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Zonta Science Award 2024

Congratulations Dr Hadee Thompson-Morrison

The Zonta Club of Wellington proudly announces Dr. Hadee Thompson-Morrison as the distinguished recipient of the esteemed Zonta Science Award for the year 2024. Dr. Thompson-Morrison's exceptional dedication to advancing scientific research, particularly in the realm of sustainable resource management and ecosystem conservation, has earned her this prestigious recognition.

As a passionate advocate for the sustainable management of natural resources and the conservation of unique ecosystems, Dr. Thompson-Morrison's academic career has been driven by a profound commitment to making a positive impact on environmental sustainability.

Dr. Thompson-Morrison's research plan focuses on further developing and applying a model she developed during her PhD studies at the University of Canterbury, which predicts the accumulation of trace elements in soils over time. This innovative model aims to safeguard soils against potentially toxic elements, and ensure effective nutrient composition, thereby enhancing soil fertility, crop growth, and human health. Through her proposed research, Dr. Thompson-Morrison seeks to advance understanding of biogeochemical processes in the soil-plant system, leading to improved agricultural practices and ecosystem health.

Dr. Thompson-Morrison is currently a researcher in soil health and environmental contaminants at Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research. In addition to her scientific endeavours, Dr. Thompson- Morrison is a staunch advocate for women in science and promotes healthy work-life balance within the scientific community. She actively engages in outreach activities to disseminate her research findings and communicate with diverse audiences, including media outlets, international universities, and community groups.

"I am deeply honoured to receive the Zonta Science Award and am grateful for the opportunity to further my research efforts," said Dr. Thompson-Morrison. "I am committed to advancing scientific knowledge and fostering collaborations that promote environmental sustainability and empower women in STEM fields."

Dr. Thompson-Morrison's dedication to excellence in scientific research, coupled with her passion for environmental stewardship and advocacy for women in science, exemplifies the values upheld by the Zonta Club of Wellington. The club extends its warmest congratulations to Dr. Hadee Thompson-Morrison on this well-deserved honour.

Aims of the Award

Aims of the award 

The Zonta Science Award was established to further the status of women in scientific fields. The Award is for an emerging woman scientist — a recent PhD graduate rather than a woman well established in the science field. 

The Award aims to:

  • encourage women to pursue a career in science

  • recognise women in scientific fields

  • acknowledge the valuable contribution of women scientists.



Award criteria

Applicants must be a woman who has / is:

  • a New Zealand resident

  • a PhD — usually within 7 years of graduation

  • excelled in the fields of pure or applied science (excluding clinical medicine, for example medical research that involves human subjects)

  • studying for further post-doctorate qualifications or is involved in research that has widespread benefits

  • ability to communicate to peers and non-scientists

  • contributing to her community

  • actively promoting science as a career for women

  • advocates for these women

  • likely to gain further career advancement from receiving this award. 

Award Criteria

How to apply

An application form and closing date will be added in mid-2025.

The Winner Receives

What the winner receives

The award recipient receives:

  • $20,000 cash to fund travel, education, materials and /or activities that will advance her research and career

  • a bespoke commemorative medal

  • a certificate of achievement.

The Selection Process

The selection process

  1. Selection — Up to 10 finalists will be selected from all applicants. 

  2. Review — Finalists are referred to a panel of invited judges who have university, government, science, industrial or business backgrounds.

  3. Shortlist — The judges assess the candidates against the criteria and shortlist up 3 applicants.

  4. Interviews — The short-listed applicants will be interviewed in Wellington in April 2024 and a winner selected.

  5. Award ceremony — To be held in Wellington May 2024

Recipient Requirements

The award recipient's requirements

The Award recipient will be asked to:

  • travel as soon as practicable after receiving the award

  • provide photo and promotional opportunities and give media interviews as requested

  • provide a written report within one month of their return to New Zealand on the benefits of receiving the award and the research outcomes

  • speak to relevant groups including Zonta Clubs, schools, and other service or community groups

  • speak at a sponsor's meeting if requested about the award, the outcomes, and the research benefits it provided

  • maintain contact with the Convenor of the Zonta Science Award.

Our Sponsors


The Zonta Club of Wellington makes an annual financial contribution in addition to 
administering the award.


A full list of previous sponsors can be found in the album of previous winners (PDF 102 KB).


We're very grateful for the support received from our sponsors and the recipient is expected to acknowledge them when appropriate.


Jill Ritchie — Zonta Science Award Convenor

Email —

Science Award 2024

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