Retired Wellington botanist Dr John Dawson was presented the Allan Mere today. This award, administered by the New Zealand Botanical Society, recognises botanists who have made an outstanding contribution to New Zealand botany.
John’s research as an academic at Victoria University of Wellington focused on the plant families Apiaceae (carrot family) and Myrtaceae (myrtle family). John wrote eight books on New Zealand plants, including New Zealand’s Native Trees (co-authored with Rob Lucas), which took seven years to write and won New Zealand Post’s Illustrated Non-fiction Award as well as Book of the Year in 2012.
John also made a significant contribution to botany through his public outreach. He taught adult education classes, which inspired many people to further their interests in plants. He regularly gave talks and tours at Otari-Wilton’s Bush.
Te Papa’s herbarium has more than 500 plant specimens collected by John, including six type specimens.
Congratulations John on this well-deserved award.