Whitley Medal for marsupials book

12 September 2008

Professor Chris Dickman, Professor in Terrestrial Ecology and Director of the Institute of Wildlife Research in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, has won the prestigious Whitley Medal for his book 'A fragile balance: the extraordinary story of Australian marsupials.'

The medal, awarded by the Royal Zoological Society of NSW, was received by Professor Dickman on 12 September in an event held at the Australian Museum.

Recognising excellence in printed and electronic publications containing information about Australasian zoology, the Whitley Awards have been presented annually since 1979.

The Whitley Medal, however, is not awarded annually and only awarded when a publication has made a landmark contribution to the understanding, content or dissemination of zoological knowledge. The Whitley Medal is the most sought after prize in zoological publishing in Australia.

Professor Dickman's book on Australian marsupials is a fascinatingly detailed and beautifully illustrated account of these unique mammals.

'A fragile balance' manages to appeal to the general public while also containing enough detail to please biologists, describing the evolution and diversity of marsupials, along with entertaining stories of Professor Dickman's own research experiences whilst studying them.

"The Whitley Award Committee of the Royal Zoological Society of NSW congratulates Professor Dickman on his award of the Whitley Medal for the very splendid A Fragile Balance," said Dr Noel Tait, Chairman of the Whitley Award Committee.

Also presented on the night were 11 other Whitley Awards - Certificates of Commendation - for other zoology publications ranging from technical references to children's books.

The Whitley Awards are a tribute to Gilbert Whitley (1903-1975), an eminent Australian ichthyologist, who was the Curator of Fishes at the Australian Museum from 1922 to 1964 and an active editor and writer in zoology.

Contact: Katynna Gill

Phone: 02 9351 6997

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