The New Zealand Antarctic Medal:
For services to Antarctic science and conservation
Professor Ian Hawes specialises in the biodiversity and ecosystem function of inland and coastal waters and has made significant contributions to knowledge of freshwater ecosystems in both New Zealand and Antarctica.
Professor Hawes is a recognised expert in cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). His numerous publications include 107 on Antarctic ecosystems. He has applied his Antarctic research on ecosystems processes in lakes and rivers to New Zealand contexts. He joined the British Antarctic Survey in 1978, undertaking pioneering research into inland waters and melt streams. He joined the New Zealand Antarctic Research Programme in 1989 and over 30 years has led a series of research projects in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, the McMurdo Ice Shelf and on Ross Island. He remains active in research in the Dry Valleys and Northern Victoria Land. He is a qualified ice diver and has studied under-ice environments in the Dry Valley Lakes. His ice diving expertise has contributed to United States, Italian and Korean expeditions and research projects, as well as New Zealand studies on the under-ice marine coastal communities of McMurdo Sound. He has worked extensively with scientists from many countries on international research programmes and strengthened New Zealand collaborative links. He has been New Zealand’s primary link through research collaborations into the United States’ Long-Term Ecological Research programme in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. He has developed innovative technical solutions to the challenges of collecting scientific data in remote situations and extreme environments. He was on the International Scientific Board for the 2015 Conference on Polar and Alpine Microbiology. He has been on the international Editorial Boards of the journals ‘Antarctic Science’ and ‘Frontiers in Microbiology’. He was appointed co-Programme Leader of the New Zealand Antarctic Science Platform in 2018, where he has focused on advancements addressing the vulnerability of Ross Sea ecosystems to environmental change. Professor Hawes has co-authored recent papers stressing conservation of Antarctic inland waters and protection from non-native species.