2024 SA Environment Awards Success

Photo of four people

(L-R) Dr Isobelle Onley, Dr Katja Hogendoorn, Professor Sean Connell and Dr Dominic McAfee

Yesterday, on World Environment Day, we celebrated the 2024 SA Environment Award finalists and winners. The evening was a fantastic celebration of environmental champions across the state, emceed by the charismatic Tiahni Adamson. 

The Environment Institute had an impressive 5 finalists up for the awards, a testament to our commitment and impact in environmental research. We are thrilled to announce that Professor Sean Connell and Dr Dominic McAfee received the 2024 Conservation Science Prize Award. The team was recognised for their innovative work to restore lost shellfish reefs along the SA coast line, enhancing SA’s coastal health. Congratulations also to Dr Katja Hogendoorn, who received a Pelzer Prize certificate of merit for her work with plant-insect interactions.

The SA Environment Awards are presented by The Conservation Council of South Australia in partnership with us at Green Adelaide, the Department for Environment and Water and the University of Adelaide Environment Institute and sponsored by Adelaide Cemeteries.

Find out more about EI finalists below and more about the winners of the other categories.

Environment Institute 2024 Finalists
Conservation Science Prize Finalist
  • Isabelle Onley, PhD 

In her current role as a postdoctoral research fellow at University of Adelaide, Dr Onley has engaged with the Australian Antarctic Division to address information gaps on the transfer of non-native species, conducting research to inform policy development for the ongoing protection of Antarctica's vulnerable ecosystems.

  • Dr Dominic McAfee and Prof Sean Connell 

The pair have co-authored 15 scientific articles on ecological and socio-political aspects of these restorations. Their research informs the timing, reef configuration, and strategy for constructing new reef restorations in SA, and is being applied to restoration projects overseas.

  • Prof Peng Bi 

World-leading climate change and health scientist Professor Peng Bi researches the health risks and associated healthcare costs of extreme heat and projections of disease burden due to demographic and climate changes.

Pelzer Prize Finalist
  • Dr Katja Hogendoorn 
Leif Justham Young Achiever Award Finalist
  • Isabelle Onley, PhD  



Full list of winners:

Jill Hudson Award for Environmental Protection
Winner: Yuri Poetzl
Finalists: Julia Peacock, Shane Sody, SA Native Animal Rescue Inc

Green Adelaide's Pelzer Prize
Winner: Mark Ellis
Bruce Baker, Certificate of Merit for Environmental Education
Ron Bellchambers, Certificate of Merit for Community-based Restoration
Carmen Bishop, Certificate of Merit For Marine And Coastal Education
Martin F. Breed, Certificate of Merit For Urban Ecological Research
Gerry Butler, Certificate of Merit For Landcare
Katja Hogendoorn, Certificate of Merit For Plant-insect Interactions
Jake M. Robinson, Certificate of Merit For Urban Forest Research
Adrian Shackley, Certificate of Merit For Grassland Recovery
Gerd Winter & Susannah Eliott, Certificate of Merit For Innovative Science Communication

Leif Justham Young Achiever Award
Winner: Gemma Dawe
Finalists: Gerry Bain & Aussie Redden, Isabelle Onley, Kelly Salter

Conservation Science Prize
Winners: Dr Dominic McAfee & Prof Sean Connell
Finalists: Isabelle Onley, Professor Peng Bi

Innovation Award
Winner: SAGE (South Australian Grassroots Ecosystem)
Finalists: Rosina Possingham & Gerry Butler, DunnART Productions

Working Together Award
Winner: Aussie Bread Tags for Wheelchairs
Finalists: Marine Discovery Centre, South Australian Feral Deer Eradication Program

Lifetime Achiever Awards
Bunna Lawrie
Dr Bob Sharrad
Fraser Vickery
Patricia Thomas OAM (awarded posthumously

Prof Sean Connell accepting award from Associate Prof Damien Fordham

Prof Sean Connell and Dr Dominic McAfee accepting Conservation Science Prize award from Associate Prof Damien Fordham. Image: Darren Clements

2024 Conservation Science Prize winners Prof Sean Connell, Dr Dominic McAfee presented by EI representative A/Prof Damien Fordham

2024 Conservation Science Prize winners Prof Sean Connell, Dr Dominic McAfee presented by EI representative A/Prof Damien Fordham. Image: Darren Clements

Dr Katja Hogendoorn, Dr Susanah Eliott, Professor Sean Connell, and Dr Dominic McAfee in front of a stage with their certificates from SA Environment Awards

Dr Katja Hogendoorn, Dr Susannah Eliott (Former EI Board Member), Dr Myall Tarran, Professor Sean Connell, and Dr Dominic McAfee

Associate Professor Damien Fordham, Professor Veronica Soebarto, Leah Panakera-Thorpe (Institute Manager) and Professor Sean Connell at the SA Environment Awards

SA Environment Awards - Associate Professor Damien Fordham, Professor Veronica Soebarto, Leah Panakera-Thorpe and Professor Sean Connell

Tagged in SA Environment Awards, School of Biological Sciences, school of ag food and wine, Isabelle Onley, Dominic McAfee, Sean Connell, Katja Hogendoorn, Conservation Council SA, Green Adelaide, Faculty of Sciences Engineering and Technology, Oyster Reef Restoration, Marine Biology Program, Prizes and Awards
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