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2024 Award of Excellence

Award of Excellence

2024 Winner: Stuart Bunn

Stuart Bunn completed his PhD at the University of Western Australia in 1985 on the community structure and functional organization of small forest streams. He traveled to Canada in 1986 to take up a postdoctoral position with Professor Noel Hynes at the University of Waterloo (and attended his first NABS meeting the following year in Orono, Maine). Stuart returned to Australia in 1988 to take up a teaching appointment at Griffith University in Brisbane and moved to a research leadership role in 1996. He is currently an Emeritus Professor at the Australian Rivers Institute and was its founding Director until mid-2022.

Stuart’s major research interests are in the ecology of river and wetland systems with a particular focus on the science to underpin river management. This work has resulted in over 300 technical publications, most of which are in peer-reviewed journals. He has extensive experience working with international and Australian government agencies and industry on water resource management issues. He has led the development and implementation of several major collaborative research programs in partnership with State government agencies, industry, and universities. Stuart has also been an active member and chair of several state and national science advisory committees. He is currently a member of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and has previously served as a National Water Commissioner and as a Director of Land and Water Australia. Stuart was appointed to the Earth Commission, hosted by Future Earth, in 2019 and in 2022 was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

From Dr. Bunn’s letter of nomination for the Award of Excellence:

[Bunn’s] career spans the gambit from outstanding original contributions in basic research, to facilitating Australia-wide research efforts, to rising to pre-eminent status as an international leader in freshwater biodiversity and sustainable water management. He is an exceptional scholar, with over 200 publications and over 35,000 citations on Google Scholar, with a h-index of 82, numbers rarely achieved by freshwater scientists.

Stuart Bunn is an exceptional and outstanding freshwater scientist who has made foundational contributions to river science and policy, and he has been an exceptional leader in global issues of freshwater biodiversity and sustainable water management, both in terms of science and of policy guidance. His selection as the recipient of the SFS Award of Excellence is both appropriate and richly deserved.

About the Award

The SFS Award of Excellence is awarded to a single recipient for outstanding contributions to freshwater science. Read about prior recipients of the Award of Excellence and find the nomination form here.