Featured News JCU Professor’s extraordinary career recognised

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Mon, 21 Nov 2016

JCU Professor’s extraordinary career recognised

Prof. Eric Wolanski
JCU's Professor Eric Wolanski

A James Cook University scientist is to be awarded one of academia’s highest honours.

Professor Eric Wolanski will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Hull in the United Kingdom.

The University of Hull, like other universities, each year confers a small number of honorary doctoral degrees on individuals who are recognised for their exceptional and outstanding achievements.

Prof. Wolanski will receive the honorary degree for his outstanding achievements in what’s known as estuarine ecohydrology. His research focuses on the interaction between physical and biological processes determining ecosystem health in estuaries, coastal wetlands, and coral reefs.

Prof. Wolanski said to receive an Honorary Doctorate in marine science is truly rare and exceptional, and it will be a great honour to accept the award.

"I have collaborated for 10 years with the director of the Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies at Hull University, which is the pre-eminent estuarine research Institute of the UK.

“The Institute needs computer models that predict the ecosystem health of estuaries. This is precisely where I come in with my model based on my 35 years experience as an oceanographer at AIMS and JCU. This model can do that because it combines physics, chemistry and ecology. This model is increasingly used worldwide, at present in Portugal, Palau, Tanzania, India and China."

Prof. Wolanski has been extremely successful, and prolific, in his chosen area of research. During his career he has produced 390 publications. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Institution of Engineers Australia (ret.), and l’Académie Royale des Sciences d’Outre-Mer (Belgium).

"For 14 years I was a Chief Editor of the scientific journal Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science and am still a Chief Editor of the scientific journal Wetlands Ecology and Management. I processed 3300 scientific papers and in that process I mentored numerous young, budding PhD students and scientists and helped them develop into professional scientists". 

Prof. Wolanski has previously been awarded an Australian Centenary medal, and a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Estuarine Coastal Sciences Association. He is a member of the ARC College of Experts, the Australia-China Science and Research Fund (ACSRF), and the Scientific and Policy Committee of the Japanese government agency Environmental Management of Enclosed Seas (EMECS).

The honorary degree will be conferred on January 20th, 2017.


To arrange interviews please contact:

Prof. Wolanski

0408 897 107


Richard Davis

Head of Media and Communications, JCU

0413 451 475


An image of Prof. Wolanski is available here: