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Bjarne K Dahl Medal

Eucalypt Australia awards the Bjarne K Dahl Medal to honour our benefactor and publicly recognise and reward those who have made a significant and sustained contribution to eucalypts.

There was no award for 2019 due to delays caused by Covid-19.

Professor Brad Potts (2024)

A leading expert in the field of eucalypt genetics, Professor Brad Potts has published a significant body of work on the evolutionary processes that have shaped the natural diversity of the eucalypts, including the contribution of gene flow through hybridisation. As well as significantly contributing to our understanding of eucalypts, this work has important implications in eucalypt conservation and restoration ecology.

As a plant geneticist at the University of Tasmania since 1985, Brad and his team have been working to understand local adaptations among eucalypt populations in the Tasmanian midlands, and the potential for genetic provenance to influence the resilience of plantings to threats such as climate change, pests, and disease.  Brad is currently the most published scientist worldwide in the field of eucalypt genetics.

Brad has also collaborated with fellow biologist Rob Wiltshire to create the popular (and extremely handy) EucaFlip field identification guide for Tasmanian eucalypts.

Dr Donald Franklin (2023)

Located on the Atherton tablelands, Dr Donald Franklin is a self-employed wildlife ecological consultant and field naturalist.  His passions encompass not only our beloved eucalypts but birds, butterflies and Australian native bamboos. As an Adjunct Fellow of Charles Darwin University, Don taught wildlife management and related topics at the post graduate level.  Don has authored 120 peer-reviewed papers, seven book chapters and won two publication awards.

Don is keenly interested in the role eucalypts play in ecosystems and supporting biodiversity.  He made the generous decision to make his fourth book “A Field Study of the Eucalypts of North-East Queensland” freely available to download (see

Malcolm French OAM (2022)

Malcolm French is a Central Western Australian Wheatbelt farmer, publisher, associate researcher, and honorary curator of eucalypts at the WA Herbarium.  Malcolm began his interest in eucalypts in the 1980s when he grew eucalypts for his family farm at Rylstone on the Central Tablelands of NSW. He moved to Perth in 1993, for agribusiness work and the opportunity to research the vast diversity of eucalypts in the State.

Malcolm has been a key promoter in Western Australia of the value added to rural farming environments in maintaining and adding eucalypts to the landscape.  His books are widely respected and include the comprehensive Eucalypts of Western Australia’s Wheatbelt (2013).

Malcolm was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2015 for service to conservation and the environment in Western Australia.

Dr Dorothy Steane (2021)

Dorothy Steane is an award-winning biologist who has spent the last 26 years studying population genetics and evolution of eucalypts. A Rhodes Scholar, and amongst her many, many career achievements, Dorothy pioneered the use of next-generation sequencing-based tools to explore the genetics of adaptation in eucalypts.  This work focused on adaptation across aridity gradients in widespread Eucalyptus species, with a view to applying the knowledge to strategies for restoration and management of Australian ecosystems in the face of climate change. Her most recent research, part of which is funded by Eucalypt Australia, is focusing on the issue of whether native populations of eucalypts contain the adaptive diversity required to survive predicted climate change in situ, or whether human intervention may be required.

Dorothy is currently an honorary research fellow at the School of Natural Sciences and ARC Training Centre for Forest Value at the University of Tasmania.

Dr Brian Martin (2020)

Artist and Academic Dr Brian Martin received the medal in 2020. His appreciation for eucalypts is expressed through large scale charcoal “Countryscapes”. Brian is a descendant of the Muruwari, Bundjalung and Makilaroi peoples. His monumental charcoal drawings represent Country that is deeply significant to him, and are predominantly of eucalypts, depicted in great detail.  Represented by William Mora Galleries, Brian has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Brian’s research and practice focuses on re-figuring Australian art and culture from an Indigenous ideological perspective of our reciprocal relationship to Country.

Brian is currently the Inaugural Associate Dean, Indigenous at Monash University’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture.

Ian Roberts OAM (2018)

Watercolour artist Ian Roberts received the medal in 2018. His appreciation for eucalypts is expressed through scientifically accurate illustrations. Ian has illustrated the seedlings of over 600 species and his illustrations make valuable contributions to two important books: Eucalypts of Western Australia’s Wheatbelt by Malcolm French and Native Eucalypts of South Australia by Dean Nicolle. Ian grows eucalypts, runs a small plant nursery and has an arboretum near his home in South Australia which has the largest collection of eucalypt species outside of the Currency Creek Arboretum.

Dr Suzanne Prober (2017)

Based at the CSIRO in Perth, Suzanne is a botanist and ecologist with a broad interest in adaptation and resilience of natural ecosystems to climate change, in ecosystem function and management, fire ecology, indigenous ecological knowledge and conservation and biodiversity. Her work extends from the field and on-site experiments to the application of genomics technology to predict the resilience of eucalypt species populations across a landscape and the species’ potential to adapt to changing environments.

Leon Costermans OAM (2016)

Leon has devoted his life to sharing his knowledge of the botanical and geological aspects of south-eastern Australia. His books on the native trees of Victoria and adjoining areas are invaluable handbooks for those wanting to identify plants. Originally self-published in 1966, Trees of Victoria has been reprinted 13 times. Native Trees and Shrubs of South-eastern Australia is up to 15 printings. Leon has a long history of sharing his expertise with environmental and community groups and schools, and leading field studies and vegetation surveys.

In 2024 Leon was awarded the prestigious Medal of the Order of Australia for service to conservation and the environment.

Dr Dean Nicolle OAM (2015)

The inaugural recipient, Dean embodies the same passion as Bjarne Dahl. His interest in eucalypts led to the establishment of the Currency Creek Arboretum, a largely self-funded arboretum planted with seedlings mostly collected by Dean in the wild. Sited on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, it has the largest collection of eucalypt species in the world, with over 900 species and subspecies. Dean’s efforts align closely with the aims of the Trust – he is a respected authority on the systematics and ecology of eucalypts and willingly shares his research through both scholarly and publicly accessible publications. He is an active conservationist who has made an outstanding commitment and contribution to understanding, cultivating and conserving eucalypts.

Dean shares that the background eucalypt, is Eucalyptus tetraptera (four-winged mallee).

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