Whitley Awards 2020: Australasian zoological literature on show
Each year, the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales presents the Whitley Awards, recognising outstanding publications that help increase our understanding of Australasian wildlife. The awards are named in tribute to Gilbert Whitley, an eminent ichthyologist and former Curator of Fishes at the Australian Museum, Sydney.
We are delighted to announce that in 2020, our book Hawkmoths of Australia: Identification, Biology and Distribution has been awarded the top prize: the prestigious Whitley Medal.
Hawkmoths of Australia is Volume 13 in our long-running Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera series, which profiles the systematics and biology of the vast Australian fauna of moths and butterflies. Illustrated with more than 800 colour photographs, Hawkmoths of Australia provides the first full treatment of Australian hawkmoths, and includes many new details on life histories and parasitoids.
Co-authors Maxwell Moulds, James Tuttle and David Lane were delighted about the win:
“It is a great honour for us to have received the prestigious Whitley Medal for 2020, especially given the level of competition across the broad range of zoological topics. Hawkmoths have been a special interest to all of us throughout our lives, and the book gave the opportunity to not only document our life experiences with these iconic moths but to add new and exciting discoveries as we went. The project also offered the opportunity for each us to explore Australia, the tropical north, the deserts, and the temperate south, and make many friends along the way.
“Writing this book had its challenges and there are many people to be thanked for helping making it a success, all acknowledged in the book, but the editors are especially thanked. Winning the Whitley Medal has been the ‘icing on the cake’ for us, humbling, exciting, and giving a feeling of pride and accomplishment.”
Instead of the usual ceremony at the Australian Museum, Sydney, the Royal Zoological Society of NSW presented the Whitley Awards in a virtual capacity this year, due to COVID-19 restrictions. You can watch a video of Maxwell, James and David’s Whitley Medal acceptance speech on Youtube (external link).
Dr Marianne Horak, editor of the Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera series, said of the win:
“The Whitley Medal is a wonderful accolade for the three authors for their exceptional dedication that went into producing Hawkmoths of Australia, from lifetimes of observation, collecting, rearing and photography to painstaking descriptions of all stages and assemblage of the magnificent plates. It honours a book that will provide inspiration and information for generations of naturalists.”
Certificates of Commendation
The Royal Zoological Society of NSW Whitley Awards also present Certificates of Commendation each year to recognise excellence across the broad range of books that are nominated, from children’s books to field guides to highly specialised references.
We are delighted that the following CSIRO Publishing titles were awarded Certificates of Commendation in 2020:
Australian Beetles Volume Two: Archostemata, Myxophaga, Adephaga, Polyphaga (part)
Science & Conservation
Saving the Tasmanian Devil: Recovery through Science-based Management
Invertebrate Field Guide
A Guide to Crickets of Australia
Cats in Australia: Companion and Killer
Windcatcher: Migration of the Short-tailed Shearwater
You can view the full list of Whitley Awards winning books on the Royal Zoological Society of NSW website (external link).
CSIRO Publishing would like to congratulate all our winning authors, as well as the authors and publishers of the other outstanding books recognised in the 2020 Whitley Awards. Thank you to the Royal Zoological Society of NSW for holding these awards, as well as the work they do in celebrating Australasian science writing.