The Michael Bull Prize for the best student-led paper published in Austral Ecology

Since 2015, Wiley has supported The Michael Bull Prize for the best student-led paper published in Austral Ecology.

The award is presented at the ESA’s Annual Conference. The winner will receive $500 worth of book vouchers donated by Wiley. Highly commended awards may also be given, but these will come without a cash component.

This prize complements our existing range of prizes for posters and oral presentations, giving our student members an opportunity to gain recognition for excellent writing. So, please send your best work to Austral Ecology!


This award is open to students whose manuscripts are submitted to Austral Ecology either during their undergraduate, honours or postgraduate studies, or up to one year after their degree was conferred. The student must be a member of the ESA at the time of manuscript submission, and must be the lead author on the paper. Only manuscripts accepted for publication in Austral Ecology will be considered. Previous winners will not be eligible for a second award.


Authors submitting papers to Austral Ecology will be asked to fill in a series of check boxes, indicating whether they wish to be considered for the award, and whether they meet the eligibility requirements. All nominated papers that meet the eligibility criteria will be considered.

We will consider all eligible papers accepted for publication in Austral Ecology between July 1 in the previous year and June 30 in the year of the award.

Each July, the managing editor of Austral Ecology will provide the Vice President-Student Affairs with a list of eligible papers, along with the associated comments from reviewers and handling editors. The Vice President will assemble a panel of judges to consider the applications.

Judging criteria

The papers will be ranked based on:

a) scientific rigour – logical hypothesis, good experimental/study design, suitable sample size, appropriate analyses, and conclusions that are justified by the results.

b) quality of presentation – clarity of writing and of figures.

c) wow-factor – novel approach, innovative ideas, results that have substantial implications for our understanding of the system, or something else that makes the paper exceptional.

About Mike Bull

The Michael Bull Prize for the best student-led paper published in Austral Ecology is named in honour of Professor Michael Bull and was established prior to his untimely death in 2016. In addition to being a fantastic ecologist, Mike made an extraordinary contribution to Austral Ecology (both under its current title, and when it was known as the Australian Journal of Ecology). Mike first joined the editorial board of the Australian Journal of Ecology in 1985. He was one of three Receiving Editors from 1988 to 1994, and was the Managing Editor from 1997 until 2016.