Awards & prizes

Awards and prizes

The ESA awards a number of prizes and awards every year. These recognise outstanding contributions to Australian ecology, by both members and non-members, as well as excellence in student research projects and presentations. Each of these awards are outlined below, with further information about nominating someone or applying available via the links.

Australian Ecology Research Award (AERA)

The AERA Lecture recognises excellence in research in Australian ecology, for a specific body of recent work by a mid-career researcher, and is delivered annually as a Plenary at the conference of the Ecological Society of Australia. The candidate’s travel, registration and accommodation will be paid or reimbursed. The AERA winner is selected by an independent panel of expert ecologists from around Australia, chaired by the ESA's Vice President – Research, Glenda Wardle.

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Gold Medal of the Ecological Society of Australia

The ESA awards a Gold Medal in recognition of an ecologist who has made a substantial contribution to the study of ecology in Australia over the course of their career. The Medal can also be awarded to ESA members who have made a significant contribution to the operations of the Society.

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ESA Member's Service Prize

The Member Service prize is awarded at the annual ESA Conference and recognises outstanding contributions to ecology made by an ESA member, either to the society and its members, or the wider Australian community acting on behalf of the ESA.

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Indigenous Travel Grant

Since 2010 the ESA has provided grants to travel to and from the annual conference to support the sharing of Indigenous knowledge with ecologists and the broader community. The funding covers, or partially covers, travel, accommodation and conference registration. The grant targets Indigenous Australians who would like to share their ecological knowledge and the work they have been doing to protect country and culture. For the past three years the annual conference has included an Indigenous symposium, which has been popular and well-received. This forum aims to get people to come together to share experiences and talk, with the aim of building relationships and respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures.

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Wiley Fundamental Ecology Award

The ESA in conjunction with Wiley is offering a new postgraduate student research award in the field of fundamental ecology. The value of the award is $5000 and may be directed towards any research that advances the science of ecology. This award was granted for the first time in 2012. The grant is open to any student who is enrolled in postgraduate research at an Australian University and is a member of the Ecological Society of Australia. A condition of the award is that the winner must be able to attend ESA15 In Adelaide, South Australia, to present their work as “The Wiley Fundamental Ecology Award presentation”. To assist with attendance at this conference, registration, accommodation and travel costs will be paid by the award.

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Jill Landsberg Trust Fund

The ESA established the Jill Landsberg Trust Fund in 2007, to fund an ongoing postgraduate scholarship in the field of Applied Ecology. The scope of research is open to terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecology. Each year a grant of $6,000 is awarded to support the field-based research of a Postgraduate Student working in applied ecology.  The successful applicant also attends the annual conference to receive their award and the following annual conference to present their research. Travel, registration and accommodation costs are covered by the award.

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The Nature Conservancy Applied Conservation Award

The Nature Conservancy and the ESA award this postgraduate scholarship each year to support a student research project in the field of applied conservation science. The award consists of a grant of $6000 to support research directed towards practical conservation. The successful applicant also attends the annual conference to receive their award and the following annual conference to present their research. Travel, registration and accommodation costs are covered by the award.

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Student Travel Grants

The ESA encourages student attendance at its annual conference by providing a number of Student Travel Grants each year. The amount of the grants are based on relative travel costs of all applicants, and are generally determined on the basis of relative costs of air travel. To be eligible, applicants must be a member of the Society, be the presenting author of a talk or poster, and not have previously won a travel grant from the Society. For information about travel to future ESA conferences please visit the ESA homepage. To qualify as a student presenter you must be presenting either a spoken paper or a poster on a topic researched as part of a student project, and your enrolment must have been current at some time within the 12 months prior to the conference. The work you are presenting can have co-authors, but you must be the first author, and the work presented must be primarily your original work.

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Student Research Awards

Each year the Society offers about 10 grants for supporting research conducted by student members. Postgraduate and honours students conducting field or laboratory-based research may apply for these Student Research Awards to cover expenses such as field travel, research assistance, equipment or consumables. The maximum individual award is $1500. To be eligible, applicants must be a member of the Society and not have previously won a research award from the Society.

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Student Prizes at ESA Conferences

ESA student members are eligible for a wide range of prizes by presenting a poster or paper at the ESA Annual Conference. A complete list of prizes can be found here.

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