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Inspirational Alumni Award for EOS Ecology’s Principal Scientist


22 April 2015

Co-director and Principal Scientist, Shelley McMurtrie, was awarded an 'Inspirational Alumni Award' from the University of Canterbury at their mid-year graduation ceremony on April 16, in recognition of her professional success and service within the science industry.

Only a handful of Inspirational Alumni Awards are bestowed each year, identifying trailblazers in their field whose success and service are a source of inspiration to others. “These awards are a relatively recent development, allowing us to showcase what our graduates are achieving with good biology training. The combination of Shelley’s skills in ecology, her entrepreneurial flair and her community engagement was exactly what we were looking for to inspire our young students,” said Professor Matthew Turnbull, Head of the School of Biological Sciences.

In addition to acknowledging lifetime achievers in the sciences, the award also recognizes the professional achievements of alumni such as Shelley who are in their early-mid career. With offices now in both Christchurch and Palmerston North, Shelley established and has grown her company, EOS Ecology, into one that is well-respected for its commitment to exacting standards in aquatic ecology and creative science communication.

An expert both in the impacts of urbanisation on aquatic fauna and in rehabilitating aquatic systems, Shelley was selected as the Ecology Technical Lead for two key Anchor Projects aimed at revitalising Christchurch following the earthquakes ‑ Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct (ARP) and the Northern/Eastern Frame. Shelley’s extensive leadership and research skills were also showcased through her role in 2010/2011 as coordinator, fundraiser & communication strategist for one of the largest multidisciplinary research trips to the Subantarctic Campbell Island (see www.campbellisland.org.nz for more information.)

The Inspirational Alumni Award also focuses on where an alumni has made a positive impact on their community or society. In addition to the innumerable hours and resources Shelley donated from her company coordinating the Campbell Island Bicentennial Expedition, Shelley is Chairperson of the Fifty Degrees South Trust, a member of community groups, and shares her expertise on ecological matters with the general public.

In receiving the award, Shelley joins an elite and growing list of past graduates from the University of Canterbury selected during the last two years. “I feel very privileged to join the ranks of some very prestigious individuals in receiving this award. My time at UC was pivotal to my career direction and to my decision to stay in Christchurch to develop my company. Hopefully others are inspired to develop a career in applied biological science!” said Shelley.

See http://www.biol.canterbury.ac.nz/inspire/ for more information.

Presentation of award; photo University of Canterbury.
Matthew Turnbill, Head of School for UC School of Biological Sciences, congratulates EOS Ecology’s Shelley McMurtrie at the unveiling of the Inspirational Alumni poster. © University of Canterbury. grey-BR
spacerShelley graduated UC in 2000.
Shelley graduated UC in 2000. grey-BR

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