Manaaki Whenua-Landcare Research scientist wins Zonta Science Award
A love of the natural world has seen Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research scientist Dr Jessie Prebble named the 15th
Biennial Zonta Science Award winner. The award was established in 1990 by the Zonta Club of Wellington to further the
status of New Zealand women in science.
After a rigorous selection process, Dr Prebble, a Plant Systematist at Manaaki Whenua, was chosen from 33 applications
by early career women scientists as this year’s recipient.
Dr Prebble will be presented the award by the Governor General, the Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, at a ceremony at Government
House on Thursday 7 June 2018.
“I love the variety – I get to work outside, in the mountains, in the lab, in the herbarium, with people, as well as by
myself. I get to think about ideas, come up with plans and follow them through, it’s very satisfying,” Dr Prebble says.
An outstanding role model for other young women pursuing a career in science, Jessie was selected for the award after
demonstrating that through her work she contributes to her community.
Along with the accolade, Dr Prebble will receive $18,000 to fund activities to further her career and research. She has
chosen to use the Award to visit three laboratories in the USA and to work with leading plant scientists at the
University of Florida. There, she will learn a new technique of DNA sequencing that improves scientists’ ability to
discover and describe species, which she will with other scientists in New Zealand.
“This award is such an honour. I think there are many ways it will help me. It is a wonderful confidence boost, and so
nice to have an opportunity to celebrate what I have achieved so far. It also shows others that the work I do is valued,
and that recognition can lead to other opportunities.”
The Zonta Science Award was established to further the status of women in scientific fields. The Award is for an
emerging woman scientist. Priority is given to woman working in an area of science where funding is not readily