Dunedin ecologist Dr Ralph Allen has won the 2012 Loder
Cup for his achievements in plant conservation work.
The Loder Cup is awarded annually to encourage and honour New
Zealanders who work to "investigate, promote, retain and
cherish our indigenous flora".
Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson announced the winner
A professional plant ecologist for 30 years with the former
DSIR and then Landcare Research, Dr Allen was pivotal in
protecting thousands of hectares of native forest,
shrublands, and coastal vegetation throughout Otago,
Southland and the Kapiti Coast, she said.
His efforts had inspired others to cherish the native plants
and ecosystems around them and he was instrumental in the
establishment of several groups that promote the protection
of indigenous vegetation, including Ecology Action Otago and
the Otago branch of Beech Forests Action Committee.
Dr Allen was "the driving force" behind the efforts of the
Otago Natural History Trust to establish Orokonui
Nominated by the Otago Conservation Board, its chairwoman
Abby Smith said Dr Allen's many contributions to the
protection, cultivation and enjoyment of New Zealand's
indigenous flora deserved recognition.
Dr Allen has published three books and more than 50
He said the award was well-regarded within the botanical
fraternity and he was honoured to be part of such a group.
"There's William Martin (winner 1960), Assoc Prof Alan
Francis Mark (1975) and so many others. It's a fairly heady
He said he was grateful to the conservation board for
nominating him, and "believing I was worth it".
Ms Wilkinson will award the Loder Cup to Dr Allen at a
function later this year.