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Jesse Hawley

Professor David Eldridge, and his discipline and decade-spanning research, has been recognised and rewarded by the NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet, as one of “the state’s best and brightest researchers” with the prize for ‘Innovation in NSW Public Sector Science and Engineering’.

Stationed as Professor with UNSW Sydney and Senior Principal Research Scientist with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, Prof. Eldridge investigates the functioning of arid and semi-arid ecosystems and how they alter under human intervention and through time.

His work assesses the influence of feral species, like rabbits and horses, on native landscapes, as well as techniques for reintroducing native species to former habitats.

David Eldridge and Governor Margaret Beazley

David Eldridge and Governor Margaret Beazley at the 2022 NSW Premier's Prize ceremony. Photo: Provided.

“It's been an amazing journey,” says Prof. Eldridge, describing his experience performing “really good science that helps the government to make decisions about how to manage land”.

Read more: Vulnerable soil hotspots overlooked in conservation areas

Professor Eldridge’s prize was one of 10 awarded last night at Government House as part of the 2022 Premier’s Prizes for Science & Engineering.

Prof. Eldridge was congratulated for his achievement by UNSW Dean of Science, Scientia Professor Sven Rogge.

“In many ways, David is the archetypal ecologist: pragmatic, creative, collaborative and deeply in touch with the land on which he works. His research of natural landscapes and the ways in which they adapt to human encroachment has for many years been integral in guiding land-use practices. Congratulations, Professor Eldridge – we are truly lucky to have you.”