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A rating for a leading Marine Ecologist

Date Released: Wed, 29 February 2012 16:02 +0200

The National Research Foundation (NRF) has awarded the Rhodes University’s research Chair in Marine Ecology Professor Christopher McQuaid an A rating. Prof McQuaid’s career which spans decades was recognised by peers as a leading scholar in his field and for the high quality and impact of his recent research output.

“The reviewers agreed that you (Professor McQuaid) can be regarded as the leading marine ecologist in South Africa. You are to be commended for both the quantity and quality of your research output as well as your excellent track record in postgraduate student supervision over the past eight years.

“Your rigorous field experiments have provided insight into the spatial and temporal patterns in ecosystem dynamics and contributed to the advancement of marine science,” said NRF, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, Ms Joyce Olivier.

Rhodes Vice-Chancellor, Dr Saleem Badat, said the university is thrilled at the award of an A-rating to Prof McQuaid.

“We were confident that given his outstanding record of scholarship it was simply a matter of time for this holder of a DST/NRF South African Research Chair to receive such a rating. We hope that this will inspire colleagues to follow in his footpath,” added Dr Badat.

“I am very pleased for Professor McQuaid. The A rating is recognition by national and international peers for a colleague who is one of the leaders in his field.

“I am aware that Professor McQuaid's success is the culmination of some 20-odd years' of dedication and hard work both by himself and the members of his research group,” said Prof Ric Bernard, Dean of Science.

Prof McQuaid is equally thrilled and excited to receive such recognition. “I am especially pleased to see an A rating at Rhodes and hope that we will see more in the future.  I feel strongly that for me, this is not simply an individual achievement. I have, and have had, an excellent team of postgraduate students and postdoctoral collaborators and their contributions have been absolutely critical. In some ways I think my rating is partly a recognition of Rhodes’ strength in the field of marine biology,” he said.

“On a personal level it is tremendously gratifying to feel that my international peers see my work as being of high quality and to feel that I am making a valued contribution to my discipline.  One does one's best of course, but it is a wonderful feeling to realise that others appreciate the quality of one's work,” added Prof McQuaid.

Prof McQuaid considers himself lucky to be part of a diverse, vibrant and intellectually exciting Science Department at Rhodes. He said that the department is made up of interesting and supportive staff and students, drawn  from  diverse cultures and countries.

Prof McQuaid has received many awards in the past including in 2011 Distinguish Professor at Rhodes and the prestigious Gilchrist Award for his outstanding contribution to the enhancement of marine and coastal science in South Africa and Southern Ocean.

The Gilchrist Award is presented to a “distinguished marine scientist” every three years by the South African Network for Coastal and Oceanic Research (SANCOR).