
Dr Clarkson was nominated for the award by the University of Waikato. Dr Megan Balks of the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences acknowledged his “outstanding contribution across the full range of criteria specified for the award – New Zealanders who work to investigate, promote, retain and cherish New Zealand’s indigenous flora”.
The University of Waikato’s Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Biodiversity and Ecology Research, Dr Clarkson is internationally regarded in his specialist field of botany in New Zealand, and is widely published in the areas of threatened plant species, vegetation in volcanic landscapes, and restoration ecology.
Dr Clarkson developed an early interest in botany and conservation. At 11 he began his first restoration project on the family farm in Taranaki, when he and his brothers fenced off a gully from stock access and replanted the area in native trees.
In addition to his nationally significant botanical work for the University of Waikato, Dr Clarkson has volunteered much of his time to community groups. He has been a leader and advocate of indigenous biodiversity protection and restoration through his roles in the Waikato Biodiversity Forum, Hamilton Community Environmental Programme, Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust, Hamilton Environment Centre, Hamilton Gully Restoration Programme, Hakarimata Restoration Trust and Waiwhakereke Natural Heritage Park.
Dr Clarkson remains a passionate advocate for the restoration and protection of New Zealand’s native species, and has become a sought after commentator on conservation and biodiversity management.