The life work, passion and achievements of a scientist with more than 20 years' experience in researching the ecology and conservation of Australian native plants and ecosystems have been recognised by one of the world's most prestigious scientific societies.
Professor Kingsley Dixon - Director of Science at Kings Park and Botanic Garden and Permanent Visiting Professor at the School of Plant Biology at The University of Western Australia - was awarded the Linnean Medal in the field of Botany in London on Friday.
He is only the second Australian to be awarded the medal, which is the premier annual award of the world's oldest learned Society devoted to biology. It was established in 1788 and named after the great Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus (1707 - 1778), the father of modern ecology.
The medal was presented to Professor Dixon in recognition of outstanding scientific achievement. Past recipients are among the most noted scientists of their time, including Thomas Huxley (1825 - 1895) and Alfred Russel Wallace (1823 - 1913), co‑founder of the theory of evolution.
Professor Dixon's achievements include participation in the team at UWA and Murdoch University in the breakthrough discovery of the chemical in smoke responsible for germination of many Australian native plants that has transformed Australia's horticultural, mining restoration and conservation industries.
Professor Dixon's other achievements include leading discoveries in the restoration sciences that promise to improve on-farm and post-mining restoration.
His collaborative work in orchid biology and ecology research is leading science that has attracted the wide attention of international scientists including the research on the hormones employed by orchids that provide a female-mimic to attract male wasps through a process known as sexual deception.
He has published 319 scientific works, including eight books.
The medal acknowledges his scientific approach based on effective solutions for conservation and restoration that melds high quality, internationally significant science with end-user benefits, be it in conservation or restoration.
His international profile in seed science and biology is world-class and demonstrates how seed can be used to optimise restoration benefits that have resulted in a broad suite of industry and research support amounting to 25 industry and 16 nationally competitive grants.
Importantly, with a global membership of many thousands, the medal provides a high and immediate international profile for Western Australian science, particularly in the area of our unique and world-class biodiversity which has been the subject of so many of Professor Dixon's research programs.
Professor Dixon will be back in Perth on Wednesday.
Professor Kingsley Dixon (Director Science Botanic Gardens and Plants Authority, and Permanent Visiting Professor UWA School of Plant Biology) (+61 8) 9480 3614
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716