The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes reward excellence in the fields of research & innovation, leadership, science engagement and school science.  The winners are announced at an annual black tie dinner.  This year it was held in August at the Sydney Town Hall.

The Australian Museum Research Institute (AMRI) uses this occasion to present the AMRI Medal to an individual staff member, senior fellow or team from the Museum for outstanding science and communication of their research outcomes.

Dr Anne Hoggett AM with her 2017 AMRI Medal (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

The 2017 AMRI Medal was awarded to Dr Anne Hoggett AM & Dr Lyle Vail AM, the directors of the Museum’s Lizard Island Research Station, for their outstanding work managing the Station for close to three decades, and for helping to communicate the plight of the Great Barrier Reef.

The Museum had arranged for Anne to be in Sydney for management discussions and to attend the Eureka dinner, but the award of the medal was kept as a complete surprise.  When it was announced by Professor Merlin Crossley and Dr Rebecca Johnson, Anne was (almost) lost for words. Rebecca said ” We are so proud to have Anne & Lyle’s ongoing commitment to science, research and reef conservation recognised on the Australian science stage”

The competence and dedication of Anne and Lyle is part of the reason why so many of the world’s leading marine scientists regard the Station as their preferred base for research on the Great Barrier Reef.  Because Anne and Lyle are themselves highly experienced marine scientists with extensive knowledge of Lizard Island reefs and species and local boat and dive conditions,  they are able to provide unusually sympathetic and helpful support.  They maintain very high standards of equipment maintenance and operational safety, along with collegiate and welcoming hospitality.

Lyle, Anne and the Lizard Island Research Station. Montage by Anne Hoggett.