Professor Peter J. de Lange FLS wins 2017 Loder Cup

Peter J. de Lange, a foundation member of the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network received the Loder Cup during the 2017 Green Ribbon Awards held at the Beehive, Parliament, Wellington. The award was presented by the Associate Minister for Conservation the Honourable Nicky Wagner. Dr de Lange, who is also a Professor at the School of Natural Sciences, University of Sassari, Sardegna, and a Fellow of the Linnean Society (London) was nominated by the New Zealand Botanical Society and New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. Currently working for the Department of Conservation as a Principal Scientist, de Lange has had a long and distinguished career spanning over 30 years as a plant taxonomist, ethnobotanist, and conservationist. His citation noted his encyclopaedic knowledge of the New Zealand Flora, interests in plant biosystematics, island floras, lichens, liverworts, mosses and fungi. The citation noted that de Lange was instrumental in developing the New Zealand Threat Classification System in use by the New Zealand Government for Threat Listing purposes since 2001, and had overseen six vascular plant threat listings (and two for Hornworts & Liverworts and Lichens respectively). In his acceptance speech de Lange noted that he 'stood on the shoulders of giants' and paid homage to his mentors, in particular the late Reginald Bell of Pirongia, the late Dr David Given, and those who are still with us, including Dr Brian Molloy, Audrey Eagle, Colin Ogle and Ewen Cameron, along with a raft of people and organizations who have helped shape his career and define his work. Peter stated that he had only ever 'tried to do the very best science he can, and that in turn he saw it as his role to serve the next generation of up and coming scientists to give back what had been so generously given to him'.

Peter de Lange holds the Loder Cup while Dr Rick McGovern-Wilson holds the associated plaque. The Beehive, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

The Loder Cup acknowledges outstanding achievements in flora conservation work. Gerald Loder donated the Loder Cup in 1926 to 'encourage and honour New Zealanders who work to investigate, promote, retain and cherish our indigenous flora'. erald Loder was captivated by our indigenous flora on his first visit to New Zealand in 1886. Over many years Gerald collected a large selection of New Zealand and Southern Hemisphere flora to plant on his estate in Surrey, England. In 1926 Gerald donated a cup to encourage and honour New Zealanders who investigate, promote, retain and cherish our indigenous flora. Gerald Loder became Lord Wakehurst in 1934. He was passionately involved with our "incomparable flora" until his death in 1936.