Awards recognise the contributions of professional and volunteer ornithologists

Awards recognise the contributions of professional and volunteer ornithologists

07 Nov 2023

The 2023 Marsh Awards for Ornithology were presented at an event held at London’s Mall Galleries on Thursday 2 November, recognising the outstanding contributions made by both professional and volunteer ornithologists. The awards are presented through a partnership between BTO and the Marsh Charitable Trust.

All photographs by Anthony Sajdler.

Over 230 guests attended the event, which is supported by the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA), whose Natural Eye exhibition provides a stunning backdrop to the evening, celebrating the ornithological achievements of the award winners.

Dr Aldina Franco was presented with the Marsh Award for Ornithology, recognising her tireless work for biodiversity conservation and the ornithological research community. Aldina has been at the forefront of studying animal movements, such as migration, for many years.

The Royal Air Force Ornithological Society (RAFOS) was awarded the Marsh Award for Local Ornithology in recognition of its long-standing commitment to monitoring the wetland birds of some of the wildest and most remote parts of northern Scotland through an annual expedition nicknamed ‘Operation Winter Duck’. Without the society’s remarkable hard work and dedication, our knowledge of the bird life in these areas would be so much poorer.

Mya Bambrick received the Marsh Award for Young Ornithologist. Mya is a shining example of a young ornithologist and a brilliant ambassador for our work. In her role as a BTO Youth Representative, she has spent the last 16 months leading a variety of events in her community, ranging from guided walks to beach clean-ups.

Alongside the Marsh Awards for Ornithology, BTO also presented its Bernard Tucker Medal, awarded in recognition of outstanding contributions to BTO’s scientific work, and its Dilys Breese Medal, awarded to outstanding communicators who deliver science to new audiences.

This year’s award winners have all done extraordinary things to help understand and conserve birds, and to share the beauty and wonder of the natural world with others. Tackling the biodiversity crisis needs this sort of creativity and dedication and it is an honour to recognise their achievements.Juliet Vickery, BTO Chief Executive

The Bernard Tucker Medal was presented to Dr Stephanie Tyler MBE, whose contributions to BTO’s mission have been truly outstanding. Stephanie’s work stretches back over more than 50 years, to her first paper on the breeding biology of Grey Wagtails in 1972 and she is a true inspiration to many women in ornithology.

Two Dilys Breese Medals were presented this year. The first was awarded to Jack Baddams, whose communication of bird ringing and nest recording on social media is outstanding, and is helping to explain the fieldwork behind BTO science in an engaging and inspiring way to a wider audience. The second medal was presented to sculptor Harriet Mead, whose presidency of the SWLA has delivered successful collaborations with BTO, enabling our work on migrant birds to be taken to new audiences through the Flight Lines book and exhibitions.

Learn more about our ornithology awards

Our ornithology awards recognise outstanding contributions to bird science, communication and engagement. Read about their purpose and history as well as our past award winners on our ornithological awards page.

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