AAP Awards

Robert Etheridge Jr Medal

The Robert Etheridge Jr Medal aims to recognise a researcher’s lifetime contribution to Australasian palaeontology and will be awarded by the AAP Executive Committee.

Conditions and criteria

  • Only members of AAP are eligible for this award.
  • To be eligible, a member must be nominated by another member of AAP.
  • Nominees must have made an outstanding lifetime contribution to Australasian palaeontology.
  • The award may be made annually or biennially to one or more nominee (at the discretion of the AAP committee, but with no more than 4 awards in a 4-year committee term).
  • Criteria for judging the award will include the number and quality of publications, research communication (including to the general public) and contributions to student education.

How to nominate

Nominations may be submitted by email at any time to the AAP Executive Committee and will remain available for consideration indefinitely, unless subsequently updated. Self-nominations will not be accepted. Nominations should include basic details of the candidate, a brief statement of the candidate’s contributions to Australasian palaeontology, and a list of the candidate’s key publications (or a comprehensive list) dealing with Australasian palaeontology.

About Robert Etheridge Jr
The Robert Etheridge Jr Medal is named after Robert Etheridge Jr (1847–1920). English born, and the only son of a distinguished palaeontologist, he was educated at the Royal School of Mines, London before coming to Australia in the 1860s. He worked in the Victorian Geological Survey until its termination in 1869, and returned to England in 1871. Two years later he was appointed palaeontologist to the Geological Survey of Scotland, then in 1874 he obtained a position in the Natural History Museum, London. Etheridge returned to Australia in 1887 and took up a dual role as palaeontologist to the Geological Survey of New South Wales and the Australian Museum in Sydney. From 1895 he was Curator of the Australian Museum (subsequently Director 1917–1919); under his direction the collection was much expanded and better displayed. He was awarded a grant from the Wollaston Fund by the Geological Society of London in 1877, the Clarke Medal by the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1895, and the von Mueller Medal by the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science in 1911. He was active up to his death in 1920, leaving a legacy of some 350 published papers dealing mainly with Palaeozoic invertebrate fossils from many areas of Australia. Noteworthy among these is the seminal The Geology and Palaeontology of Queensland and New Guinea by Robert L. Jack & Robert Etheridge, Jr, published in 1892 after a long collaboration. Numerous species of animals, both fossil and extant, have been named in his honour, and his name has also been given to a goldfield in Queensland, a peak in the Kosciuszko Plateau, and a glacier in Antarctica. 

[Summary of Serle, P., 1949. Etheridge, Robert, Jun. (1847–1920), palaeontologist. In Dictionary of Australian Biography. Angus and Robertson, Sydney]

Mary Wade Prize

The Mary Wade Prize will be awarded biennially by the AAP Executive Committee for the best paper(s) published in the previous two years in a peer-reviewed AAP publication (currently, Alcheringa and Australasian Palaeontological Memoirs) by an early career researcher as sole or first author.

Conditions and criteria

  • ‘Early career’ is defined as any tertiary student, or any researcher who has graduated less than five years previously at the time of submission of the paper.
  • Only Australasian studies or investigations utilising predominantly Australasian material are eligible

 About Mary Wade

The Mary Wade Prize honours Dr Mary Julia Wade (1928–2005), an Australian-born researcher in Cenozoic foraminifers; Mesozoic dinosaurs, marine reptiles and molluscs; early Palaeozoic nautiloids; and the Ediacara biota. Born in Adelaide, her early love of natural history and animals led her to become a competent stockwoman. In 1947 Wade entered the Department of Geology, University of Adelaide, then headed by Douglas Mawson, completing a Bachelor of Science with Honours (1st Class) in micropalaeontology in 1954. Her thesis topic was South Australian Cenozoic foraminifers. Wade then worked as a Senior Demonstrator at the University while continuing her postgraduate studies on foraminifers, and was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in 1959. She remained at the University and collaborated with Martin Glaessner on late Precambrian fossils from Ediacara in the Flinders Ranges. In 1971 she became Curator of Geology at the Queensland Museum, Brisbane, where she worked her way up progressively to Senior Curator, then Deputy Director in 1980, and finally Acting Assistant Director in 1986. During this period she focussed on Mesozoic dinosaurs and marine reptiles. One notable endeavour was her participation in excavation and study of spectacular dinosaur trackways at Lark Quarry near Winton, Queensland. She retired in 1993, but remained at the museum as an Honorary Research Associate. The following year she was awarded the Queensland Museum Medal. A Geological Society of Australia special symposium was held in her honour in 1998. Her legacy is embodied in her scientific enthusiasm and promotion of geotourism, her drive in seeing the Queensland Museum's fossil collections grow to a world class collection, and the permanent record of her diverse scientific research. 

