Adelaide book wins top zoological prize

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Wednesday, 20 September 2006

A book jointly edited by two University of Adelaide academics has won the most prestigious prize in Australian zoological publishing, the 2006 Whitley Medal.

Adelaide: Nature of a City has been named this year's most outstanding publication on Australasian fauna by the Royal Zoological Society of NSW.

The book covers Adelaide's dynamic ecology from 1836 to 2036, tracking the changes to its biological communities, plants and animals, and the structure of the city over a period of 200 years.

Biodiversity expert Associate Professor Chris Daniels and research associate Catherine Tait from the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences jointly edited the book, which features contributions from 75 South Australian scientists, architects, engineers, town planners, agriculturalists, geographers and historians.

Adelaide: Nature of a City analyses the biological life of the city and predicts the future in terms of species loss and gain, biodiversity change and community structure. The book draws heavily on the remarkable records of well-educated settlers who also retained significant information of the pre-European environment.

Published by BioCity, the Centre for Urban Habitats at the University of Adelaide, the book has received wide critical acclaim since its release earlier this year.

The Whitley Awards, first presented in 1979, are hosted by the Royal Zoological Society of NSW and presented at a ceremony at the Australian Museum in Sydney. They are a tribute to Gilbert Whitley (1903-1975), the former Curator of Fishes at the Australian Museum from 1922 to 1964.

"This is a great achievement for BioCity," Dr Daniels said. "It reflects the outstanding commitment of the management team and the contributing individuals from biological organisations throughout the city."

"The book took two years to produce and we are thrilled with the result and the impact it has made in Adelaide. To have this work recognised nationally is a great honour," he said.


Contact Details

Dr Chris Daniels
Associate Professor
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
The University of Adelaide
Business: + 61 8 8313 6129
Mobile: 0410 422 759

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762