Australian Society For Fish Biology

Michael Hall Student Innovation Award

This award was established in 2005 by Mr David Hall in memory of his father Michael Hall to assist innovative research in marine fish biology. Michael Hall was born in Yorkshire in 1938, and after migrating to Australia in the mid-1960s an starting his own company Hallprint. His son David, a fisheries biologist, challened him to manufacture a superior fish tag for his research, and after much research and development, Michael Hall succeeded in producing external fish tags, which Hallprint has done since the early 1980s. Hallprint tags have gone on to support a vast array of fish and fisheries research projects around the world. You can read the full story of Michael Hall’s life and works on the ASFB Hall of Fame.

The award is to assist with the research costs incurred by an honours or post-graduate student in the field of marine fish biology or fisheries ("fish" includes commercially important invertebrates). 

Value of Award

The annual value of the awards will be a total of $2,000 for the Winner and $1,000 for the Runner-up. The Society reserves the right not to make an award in any year.

Closing date for applications

  • 30th April
  • A decision and notification will be made as soon as possible after the deadline, with a formal announcement made at the ASFB annual conference.


  • Applicants must be full or part time honours or post-graduate students in the first or second year of their degree at an Australian or New Zealand university.
  • Applicants must be financial student members of ASFB.
  • The same research proposal can not be submitted to both the Jonassen and Hall grant schemes in the same year 

Process for application

  • Download the application form.
  • Applications should consist of a 1000 word research proposal on the proposed or underway research, written during the student's first or second year of enrolment, plus a short curriculum vitae (2-pages) outlining the research experience, grants and awards, and publications history of the applicant
  • Within the 1000 word limit (excluded from the word limit are the Budget table including item justification, and the Reference section), the proposal should include:

    i. Title of project, Name, University, Supervisor, Degree enrolled for, Year commenced, Contact details.
    ii. Seven line summary
    iii. Aims, Background, Significance, Method
    iv. Brief budget (with respect to the value of the award) and justification
    v. Reference
    vi. Signature of applicant and supervisor. 

  • The application should show a significant contribution to science in general; a high degree of originality in choosing the research topic and methodology; the potential for significant benefits to the management of fisheries and aquaculture resources; and collaboration with other researchers.

Award Recipients

  • 2018 Winner - Barrett Wolfe ( University of Tasmania)
  • 2018 Runner Up - Pauline Navaez
  • 2017 Winner:  Katie Sambrook (James Cook University). Beyond the reef: the influence of seascape structure on fish communities on coral reefs and their use of seagrass beds and mangroves
  • 2017 Runner-up: Leteisha Prescott (James Cook University). What happens when fish settle onto a degraded coral reef? Impacts to the ‘health’ of the gill.
  • 2016: Curtis Champion (University  of Tasmania) Climate-driven range shifts in fishes and the impacts on temperate marine ecosystems
  • 2015: Sam Williams (University of Queensland) Determining the range-wide genetic population structure of black marlin using citizen science.
  • 2014: Isis Lim (Australian National University) How does a seaweed-associated reef fish respond to seasonal habitat loss?
  • 2013: Phillip Sweetman (University of Tasmania)
    Investigating the effects of climate change and fishing pressure on growth rates of pink ling (Genypterus blacodes) through otolith increment analysis and biochronology development.
  • 2012: Susannah Leahy (James Cook University) Incorporating ontogenetic habitat shifts into marine reserve designs
  • 2011: Sandra Binning (Australian National University) PhD Research Topic: Shape up or ship out: Can coral reef fish change their shape to suit their environment?
  • 2010: Rosie Sheb'a (Australian National University)
    Functional niche segregation in coral reef damselfishes.
  • 2009: Alex Vail (James Cook University)
    Non-lethal predator effects on settlement stage reef fish.
  • 2008: Bree Tillett, (Charles Darwin University) Life history, demography and movement patterns of pigeye (Carcharhinus amboinensis) and bull (C. leucas) sharks.
  • 2007: Daniel Wright (Australian National University) The wave-swept garden of Eden: Can wave action enhance mussel mariculture?
  • 2006: Peter Macreadie (University of Melbourne) Determining the effects of seagrass fragmentation on fish species.

Publications Arising from Michael Hall Award

  • Williams, SM, Morgan, JAT, Ovenden, JR (2016) The complete validated mitochondrial genome of the black marlin Istiompax indica (Cuvier, 1832). MDN 27: 418-419. [2015 winner]
  • Macreadie, PI, Hindell, JS, Jenkins, GP, Connolly, RM, Keough, MJ (2009) Fish responses to experimental fragmentation of seagrass habitat. Cons Biol 23, 644-652. [2006 winner]
  • Tillett, BJ, Meekan, MG, Parry, D, Munksgaard, N, Field, IC, Thorburn, D, Bradshaw, CJA (2011) Decoding fingerprints: elemental composition of vertebrae correlates to age-related habitat use in two morphologically similar sharks. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 434, 133-142. [2008 winner]
  • Vail, AL, McCormick, MI (2011) Metamorphosing reef fishes avoid predator scent when choosing a home. Biol Lett 7, 921-924. [2009 winner]
  • Binning, S, Roche, DG, Fulton, CJ (2014) Localised intraspecific variation in the swimming phenotype of a coral reef fish across different wave exposures. Oecologia 174, 623-630 [2011 winner]
  • Leahy, SM, Russ, GR, Abesamis, RA (2015) Pelagic larval duration and settlement size of a reef fish are spatially consistent, but post-settlement growth varies at the reef scale. Coral Reefs doi:10.1007/s00338-015-1330-y [2012 winner]
  • Lim, IE, Wilson, SK, Holmes, TH, Noble, MM, Fulton, CJ (2016) Specialization within a shifting habitat mosaic underpins the seasonal abundance of a tropical fish. Ecosphere 7, e01212 [2014 winner]