Bill Ballantine (biologist)

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Bill Ballantine
William James Ballantine

(1937-04-15)15 April 1937
Leicester, Leicestershire, England
Died (aged 78)
Auckland, New Zealand
Alma materQueen Mary College, London
AwardsMBE (1994)
Goldman Environmental Prize (1996)
QSO (2006)
Scientific career
FieldsMarine biology
InstitutionsLeigh Marine Laboratory
ThesisThe population dynamics of Patella vulgata and other limpets (1961)
Doctoral advisorJames Eric Smith
John Edward Morton

William James Ballantine QSO MBE (15 April 1937 – 1 November 2015) was a British-born New Zealand marine biologist. He has been called the "father of marine conservation in New Zealand".


Born in Leicester, England, on 15 April 1937,[citation needed] Ballantine was awarded an MA from Downing College, Cambridge and a PhD from Queen Mary College, University of London. His thesis was entitled The population dynamics of Patella vulgata and other limpets.[1] He emigrated to New Zealand in 1964 when he was appointed the inaugural director of the University of Auckland's Leigh Marine Laboratory.[2] The Marine Reserves Act 1971 was the brainchild of Ballantine, and he initiated a "no take" marine reserve at Leigh. Both of these initiatives were one of the first to be initiated in the world.[3] Minister of Conservation Nick Smith described him as the "father of marine conservation in New Zealand.[4]

Ballantine died at Auckland City Hospital on 1 November 2015; his wife Dulcie had died before him. He was cremated in Leigh.[5]

Honours and awards[edit]

In 1990 Ballantine was awarded the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal.[6] In the 1994 New Year Honours he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to marine biology and conservation.[7] He was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 1996, for his work on marine conservation and with New Zealand's Marine Reserve Act.[8] In the 2006 Queen's Birthday Honours, Ballantine was made a Companion of the Queen's Service Order, for public services.[9]


  1. ^ "Library catalogue search". Queen Mary University of London. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  2. ^ "Blue haven: New Zealand marine reserves are a model for the world". National Geographic Magazine. April 2007. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  3. ^ "Bill Ballantine". Archived from the original on 22 January 2016. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Minister saddened at passing of Dr Bill Ballantine". Scoop Independent News. 2 November 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Dr Bill Ballantine". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  6. ^ Taylor, Alister; Coddington, Deborah (1994). Honoured by the Queen – New Zealand. Auckland: New Zealand Who's Who Aotearoa. p. 54. ISBN 978-0-908578-34-4.
  7. ^ "No. 53528". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1993. p. 33.
  8. ^ "Islands & Island Nations 1996. Bill Ballantine. New Zealand. Marine Conservation". Goldman Environmental Prize. Archived from the original on 23 November 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  9. ^ "Queen's Birthday honours list 2006". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 5 June 2006. Retrieved 16 December 2012.