2004 Skinner Award Recipient
Wiffen, who is entirely self taught, discovered many new fossil vertebrate localities, collected hundreds of New Zealand's Cretaceous marine reptiles and discovered and documented nearly all of its dinosaurs. She has published more than 25 scientific papers on her findings. Her dedication has been so strong that she financed the collection and preparation of these specimens herself. Wiffen understood that public repositories should be the final home for many of her great finds and her discoveries fill several of New Zealand's museums.
She has earned an honorary doctorate from Massey University, Auckland and the Civilian Medal of the Order of the British Empire. As a dedicated popular lecturer and writer she has brought to the public her strong enthusiasm for our discipline. For her passion and vigor she has earned the name "Dragon Lady of New Zealand" and the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology is honored to grant Joan Wiffen this award.
Photo courtesy of Joan Wiffen.