Christopher J.R. Robertson was awarded a honorary Doctorate of Science by the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand in December 2007 (http://www.vuw.ac.nz/annualreports/2007-Documents/The-Year-in-Review.pdf). See also the latest issue (No. 42, December 2008) of The Albatross, newsletter of the Southern Ocean Seabird Study Association at www.sossa-international.org.
Chris is well known to marine ornithologists, especially among those who have studied and worked with the conservation of albatrosses and petrels. His research has been instrumental in leading to the currently adopted classification of the albatross family, with the general recognition of the genus Thalassarche for the mollymawk group, and the presence of several species within the wandering group of great albatrosses of the genus Diomedea. He has also been much involved over the years with the conservation of the breeding colony of Northern Royal Albatrosses Diomedea sanfordi at Taraioa Head on New Zealand’s Otago Peninsula near Dunedin: one of the very few albatross colonies anywhere in the world that is readily accessible to the public (http://www.albatross.org.nz/).
His more recent work has included studying 4000 carcasses of albatrosses and petrels killed by New Zealand longliners over the last decade and working with a long-term study on the Chatham Albatross T. eremita. Read of this work at http://www.smithsonianmag.com/specialsections/ecocenter/alba.html and at http://www.fishinfo.co.nz/Newsletters/13_Mar07.pdf
ACAP (albeit belatedly!) congratulates Chris on this most worthy award that recognizes his life-long achievements towards an understanding of the biology of albatrosses and their conservation.
Posted by John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 10 January 2008