Gill Memorial Medal to Peter Ryan

Posted 4 August 2022 by NISC under Announcements & Notices • Journal: Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology
Gill Memorial Medal to Peter Ryan

With a career that has combined the highest scientific distinction with a genuine impact on bird conservation, Professor Peter Ryan, Director of the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, has been awarded the Gill Memorial Medal. 

As BirdLife’s most prestigious award, it is given for outstanding lifetime contributions to ornithology in southern africa with its list of previous recipients including distinguished ornithologists such as Philip Clancey, Richard Dean and Adrian Craig. Professor Peter Ryan is well-known to southern africa’s birding community as author and editor of field guides and handbooks, as a prolific writer for African BirdLife, and as a former President of BirdLife South Africa. He has also published in Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology

In writing in the Gill Memorial Medal Citation on Peter Ryan, Claire Spottiswoode, who received the award herself in 2019, notes that Professor Ryan’s exceptional scientific achievements have been widely recognised. "Peter was the first (and is still the only) ornithologist to have received an A-rating from the National Research Foundation of South Africa, putting him in a small group of the country’s best scientists who are regarded as world leaders in their field," said Spottiswoode.

Professor Peter Ryan’s phenomenal energy and productivity stem from a total passion for birds, for Africa and its surrounding oceans, and for mentoring and training the next generations of ornithologists and conservationists. About a third of his papers have one of his postgraduate students as ‘first’ author, which indicates his dedication to ensuring that his students publish and thrive in the tough world of academia. His students have been inspired not only by his passion for birds and conservation, fearsome intellect, meticulous approach to science, and deep knowledge of ornithology and ecology, but also by his sense of adventure and fun. 

"He was awarded the Gilchrist Memorial Medal for his contributions to marine science and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa. It is hard to think of anyone more deserving of BirdLife South Africa’s Gill Memorial Medal," said Spottiswoode.

Read the Gill Memorial Medal citation on Peter Ryan written by Claire Spottiswoode at no cost until the end of August 2022 in Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology by clicking here.

Photo Caption: Peter Ryan on Scott Island in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Photo Credit: François Bernard


Excellent attention by editor-in-chief; very good work of reviewers; good time for review and processing.
- Author - African Journal of Range & Forage Science
It has been an enriching experience working with such enthusiastic and professional people at NISC who have become more friends than business partners over the years.
- Stan Pillar, Editor of the African Journal of Marine Science (1996-2013)
The editorial experience was excellent: the reviewers were timely and their feedback was generative. The co-editor of the special issue was proactive about communicating information to me. In latter stages, the staff that shepherded the essay through the copy-editing stages was also very helpful and in good contact.
- Author - Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies
Perhaps the most important change, in terms of bringing the Journal to a wider audience, has been its publishing in collaboration with the NISC (Pty) Ltd.
- Stan Pillar, Editor of the African Journal of Marine Science (1996-2013)
The review process is quick and is being done within the reasonable time. After acceptance, NISC is also quick enough to send proofs and is very efficiently publishes the accepted paper online before its print version.

- Author - Southern Forests: A Journal of Forest Science