Freshwater ecologist nominated for national award


New Zealander of the Year 2018 nominee Dr Mike Joy


Massey University senior lecturer in ecology and zoology Mike Joy has been nominated for the 2018 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.

Dr Joy, from the College of Sciences’ School of Agriculture and Environment, was one of 10 semi-finalists named late last month, from more than 1000 nominations. Nominees are judged to be inspirational New Zealanders who have made a significant contribution to New Zealand.

Dr Joy researches and teaches freshwater ecology and has studied the declining health of New Zealand rivers for nearly two decades. In particular, he focuses on freshwater fish ecology and distribution, ecological modelling and environmental science, producing reports for councils and organisations around New Zealand.

However, his impact has been felt in more places than the classroom and in his research. Dr Joy is a well-known campaigner on the declining state of freshwater in New Zealand and the poor record of regulators in arresting or reversing this decline.

He says on receiving the nomination: “I was shocked to receive this nomination and make the semi-finals. It’s heartening to know people appreciate my endeavours as critic and conscience, a big part of it is the support I receive from colleagues, students and Massey University”.

The annual New Zealander of the Year awards are in their ninth year. The winner will be announced at the New Zealander of the Year Awards Gala in Auckland on February 22.

Previous winners are: Taika Waititi (2017), Richie McCaw (2016), Sir Stephen Tindall (2015), Dr. Lance O’Sullivan (2014), Dame Anne Salmond (2013), Sir Richard Taylor (2012), Sir Paul Callaghan (2011) and Sir Ray Avery (2010).

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