Skip to main content
Header Image


The Marsh Award for Insect Conservation

THE MARSH AWARD FOR INSECT CONSERVATION - in conjunction with the Marsh Christian Trust, who fund the prize
Award CriteriaFor an outstanding contribution to Insect Conservation; on the basis of 'lifetime achievement', or 'considerable and exemplary contribution' to a significant project or undertaking. In exceptional circumstances two prizes may be awarded to reflect each criterion.
Prize£1,250 and Certificate.
EligibilityAny person whose contribution to Insect Conservation meets the Criteria.
CycleAnnual, nominations accepted until 31st December, winners announced in following year.
AdjudicationShortlisting by RES Conservation Committee, final selection by Honorary Officers, Chair of Conservation Committee and M.C.T. representative.
EntryWritten nominations giving full outline of the reasons for the nomination and personal profile of the nominee, giving as much information as possible, to be sent to the Chair of the Conservation Committee c/o Mansion House. It is a condition of entry that the winner of the Award shall attend the annual Ento (or other nominated) meeting to receive it, at the Society's expense.
Further informationLink to Website
LeafletClick here to download leaflet


2017 winner

Professor M.G. Morris for an outstanding and exemplary contribution to Insect Conservation

After 3 years as the V H Blackmann Research Scholar at East Malling Research Station, Mike joined the Nature Conservancy's new research lab at Monks Wood (later NERC's Institute of Terrestrial Ecology), where he spent 15 years (1961-76) on research into conservation ecology, notably devising innovative field experiments to explore how different types of grassland management can restore and maintain distinctive species-rich assemblages of insects, especially on lowland calcareous soils. For the rest of his career - 1976 to retirement in 1994 at the then obligatory age in government service of 60 - Mike Morris was Head of Furzebrook Research Station and ultimately acting Director of ITE, as well as ITE's Head of Invertebrate Ecology since 1976. During this second, more managerial period of career, he nevertheless published a stream of important papers in high-ranking journals describing his continuing experiments to maximise insect biodiversity in UK grasslands. In addition, he was exceedingly effective in pursuing 'extra-mural' conservation initiatives focused on insects via a series of key positions in learned societies etc, several involving the Royal Entomological Society. After retirement, Mike became ever more involved in these latter activities and was also appointed (honorary) Scientific Associate at The Natural History Museum, London, combining research and curation of Coleoptera collections, a position he holds to this day. During this time he has pursued his first love of studying ecology, distribution, status and especially taxonomy of British and European weevils, exemplified by his five acclaimed RES Handbooks for the identification of British Insects, each devoted to a major group within this huge super-family (Curculionoidea) of beetles. His important private collection of the weevils of Europe and the Canary Islands has been accepted for incorporation into that of the NHM after deathj.

2016 winner

Dr Phil Sterling for an outstanding and exemplary contribution to Insect Conservation

Dr Phil Sterling has produced a guide to the UK's 900+ micro-moths, filling a long vacant gap in the literature, making this group of insects accessible to entomologists and encouraging more people to undertake study in this area.

Phil is the County Ecologist for Dorset and has been at the forefront of recording and studying insects, particularly moths, since settling there. He has managed to persuade Dorset County Council to seeing the benefits of a wildlife-rich country and working in close partnership with the statutory and voluntary conservation bodies he has begun to turn things around for wildlife in the area. Perhaps one of his most notable achievements was the acceptance of the Heathland Planning Framework which has sought to reduce the pressure on the heaths from existing developments and controlling any new developments that might occur.

Phil was instrumental in the building of the Weymouth Relief Road, which was built through a sensitive area and a significant area has also been set aside for wildlife. The building of this road is a case study of how development can be achieved while simultaneously providing gains and protection for wildlife and was acheived largely thanks to Phil's diplomacy and negotiation with the relevant parties.

The successful safeguarding, management and creating of ecosystems, for which Phil has been responsible, protect all forms of wildlife but the most species-rich group by far in every habitat are the insects.

2015 winner

Dr David Sheppard for an outstanding and exemplary contribution to Insect Conservation

Extract from nomination statement; "David has shown a practical common sense approach to insect conservation, looking at things in a different way - a  real thinker and highly influential for many years in guiding policy, and supporting practical measures, for insect conservation in both Government and voluntary conservation organisations.

He is an expert on the aculeate hymenoptera and was one of the original members of the Bumblebee Working Group, helping to establish the Aculeate Conservation Group, and later Hymettus Ltd. He was one of the driving forces behind the re-establishment of Bombus subterraneous in England and is still actively involved despite having retired from Natural England. He set up the Sawfly Study Group in 1987 for the exchange of ideas and information about these poorly studied insects and prepared a draft national checklist in 2008 (with Liston) as well as one for Jersey and even one for Cornwall.

He is one of the deputy chairmen of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and that he runs courses on invertebrates for beginners."

2014 winner

The Malloch Society for an outstanding and exemplary contribution to Insect Conservation

The Malloch Society was established in 1986 and was formed by a small group of 10-15 amateur and professional entomologists, devoting their spare time to the study of Diptera (flies). Over the years, the Society has worked on the gaps in knowledge relevant to fly conservation, focusing on topics that would otherwise risk being neglected.

The Malloch Society has undertaken a wide range of studies such as mapping the distribution of hoverflies in Scotland, determining which species are of conservation concern, and carrying out surveys of territories which were previously of unknown significance for flies.
Some of their most important work has been on Biodiversity Action Plan flies and saproxylic (decaying wood) faunas. Having confirmed that the Aspen Hoverfly was confined to few places in Scotland, the Society members investigated its life history and ecology, which set the groundwork for a PhD on this fly. In that groundwork study, they revealed an associated fauna, including species which were new to science.

