Patti Virtue was recognised for her outstanding contribution and efforts in mentoring and teaching the next generation of Antarctic ecologists, and her contribution to the understanding of the role of krill in the Southern Ocean ecosystem and the likely impacts of climate change to krill.

Patti has been on numerous Antarctic science expeditions both at sea and on station over an extended period of time.

She works collaboratively across nations and disciplines, leading and contributing to many research publications covering diverse aspects of biological oceanography, sea ice ecology, zooplankton (krill) research and marine oils.