A respected life-long oceans advocate has been recognised with an honorary doctorate by The University of Queensland in acknowledgment of his tireless efforts to protect marine life.
Sea World Gold Coast Marine Sciences Director Trevor Long was awarded the prestigious title for rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing injured marine animals, reducing ocean litter, and communicating local solutions to address regional and global marine environmental problems.
Dr Janet Lanyon, from UQ’s School of Biological Sciences, said the doctorate was well deserved.
“Trevor’s decades-long commitment and enthusiasm has been invaluable to the marine science community, not just in Australia, but internationally,” she said.
“He has contributed to global knowledge about significant and endangered marine species including dolphins and dugongs, and is deeply involved with hands-on rescue efforts and fostering the next generation of marine advocates.”
Mr Long founded the not-for-profit Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation in 1988, to support research into marine vertebrates and to address gaps in scientific knowledge needed to protect and preserve marine environments.
“Trevor’s work at the foundation has made an incredible difference to marine science, as well as here at UQ, where it has funded 40 research projects,” Dr Lanyon said.
“He’s worked closely with staff and students at The University of Queensland and, thanks to Trevor and the foundation he established, researchers have been able to study an array of species, ranging from sea horses to sharks.
“UQ recognises the impressive impacts of our wildlife champions, and we’re delighted to have honoured Trevor in this way.”
A grateful Mr Long plans to continue his work to improve ocean health and protect marine species.
“When I started as a junior aquarist in 1973, I never would have thought I would have the opportunity to lead such great work, protecting marine life and supporting great science,” he said.
“In accepting this award I would like to thank the colleagues and volunteers who have helped me over many years.
“This award is such an honour, but I’m not going to rest on my laurels.
”There are big challenges ahead, and I’m delighted to be part of the Sea World team, tackling some of the biggest threats to ocean life.”