The Society has played a significant part in the study of the Scottish Hoverfly, and pursued valuable research into the saproxylic faunas more broadly. Members have published at least 36 papers on the subject, some stemming from studies abroad. The Malloch Society stands among the leading authorities in Europe on saproxylic faunas and applied conservation on the subject.

2013 winner

Mr Peter Harvey for his outstanding and exemplary contribution to Insect Conservation

Peter has made a huge contribution to the conservation of insects and other invertebrates. His energy and output is exceptional on an impressive variety of fronts. There can be few people who have both directly and indirectly served invertebrate conservation so forcefully and effectively behind the scenes.

His contribution to entomology is considerable and can stand alone. However, his expertise as a national expert on invertebrates extends beyond insects; he has organised the national spider recording scheme for many years and was the first of three editors of the Provisional Atlas of British Spiders, published in 2002.

At a local level, he has been a leading light in Essex, promoting the study of insects and other arthropods through co-editing Essex Naturalist, the journal of the Essex Field Club, and Essex Field Club News. In addition, he is Essex County Recorder for a number of invertebrate groups including spiders, the aculeate Hymenoptera (bees, wasps and ants), and woodlice.

2012 winner

Mr Steven Falk for his outstanding and exemplary contribution to Insect Conservation

Steven Falk is a naturalist and artist with a particular fascination for bees, wasps and flies. Steven's career has oscillated between the nature conservation and museum sectors, with roles that have included acting as the Nature Conservancy Council's in-house expert on bees, wasps and flies, Coventry's Ecology Officer, and Senior Keeper of Natural History in two museum services. In such roles he has been able to promote insect conservation by ensuring that insects and habitats such as brownfield land started to receive recognition and protection that had traditionally eluded them. He was able to use his position to promote invertebrate conservation within biodiversity action planning, local wildlife site selection and local wildlife recording. Steven is also a busy entomologist outside of his work, and has carried our major studies of Warwickshire, the South Downs, New Forest and several important stretches of coastline. As an artist he is best known for his work in the books British Hoverflies published by BENHS and the Collins Guide to Insects of Britain and Western Europe by Michael Chinery, but he has also illustrated the covers of two RES handbooks and various other publications. He is now pioneering new web-based approaches for disseminating image-rich, user-friendly information on insects and insect conservation. His website,, features his artwork, reports and a link to his rapidly-growing Flickr site which promises to become an important resource for entomologists and other naturalists and nature lovers.

2011 winner

Dr Steve Cham for his outstanding and exemplary contribution to Insect Conservation

Steve Cham has had a lifetime fascination for Natural History with his interest in Entomology nurtured while working at Rothamsted Experimental Station during the early part of his career. Having moved on he continued his interest and personal research as a volunteer. He has been a member of the British Dragonfly Society (BDS) since its formation in 1983 and has published a number of papers in its journal. Steve became national co-ordinator for the Dragonfly Recording Network (DRN) after the scheme was transferred from the BRC. He was quick to see the benefits to conservation of providing Odonata data to the NBN and the DRN dataset was used as a pilot during the development of the gateway. Steve has also been an active member of the Dragonfly Conservation Group of the BDS for over a decade and has been involved in a number of conservation initiatives that benefit these insects. Steve is author of several books on Dragonflies including the Dragonflies of Bedfordshire and a two volume field guide to the larvae and exuviae of British Dragonflies. He is also co-author of Dragonflies of Hampshire. Steve lectures on his favourite subject and is the leader on various courses. His photographs have been used widely. Steve is currently involved on the working party for the next National atlas of British Dragonflies.

2010 winner

Dr Roger Key for his outstanding and exemplary contribution to Insect Conservation

Originally from Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, Roger's PhD was in the Humber's estuarine invertebrates and was followed by work as development officer for the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust. Thence to the Nature Conservancy Council/ English Nature & Natural England he worked on conservation of invertebrates and their habitats for over 20 years, covering protected species, habitat evaluation, site defence and management advice. Roger eventually become senior specialist in invertebrates, before capitalizing on the educational work that he did in that role from kids minibeasts safaris to supervising PhD studentships to become Senior Education Specialist for Natural England. Roger eventually retired (early!) to become an independent ecological/entomological/ environmental educational consultant where his work includes lecturing/advising course content for 11 universities and continuing children's invertebrate work.

2009 winner

Dr David Lonsdale

David Lonsdale spent most of his career as a tree pathologist working for what was then the Forestry Commission at its Alice Holt Research Station near Farnham (now their separate research arm, Forest Research). Much of his professional work brought him in contact with insect specialists in the Entomology Department.

David has had a lifelong interest in insects and especially their conservation. He has been a long-standing and major figure within the Amateur Entomologists Society, serving on their council, and really being responsible for their initial engagement with the field of insect conservation. He initiated, and continues to be the editor of, their newsletter Insect Conservation News which has long been a source of information and inspiration for entomologists and practical conservationists in the field.

2008 winner

Professor Garth Foster

Prof Garth Foster has been the moving force behind water beetle conservation in Britain for over thirty years. As well as making an enormous personal contribution to our knowledge of water beetles in Britain, Ireland and the Iberian peninsula, he has achieved astounding success in inspiring others to take up the study of water beetles.