Phillip Law Medal

Dr Patricia Selkirk sitting beside tussock grass on Macquarie Island.
Dr Patricia Selkirk is the recipient of the Australian Antarctic Medal (2004) and now the Phillip Law Medal (2018). (Photo: AAD)

Dr Patricia Selkirk AAM was awarded the Phillip Law Medal at a dinner marking the 70th anniversary of Macquarie Island research station in August.

Dr Selkirk undertook 11 expeditions to Macquarie Island between 1979 and 2004 to study plant taxonomy, adaptations and genetics, landscape ecology, and vegetation mapping. She also undertook five expeditions to the Antarctic continent, one to Heard Island and one to Îles Kerguelen as a member of Australian, New Zealand and French Antarctic expeditions.

In 2004 she was awarded the Australian Antarctic Medal for her contribution to the Australian Antarctic Program.

Throughout her career Dr Selkirk led and participated in many multi-disciplinary research projects and was instrumental in developing an Antarctic research unit at Macquarie University. She continues her research work today as an Honorary Fellow at the university.

Dr Selkirk has over 80 refereed Antarctic and sub-Antarctic publications, which include the major reference work Subantarctic Macquarie Island: Environment and Biology (Cambridge University Press 1990) – a definitive reference on the physical and biological features of Macquarie Island.

The Phillip Law Medal was established by the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition Club in 2011, to celebrate the life and achievements of Dr Law. Dr Law was the founding Director of the Australian Antarctic Division, a position in which he served from 1949 until 1966.

Eliza Grey