A passion for native plants has won a researcher from The University of Western Australia the Great Southern Development Commission (GSDC) Medal for Excellence in Natural Resource Management.
Assistant Professor Geoff Woodall of UWA's Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management in Albany received a sterling silver medal from the State Minister for Agriculture and Food Terry Redman MLA, and $10,000 to be used to advance natural resource management in the region.
Assistant Professor Woodall's research focuses on biodiversity, native plant industries and native food cultivation. He also runs a small farm and works as a native plant agronomist, directly establishing more than 2,000ha of perennial native plants in the wheatbelt.
The judges praised his leadership in developing commercial rural operations that respected natural ecosystems. Current research projects include "Development of Native Plant Industries for an Innovative Sustainable and Profitable Great Southern Region".
Great Southern Development Commission Chief Executive Officer Bruce Manning said Assistant Professor Woodall was a practising rural producer with strong research credentials who was highly respected as a mentor in the field of restoration.
"Over the years the GSDC Medal for Excellence has been awarded to innovative farmers, dedicated scientists and committed community leaders," Mr Manning said. "Dr Woodall is respected in each of those fields and I congratulate him on his achievement."
The Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management has also been named as a finalist in the 2010 Premier's Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management. As one of three finalists in the category of Revitalising the Regions, the centre is also eligible to win the Overall Award for Excellence in Public Sector Management. The winners will be announced by the Premier on November 4.