Queensland Natural History Award is presented annually by the Queensland
Naturalists’ Club Inc. to give recognition to persons who have made outstanding
contributions to natural history in Queensland.
The Queensland Natural History Award for 2009 was presented to Barry Jahnke.
Jahnke (left) receives the Queensland Natural History Award for 2009 from
the QNC Past President, Dr Brian Lowry.
Barry Jahnke has made a signilicant
contribution to natural history in Queensland in a number of fields. His
support of organizations has been magnificent, he has been a President of the
Queensland Naturalists’ Club (QNC) twice; of the Society for Growing Australian
Plants (Queensland Division) (SGAP) twice and of the
Field Naturalists Club once. He has served on the councils of these three
organizations for over 30 years. He has been a member of Birds Queensland and
Birds Australia for over 40 years. In all these organizations he has been very
active, giving talks, presenting exhibits and organizing short and long field
He has a great ability to communicate with people of all ages. He was a Biology
teacher at St Peters Lutheran College, Indooroopilly
for over 30 years, inspiring many thousands of school children with a greater
appreciation of Queensland’s natural history. In 1981 he taught Biology on
exchange at The Abbingdon School, Abbingdon,
Oxfordshire, England. There
his natural history interests came to the fore and he introduced field studies
to the course work using the school campus and adjacent Albert Park.
Most of Barry’s activities have been in his private capacity. He hasn’t had the
backing of a large institution, like a university or research organization, but
he has devoted large amounts of his own time and resources into these
activities, supported by colleagues in many institutions. He has great
enthusiasm for natural history which has made him an excellent teacher and
willing volunteers gather around him for any of his activities.
He is acknowledged as being a true naturalist with a huge and comprehensive
knowledge of many aspects of natural history. He has published two book
chapters and over 20 scientific papers on a range of topics. In several cases
he has investigated the more obscure groups of animals and plants (e.g. Spiders
at Enoggera Reservoir and Mosses at Lake Broadwater)
of which many naturalists have little knowledge. Some of his major field
studies include research projects on:
Masthead Island; Deepwater National Park, Moreton
Island and Scawfell Island. He has also published
many notes and is a regular contributor of nature notes to the Fassifern Guardian.
He participated in Bird Banding through the Australian Bird and Bat Banding
scheme in the 1970’s and 1980’s, largely at Crow’s Nest and later at Brisbane
Forest Park. Also at Crow’s Nest, he contributed to the Butterfly Migration
studies organised by the Australian Museum in the
Barry has provided photographs for a very successful series of posters on weeds
and alternative plantings. He has also provided photographs for the magazines Habitat
and Wildlijè Australia, and the
books Man groves to Mountains (Revised Edition) and Woodland to Weeds
Barry has never been held back by a lack of an official position in the
research world. He has amassed a very broad knowledge of general natural
a great example of an amateur naturalist.