Dilys Breese and Marsh Awards 2017

19 Oct 2017
Marsh Ornithology Award winners

The Dilys Breese Medal was awarded to Mary Colwell for her work over the years in ensuring BTO science is heard by a wide audience, via her work at Radio 4 as a Producer on natural history series such as Saving Species and Shared Planet. More recently Mary has raised the profile of the plight of the Curlew in Britain, undertaking a walk from the west coast of Ireland to the East coast of England, raising money for the BTO Curlew Appeal and highlighting the scientific contribution BTO has made.

Bardsey Bird Observatory received the Marsh Award for Local Ornithology for the work they have undertaken to digitise all of their observations, mostly from handwritten paper logbooks, and upload this into BirdTrack and making them accessible to all, and for their encouragement of young birders to visit Bardsey and take part in the day-to-day activities of the observatory, increasing their practical skills and their knowledge of modern ornithology.

The Marsh Award for International Ornithology was awarded to Theunis Piersma, of Groningen University and NIOZ, Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research, for his work on shorebirds, in particular Red Knot and Black-tailed Godwit, looking at how these birds interact with their environment and how changes in these environments can impact on these birds.

Innovative Ornithology went to Ben Kibel. Ben is the engineer behind the Hookpod, a device designed to bring the bycatch of albatrosses and other seabirds in long-lie fisheries to a halt. Trials in New Zealand have resulted in zero bycatch when Hookpod is used and set correctly.

The Marsh Award for Ornithology was given to Becki Lawson, a Research Fellow at the Zoological Society of London leading on work on disease effects on free-ranging wildlife populations, with a particular interest in those relating to wild birds. Becki has been instrumental in driving forward work on trichomonosis in British finches and its role in population declines, on avian pox in British tit species and on emerging diseases in British wildlife.

Toby Carter received the Young Ornithologist of The Year Award for his contribution to British Ornithology via a variety of BTO surveys. He has held a ringing licence since November 2016, contributes to BirdTrack, the House Martin Survey, the Wetland Bird Survey and the Nest Record Scheme. He is very active on social media where he often promotes the work of the BTO widely amongst his peers.