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Director of Kew named in Australian Honours list

Professor Stephen Hopper, Director (CEO and Chief Scientist) of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, has been appointed a ‘Companion of the Order of Australia’, within the Australian Honours System.

Stephen Hopper outside the Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew Gardens

Awarded to a ‘global science leader’

This appointment was announced publicly today in The Queen’s Birthday 2012 Honours List.

Recipients of the Companion of the Order of Australia come from many fields of endeavour and all walks of life. To be made a Companion acknowledges the achievement and merit of the highest degree of service to Australia or to humanity at large.

The world of plant conservation science is full of quiet achievers; all doing essential work on plant diversity that underpins the very existence of people throughout the world.

Professor Stephen Hopper

Stephen Hopper, the 14th Director of Kew, has been awarded this honour for 'eminent service as a global science leader in the field of plant conservation biology, particularly in the delivery of world class research programs contributing to the conservation of endangered species and ecosystems'.

About the Honours

The Companion of the Order of Australia is the means by which Australia recognises the outstanding and commendable service of its citizens. Nominations come directly from the community and can be either individuals or groups. Anyone can nominate a fellow Australian for an award before the 19-member Council for the Order of Australia considers all of the nominations.

'Delighted and humbled'

On hearing of the award, Stephen Hopper said ‘I am delighted and humbled by this unexpected honour, as well as grateful to anonymous friends and colleagues for their nomination. The world of plant conservation science is full of quiet achievers; all doing essential work on plant diversity that underpins the very existence of people throughout the world. This honour I see as recognition of the importance of the science I have been lucky enough to be part of in my career’.

Anigozanthos flavidus (evergreen kangaroo paw)

Evergreen kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos flavidus)

Stephen Hopper is known for his research into the kangaroo paw family, including Anigozanthos flavidus, pictured above.

Stephen Hopper at Kew

Stephen Hopper came to Kew in 2006. Author and co-author of over 250 scientific publications, and 14 books and monographs, he is best known for his pioneering research leading to the successful conservation of plants in south-west Australia and for research into the kangaroo paw family (Haemodoraceae).

During his time at Kew, Stephen Hopper has led the organisation through the celebrations for its 250th anniversary in 2009 and the development and implementation of the ten year Breathing Planet Programme for Kew and its global partners.

In October 2012, he will step down as Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to become Winthrop Professor of Biodiversity at the University of Western Australia. 

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Comments

28 June 2012
Congratulations Stephen! That's great news, and well deserved.