NZer wins prestigious science prize

lorealscience.pngWomen in Science Award for New Zealander

Nelson marine biologist Zoe Hilton has won a prestigious science award that honours outstanding, young women scientists from around the world.


 “Dr Hilton has been awarded a UNESCO-L’OREAL International Fellowship for Young Women in Life Sciences, one of fifteen awarded worldwide,” said NZ National Commission for UNESCO secretary general, Elizabeth Rose.


“Her exceptional research to date has focused upon aquaculture which is an area of growing importance for New Zealand in terms of long-term sustainability of the world’s oceans and resources.”


A research scientist at the not-for-profit Cawthron Institute in Nelson, Dr Hilton’s academic career has combined studies in marine and environmental science with Spanish.  Next year she will undertake research work at the Institute for Food and Agricultural Research and Technology, a public corporation of the Catalan government in Spain.  Dr Hilton’s research brings together two world leading shellfish research institutes. 


“Over fishing, pollution, disease and climate change have severely depleted native flat oyster stocks all over the world.  Dr Hilton’s pioneering research focuses upon the brooding cycles of flat oysters in a bid to restore wild oyster stocks and also initiate successful farming methods,” said Ms Rose.


“Dr Hilton is an extraordinary New Zealander and an inspiration to other young women aspiring to a career in science.   She is someone whose work is already helping to tackle global issues facing global communities.”


Sponsored by L’Oreal and administered by UNESCO the fellowships are awarded to 15 outstanding young female scientists from around the world to enable them to undertake research projects outside of their home countries in some of the world’s most prestigious laboratories.  Dr Hilton won one of three fellowships awarded to young women in the Asia Pacific region.  The award comes four years after New Zealander, Professor Margaret Brimble of Auckland University won the L’OREAL-UNESCO Laureate for Women in Science for the Asia Pacific region.


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