Friday, 20 December 2019
Professor Ewan Fordyce of Geology. Photo: Sharron Bennett.
Geology’s Professor Ewan Fordyce has received two significant awards, honouring his contributions to his field.
Last month he was awarded the McKay Hammer from the Geoscience Society of New Zealand for being the author of the most meritorious contribution to geology published in the previous three calendar years. It recognised publications he co-authored with former PhD students – Drs Felix Marx and Robert Boessenecker.
In October he received the Riversleigh Medal at the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology conference in Brisbane for promoting understanding of Australasian paleontology.
The medal recognises Professor Fordyce’s work research on fossils In the Waitaki Valley, which contributed to the development of the Vanished World Trail, which in turn has led to the proposal of a UNESCO GeoPark in the Waitaki.
Professor Fordyce says he is extremely honoured to receive both awards.
“It is moving to be recognised by one’s peers. We are driven by our research and our colleagues, and wider recognition is generally far from one’s mind.”
He says that while fossils have little impact on daily life for most people, they are signals of the past that can tell powerful and unexpected stories.
“We can marvel at their adaptations to changing environments and their very different ways of living. Fossils remind us that the diversity of life usually ends in extinction. The history of life has always been a struggle for organisms, and now humanity is making it doubly threatening.”