[Summary of Alafaci, A., 2005, modified 2011. Wade, Mary Julia (1928–2005). Encyclopaedia of Australian Science; and Turner, S., 2007. Invincible but mostly invisible: Australian women's contribution to geology and palaeontology. Geological Society, London, Special Publications 281, 165–202].

AAP Dorothy Hill Award

The AAP Dorothy Hill Award aims to reward the best research paper within a calendar year and will be awarded by the AAP Executive Committee at the beginning of the following year. The AAP Dorothy Hill Award comes with a monetary award of AU$1,000.  

Conditions and criteria

  • Only members of AAP are eligible for this award.
  • To be eligible, a member must publish a paper on Australasian Palaeontology and then submit it to the AAP committee.
  • The member must be the lead author on the paper and must be a ‘middle career researcher’ (between 6 years after graduation and retirement)
  • Only the lead author will receive the award, as the team leader and member of AAP.
  • Criteria for judging the award will include the quality of the research (supported by strong empirical data), and how ground-breaking the research is (has it changed our current understanding).

How to apply

A member can self-nominate by sending their own research paper by email at any time to the AAP Executive Committee. Members can nominate other members by following the same procedure. The paper must have been published either in electronic or paper form within that calendar year.

For submissions and more information, please contact: Kenny.Travouillon@museum.wa.gov.au

About Dorothy Hill
Dorothy Hill was Research Professor of Geology, University of Queensland 1959–1972 and served for six months as President of the Australian Academy of Science, Canberra in 1970. She was the first female elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA) and has published widely on palaeontology, stratigraphy and geology. She is commemorated by Dorothy Hill Chair in Palaeontology & Stratigraphy at the University of Queensland, established in 1972 and the Dorothy Hill Library, University of Queensland.

[Summary from Encyclopedia of Australian Science: http://www.eoas.info/biogs/P000494b.htm ]

AAP Student Travel Award

The AAP Student Travel Award aims to help a student member of AAP attend a conference of their choosing to present their research as a talk or a poster.  

Conditions and criteria

  • Only student members of AAP are eligible for this award.
  • To be eligible, a student member must submit the application form by email to the AAP committee.
  • Student members must designate which conference they want to travel to, and must be a conference within a year from the cut-off date.
  • The award is given annually to one student member, up to AU$1,000.
  • Criteria for judging the award will be on the quality of the abstract submitted to the committee and the distance the student is travelling from.
  • The recipient of the AAP Student Travel Award will be requested to submit a video of their conference presentation, or a picture of their poster, so it can be uploaded to the AAP social media.

How to apply

Student members must fill out the application form by the cut-off date. They will be notified if they are successful or not within a month.  

For submissions and more information, please contact: 

Application for 2019 are CLOSED. Applications will reopen again in early 2020.  

AAP Student Travel Award Application Form
(Microsoft Word Document)


Robert Etheridge Jr


This medal was established in 2015, and awarded for the first time during the Palaeo Down Under 2 conference in Adelaide in July 2016.

2016 - Prof Bruce Runnegar
2018 - Dr Thomas Rich
2019 - Dr Kath Grey









Mary Wade


This prize was established in 2015, and awarded for the first time during the Palaeo Down Under 2 conference held in Adelaide in July 2016.

2016 - Dr Chris Mays
2018 - Dr Stephen Poropat












Dorothy Hill


This award has yet to be awarded.


















2019 - Elizabeth Dowding