General news

Professor Charles Eason, Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit
3 June 2019

Cawthron Institute Chief Executive recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours List

Professor Charles Eason CRSNZ, Chief Executive of Cawthron Institute, has been appointed as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for his services to science and wildlife conservation.

Cawthron Institute Board of Directors Chair Meg Matthews said the accolade was befitting of Professor Eason’s contribution to and expertise in science and wildlife conservation.

“Charlie is fiercely passionate about science innovation and excellence, and has built Cawthron into one of the largest employers in Nelson Tasman and its success, which has a huge impact on our regional economy, is projected to continue thanks to Charlie’s leadership direction. The Board, along with Cawthron staff, are extremely proud of Charlie’s achievements and warmly congratulate him on this honour.”

In acknowledgement of receiving the honour, Professor Eason said it was a tribute to the wider Cawthron staff.

“I am very humbled to receive this honour,” said Professor Eason. “I believe that it is recognition of the world class science delivered by the entire Cawthron team. Our people are world leaders in science innovation and our research makes a difference to real-world outcomes.

“Our caring, supportive, and collaborative working environment here at Cawthron enables its scientists, technical specialists, and support teams to work innovatively and advance science with impact.”

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List recognises the achievements of individuals who contribute outstanding community service.

Professor Eason, who continues to be a practising and publishing scientist, has been in leadership roles at the Cawthron Institute since 2003, firstly as a director, and then as Chief Executive from 2012, now leading nearly 300 scientists.

Under his leadership as Chief Executive, Cawthron Institute has significantly increased its research outputs.

In addition, Professor Eason has led research in the development of new tools and toxins for the conservation of native wildlife species, which have made a significant difference across New Zealand in the creation of predator-free zones and sanctuaries. He is recognised internationally as a leading expert on predator control, has published more than 200 papers, and has been appointed to various scientific advisory committees and panels.

The Queen’s Birthday honour is the latest accolade for Professor Eason, who is a Companion of the Royal Society Te Apārangi and was awarded their Thomson Medal in 2017 for outstanding leadership in his research career and for his achievements as head of the Cawthron Institute.

“I am inspired by the other researchers at Cawthron who get stuck in and get some big stuff done,” says Professor Eason. “Our people have an inspiring vivacity and the ability to link fundamental research through to practical outcomes that make a real difference for New Zealand.”