Lifetime Achievement Award for Dr Mark Costello

14 July 2017
Associate Professor Mark Costello, Institute of Marine Science (head and shoulders profile image)
Dr Mark Costello, Associate Professor, Institute of Marine Science

Dr Mark Costello from the Institute of Marine Science has been awarded the New Zealand Marine Science Lifetime Achievement Award by the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society (NZMSS).

This highly prestigious award is presented to those individuals the NZMSS Council considers to be founders of marine science in New Zealand and recognises their continued and outstanding contribution to the field of marine science.

The 2017 NZMSS award was presented to Dr Mark Costello in recognition of the instrumental role his research plays in providing new insights into patterns of biodiversity and biogeography of evolution of species on a global scale, as well as conservation needs in relation to biodiversity.

Dr Costello continues to lead key global initiatives that bring research data into the public domain for the benefit of science and society. As an internationally respected ecologist, specialising in marine ecosystems, nature conservation, parasites and invasive species, he has been and continues to be a pioneer in the field of ‘ocean biodiversity informatics’ by leading the establishment of world databases that are now core resources in marine biology.

Dr Costello has over 150 peer-reviewed publications, has held a variety of senior roles in the field of science throughout his career and continues to inspire and support students as a lecturer and supervisor.

Over the last years of Dr Bill Ballantine’s life, Dr Costello both encouraged and facilitated him to publish his important work and therefore contributed to the preservation of Dr Ballantine’s knowledge.

Dr Costello says: “I am both humbled and proud to receive this award. I have been very impressed with the NZMSS's pivotal role in being a voice for marine science in New Zealand, commenting on government policies, and providing presentation opportunities and funding for graduate students consistently over many years.”

The award is a bronze sculpture in the form of the internal spire of a gastropod shell (by Wellington artist Nick Dryden). Dr Costello also receives a lifetime membership of the Society.