Professor Mark Westoby, photo courtesy of Chris Stacey
Professor Mark Westoby, photo courtesy of Chris Stacey

2014 NSW Scientist of the Year

Professor Mark Westoby was named Scientist of the Year at the 2014 NSW Science and Engineering Awards.

An ARC Laureate Fellow, Distinguished Professor of Biology and leader of the Genes to Geoscience Research Centre, Mark Westoby is a pioneer of ‘trait-based ecology’.

His approach to ecological strategies uses the features of very large numbers of species across wide geographic ranges to categorise species into functional types, and explain patterns of species occurrence and abundance.

Mark Westoby first joined Macquarie in 1975 and has led a career distinguished though high achievement. Mark led the development of a state-and-transition approach to managing ecosystem change, now mandatory throughout rangelands in the USA. The impact of this research is featured in the Macquarie University Jubilee publication 50 Years: world-leading research, world-changing impact.

Over the past ten years Mark Westoby has led the Genes to Geoscience Research Centre, developing a strong fusion between genomics, ecology, palaeobiology and earth systems. Mark has also received the Gold Medal from the Ecological Society of Australia in 2003 and the Clarke Medal from the Royal Society of NSW in 2005. In 2009 Mark was elected to the Australian Academy of Science.

The Patron of the Awards, NSW Governor His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), presented Professor Westoby with his trophy during a gala ceremony at Government House.

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