Annual Conference Student Prizes

As Australia’s peak professional body for marine scientists from all disciplines and for over 60 years has promoted all aspects of marine science in Australia. AMSA operates with a membership network of individuals and corporate affiliates as a not-for-profit organisation.

Each year at the annual AMSA conference, student prizes are awarded to the most outstanding oral and poster presentations in a number of categories.

Student Prize Winners from Past Conferences

AMSA Prizes

  • Ron Kenny (Oral and Poster)
  • Peter Holloway Oceanography (Oral)
  • Ernest Hodgkin Estuary Research Award (Oral or Poster)

Sponsored Prizes for AMSA 2021, Sydney

  • Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) (Oral and Poster)
  • Diversity Journal Prize for Coral Reef Research (Oral and Poster)
  • RBR Prize for Innovative Marine Science (Poster)

The Ron Kenny Prize (Oral and Poster)

The Ron Kenny Student Presentation Prize for the best full-length oral presentation of research results and the Ron Kenny Student Poster Prize for the best poster display of research results. The prizes are named in honour of Assoc. Prof. Ron Kenny, a foundation member of the Association and editor of its Bulletin for nine years until his death in August 1987. The purpose of the prizes is to reward excellence in scientific work by students in any field of marine science, and to encourage a high standard of scientific communication. The prizes are provided by a special Trust Fund maintained by AMSA, and are the Association’s major form of recognition and encouragement of student effort.

Peter Holloway Oceanography Prize (Oral)

The prize, originating in 2002, is awarded to the best full-length student oral presentation related to Oceanography. This prize is partly funded by interest on funds donated to AMSA by the Australian Physical Oceanography Division of AMSA when it ceased to function as a separate entity in mid 2002, and from the Peter Holloway Memorial Symposium at AMSA2004 in Hobart. Peter Holloway was a highly distinguished, physical oceanographer, internationally recognized for his contribution to the observation, theory and numerical modeling of internal waves (Obituary from Marine and Freshwater Research and Obituary from EOS).


Fisheries Research Development Corporation Prize (Oral and Poster) 

The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) student prize was first awarded in 2002. FRDC student prizes are supported by funding from the FRDC on behalf of the Australian Government. The FRDC sponsored prizes are to be given to any category of student presenting within one year of completing their respective study course. The subject matter of the talk/poster must be consistent with the FRDC’s Research and Development Plan 2020-2025, in the area of ‘Environment’ and ‘Industry’. If no suitable winners are identified, a prize will be withheld. As a condition of acceptance of this prize, FRDC is to be provided with profiles, photos and write-ups of the prize-winners and their research for consideration for publication in FRDC’s regular newsletter, or social media.

Ernest Hodgkin Estuary Research Prize (Oral or Poster)

Donated by The Committee of the Ernest Hodgkin Trust for Estuary Education and Research, this prize is to be awarded annually for the best oral or poster student presentation on research that will facilitate a greater understanding of estuarine processes and management.

Diversity Journal Prize for Coral Reef Research (Oral & Poster)

Diversity is an international and interdisciplinary open access journal published quarterly online by MDPI. Focused on diversity; concept, assessment and preservation from the molecular through to the organismic. The journal encourages scientists to publish experimental and theoretical results with extensive detail and no restriction on length of papers. The journal also has a focus on marine diversity, with recent highlights in the theme of Coral Reef Research. Since AMSA 2018 in Adelaide, Diversity has been been awarding student prizes for the best oral and poster presentations on Coral Reef Research.

RBR Prize for Innovative Marine Science (Poster)

RBR are a global company that design and produce innovative instruments for measuring the blue planet. Their products are widely used from the deepest depths of the ocean through to coastal and polar research. With a range of sensors and loggers for measuring many water parameters, RBR instruments are built on a modular platform for rapid customisation to scientists needs. Since AMSA 2018 in Adelaide, RBR has been awarding a student prize for the poster which best highlights the use of Innovation in Marine Science.

Eligibility – apply to all AMSA Student Prizes

  • Must be a current financial student member of AMSA during the conference
  • The work presented has to have been done as part of the research project to fulfil the requirements of the award of a research degree (i.e. PG Diploma, Honours, Masters or PhD) and be presented within 12 months of graduation from the respective degree
  • All student members are eligible and, if no longer a student at the time of the conference, can be considered for prizes if presenting work done for their research degree if it was submitted within the twelve months preceding the conference
  • The date the degree was awarded must be vouched for by the thesis supervisor
  • The student is responsible for ensuring that approval from University and/or funding organisations has been granted for the presentation

Award Rules – apply to all AMSA Student Prizes

  • The Oral and Poster Presentation Prize awards shall be decided by AMSA Council or its appointed Committee. If there are more than five suitable entries in either category, a second prize of such amount as decided by Council may be awarded in that category. A written citation will accompany each prize;
  • The prizes shall be awarded on the determination of a Prizes Committee appointed by the Council of the Association, representing both the Council and the Conference Organising Committee. The decision of the Prizes Committee shall be final;
  • The Prizes Committee, noting the dual objectives of recognising and encouraging student effort, may take the age and experience of students into account in reaching its decision;
  • In judging the oral presentation, the Prizes Committee shall consider clarity of expression, originality, the standard of the scientific contribution, and the presentation (including the ability to stay within the allotted time);
  • In judging the posters, the Prizes Committee shall consider effective use of the poster medium to communicate information, originality and standard of the scientific contribution. Expensive, high-quality graphics and photographs provided by institutions or external agencies will not be a major consideration;
  • Both oral and poster presentations may include review of expository materials, progress reports, or substantive research results;
  • Council reserves the right not to award the prizes, or to award only one prize in any category, if it deems that entries are not of sufficient calibre;
  • All winners must fulfil the requirements specific to the award;
  • A brief personal profile and a photograph of the winner are to be submitted by each prize winner to the Bulletin Editor by the end of the month in which the conference is held for publication in the AMSA Bulletin.

AMSA reserves the right not to give any of the awards if there are no presentations that meet the criteria or are good enough.