Marsh Palaeontology Award
The Marsh Award for Palaeontology aims to recognise living individuals (or groups of individuals) - based in the UK - who have made a significant contribution to the field of palaeontology. The purpose of the Marsh Award for Palaeontology is to recognise those who have contributed significant work to the field, yet whose efforts have not necessarily been widely recognised to date. Those nominated for the award can be of either amateur or professional status.
The 2016 winner is Dr William Blows
Bill Blows has been collecting fossil vertebrate material from the Early Cretaceous Wealden sediments of southern England for more than three decades. In this time, he has recovered many scientifically significant specimens, all of which have been donated to the Natural History Museum and worked on by numerous national and international colleagues.
Not only has Bill been active in specimen discovery and collection, he has also become a noted international authority on ankylosaurian dinosaurs, having completed his part-time PhD. He has published around 10 papers on ankylosaur taxonomy, biostratigraphy and evolution in a variety of peer-reviewed international journals and edited volumes, several of which are highly cited. Bill has also written popular accounts of his work and delved into some of the historical aspects of dinosaur studies on the Isle of Wight during the 1800s.
Bill has carried out all of his paleontological work in a purely ‘amateur’ capacity, at the same time as working full-time as a healthcare professional and now an academic who lectures on nursing at City University. He recently began volunteering his time at the Natural History Museum in order to help with the curation of material he has donated and to continue his research work on these specimens.
Pictured: Dr Blows receiving his Award from Brian Marsh, MCT Chairman (top) and Dr Blows in the dig site of the 1976 Iguanadon on the Isle of Wight (bottom)
The Natural History Museum