About the award

The Society’s award for excellence in entomology at mid career will be the Ian Mackerras Medal and is given every two years (even years) to a member of the Society who is judged by the Board as being mid career and who has demonstrated excellence in entomology over many years.

The award is named in honour of Dr Ian Mackerras, the Society’s first President and an entomologist who embodied the excellence in entomological pursuits that the award recognises.


Nominations for the award are due by 31 August of an award year:

Using the link below, complete the online form and provide:

  1.  Full name and current position of the nominee.
  2. Full name(s) and contact details of the nominator(s)
  3. In no more than two pages, provide details of the nominee's contribution to entomology which you believe qualifies him/her for this prestigious award.
  4. Add details of the nominee's contribution towards the AES and entomological community in Australia generally.
  5. There is an expectation that the successful nominee will attend the next AES conference for the medal presentation and will deliver a keynote address. An abstract for the latter should accompany the nomination.
  6. Developing the keynote address into a review paper for Austral Entomology is encouraged.

Online Application Form


Prof. Nathan Lo wins the 2020 Ian Mackerras Medal

Nathan Lo has made outstanding contributions in two areas of entomology: termite biology and insect symbiosis. His work has been cited over 7300 times. His findings on termites and symbionts have been included in multiple textbooks, including The Insects: An Outline of Entomology, and Microbiology: Principles and Explorations. Nathan Lo has made a series of ground-breaking discoveries on termites over a period of 20 years, including characterising the way they digest cellulose, determining their evolutionary origins, revealing the first case of genetic caste determination, elucidating their phylogenetic relationships using mitochondrial genome and transcriptome data, and finding the first 'all-female' termite lineage. He was the first to unequivocally show that termites are actually a highly derived form of cockroach, having evolved from a sub-social, monogamous, wood-feeding ancestor closely related to the relict cockroach genus Cryptocercus. His phylogenetic work has had an important impact on our understanding of the timescale of insect evolution more broadly, showing that many insect orders and lineages evolved 100 million years earlier than previously recognised. Nathan Lo's work on the insect and arthropod symbionts Wolbachia pipientis, Blattabacterium cuenoti and Midichloria mitochondrii has resulted in a series of discoveries with wide-ranging impacts in entomology and evolutionary biology.


Past recipients 

2016 Dr Martin Steinbauer
2014  Prof. Tony Clarke
2012  Dr Michael Braby
2010 Professor Scott O'Neill
2008  Dr David Yeates
2004  Prof. A. Hoffmann
2002  Dr G.P. Fitt
2000  Dr P.G. Allsopp
1996  Dr M.P. Zalucki
1992  Dr E.S. Nielsen
1990  Dr R.A.I. Drew
1988  Dr T.R. New
1986  Dr R.W. Sutherst
1984 Dr J.A.L. Watson