Pullar-Vucetich Prize

Pullar-Vucetich Prize

 No award made in 2023


The Pullar-Vucetich Prize is awarded biennially in even years

The Prize is awarded to the author or co-authors of the most meritorious contribution to tephrochronological research in the New Zealand region.


Return to main Awards page.  




Past Pullar-Vucetich Prize winners

Year Person From For work on
2022 Martin Danisik Curtin Sub-millennial eruptive recurrence in the silicic Mangaone Subgroup tephra sequence, New Zealand.
2020 Callum Rees Massey University Tephrostratigraphic constraints on sedimentation and tectonism in the Whanganui Basin
2018 Magret Damaschke Massey University Tephrostratigraphic research into the eruptive history of Mount Taranaki.
2016 Jenni Hopkins Victoria A new way for identifying cryptotephras in lacustrine sediment cores.
2012 Natalia Pardo Massey Reconstructing the largest explosive eruptions of Mt. Ruapehu.
2010 Michael Turner Macquarie University Oxidation states in titanomagnetites to distinguish the different eruption styles of Mt Taranaki.  
2008 Maria Gehrels Plymouth University Cryptotephras in northern New Zealand.
2006 Brad Pillans ANU Pleistocene silicic tephras of Wanganui Basin
2004 Alan Palmer Massey Onland and offshore tephra studies
2002 Vicki Smith Auckland Okataina Volcanic Centre
2000 Dennis Eden Palmerston North Multi-sourced distal tephras and landscape evolution, eastern North Island
1998 Shane Cronin Massey Tephra identification and Ruapehu and Tongariro ring plains
1996 Susan Donoghue Massey/HKU Tephrostratigraphic work on style of prehistoric eruptions, Mt Ruapehu
1994 Brent Alloway Auckland Tephrostratigraphy and chronology of the Taranaki and Wanganui regions
1992 Phil Shane Victoria Plio-Pleistocene tephrostratigraphic correlations in southern North Island
1988 No award made - -
1986 David Lowe Waikato Quaternary tephrostratigraphy of the Waikato Basin

Alan Pullar and Colin Vucetich

In the 1950s and 1960s Alan Pullar (left) and Colin Vucetich (right) worked for the DSIR Soil Bureau, mapping soils in the North Island.   Alan worked in Gisborne and Whakatāne, and Colin around Rotorua.  They recognised that the soils were formed on volcanic ash layers, which were often visible in road cuttings.

The men started tracing out distinctive ash layers across the region. Work on ash layers (later called tephrostratigraphy) was outside official Soil Bureau policy and was banned. Much of their work was therefore done in weekends and holidays on what they called ‘secret correlation missions’.

Between 1963 and 1975 Colin and Alan published a series of papers on the sequence and characteristics of the main volcanic eruptions in the Taupō and Rotorua region. This work has been the foundation for later volcanological studies as well as the understanding of soil properties.

Initial funds for the Pullar Vucetich Prize were donated by family and colleagues of Alan Pullar and Colin Vucetich.