With great enthusiasm, the executive committee have nominated Jon Harding as an honorary member of the Society, recognising Jon’s long career in freshwater science and his exceptional contribution to teaching and mentoring generations of freshwater scientists. Teaching has always been in Jon’s blood it seems as he moved on from being a schoolteacher in Dannevirke to start his MSc at Canterbury University’s Zoology Department in 1988.
Jon completed his master’s with Mike Winterbourn in 1990 on “The effects of impoundment on three Westland River macroinvertebrate communities” and then went on to complete a PhD with Mike Winterbourn in 1994 looking at the lotic ecoregions of New Zealand.
Jon undertook a postdoc at Virginia (Tech) Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg Virginia with Fred Benfield on the ecological communities of forest streams in the American South West. From this work, Jon produced his most cited paper (with over 1000 citations) “Harding, J. S., E. F. Benfield, P. V. Bolstad, G. S. Helfman, and E. B. D. Jones. 1998. Stream biodiversity: the ghost of land use past. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 95:14843-14847.”
Jon then worked at the Cawthron Institute in Nelson from 1999 – 2001 and subsequently started lecturing at the University of Canterbury in 2002. Over his career at the University of Canterbury Jon received the UC Teaching Award, Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award, became the Dean of Postgraduate Research and received the 2018 University of Canterbury Teaching Medal. Jon is a past-president of the Society, SIL Trust Trustee and has had a wide-spread influence on current and future generations of freshwater scientists through his post-graduate supervision and mentoring. Jon, we thank and acknowledge your huge contribution to the Society, freshwater science and in shaping the careers of so many Society members in nominating you as an honorary NZFSS member.