AWARDEES FOR 2008
Career research awards recipients
Professor Richard Shine
ARC Federation Fellow and Professor in Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney
Richard Shine has an outstanding and influential research history in ecology, evolution and conservation spanning over 30 years. He has a very high international profile with over 500 papers published in international scientific publications. He is an accomplished communicator producing books for general audiences and speaking frequently at international conferences. Professor Shine's influence on Australian vertebrate biology is unparalleled and has transformed the fields in which he works.
Professor Leo Radom
ARC Centre of Excellence in Free Radical Chemistry and Biotechnology and the School of Chemistry, University of Sydney.
Leo Radom has made major contributions to the use of theory in areas of chemistry. His research covers the application of computational quantum chemistry to the study of chemical structures and reactions. He has contributed to areas such as gas-phase ion chemistry, substituent effects in cations, radicals and anions, free radical chemistry, 'designer chemistry', and transition-metal-free hydrogenation. His early papers provided a template for benchmarking and applying theoretical methods to chemistry.
Dr Alan Reid
Former Director of CSIRO Institute of Energy and Earth Resources
Alan Reid has achieved international recognition in the areas of complex chemistry relating to mineral processing, the solid state chemistry for solar collector systems and in the statistics and stereology of mineral particle systems. His research has contributed significantly to Australia's prosperity through the creation of a solar energy absorber surface, AMCRO, which is widely used in Australia's solar panel industry, and also in the development of an automated mineral analysis system, QEMSCAN, which has had major financial benefits for mining companies internationally.
Professor Peter Cawood
Professor of Geology, Tectonics Special Research Centre, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Western Australia
Peter Cawood is an international leader in the application of structural geology, tectonic processes and geochronology, and has contributed greatly to our understanding of the development of the continental lithosphere throughout geological time. His research is concerned with the integration of field-based studies of mountain belts and their bounding cratons with the development and application of tectonic models.
Early-career award recipients
Dr Sandra McLaren
Centenary Research Fellow, School of Earth Sciences, The University of Melbourne
Sandra McLaren has made contributions to our understanding of diverse areas of Earth sciences, including continental tectonics, thermochronology, microstructural and basin analysis. She has tackled inter-disciplinary many-scale research problems reflecting her broad interests and motivation. Her early research affected a significant paradigm shift in understanding thermal and tectonic processes in the Proterozoic period, including high-temperature, low-pressure metamorphism, crustal anatexis and mineralisation.
Dr Michael McCarthy
Principal Research Fellow, School of Botany, The University of Melbourne
Michael McCarthy is an international leader in theoretical ecology having substantially contributed to risk models for threatened species, disturbance ecology, environmental decision-making and Bayesian methods in ecology. He has developed risk measures, approaches to model testing and validation, and numerical techniques to solve some long standing problems in ecology. He recently produced a book on Bayesian methods in ecology and has been researching decision-making models examining the mathematical structure of decisions.
Dr Ronald Smernik
Australian Research Council QEII Fellow, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Adelaide
Ronald Smernik has made a significant impact on the chemistry of organic materials in soils and sediments. His work focuses on the development and application of innovative and sophisticated nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques to characterise soil properties. His research has increased understanding of soil processes and their significance in global carbon cycling, and has important applications in soil management for sustainable agriculture.
Dr Vanessa Hayes
Group Leader Cancer Genetics, Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Vanessa Hayes is an outstanding researcher with an enviable record in human genetics research. Following her early studies in identifying genetic risk factors for cervical and colorectal cancer, she demonstrated the importance of genetic polymorphisms in progression of HIV disease in the African population. Her recent work on genetic variations and prostate cancer risk is providing a major stimulus to the effective use of human genetics in prevention and treatment of this disorder. She has identified genetic markers associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer and the prediction of prostate cancer outcome.
Dr Gabrielle Belz
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholar, Wellcome Trust Overseas Fellow,
Immunology Division, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Gabrielle Belz has made a series of ground-breaking discoveries on the response of the immune system to viruses. These include identifying subsets of dendritic cells that initiate the T-cell response, tracking T-cell proliferation and differentiation during an immune response, and delineating the requirements for T-cell reactivation upon secondary infection. Through this work she and her colleagues have altered the understanding of the role of dendritic cell subsets in ways that will assist the design of vaccines against viruses.
Dr Stuart Batten
Senior Lecturer, School of Chemistry, Monash University
Stuart Batten has made significant and original contributions in the area of crystal engineering. He was a member of the group that pioneered the design of coordination polymers, focusing on the use of trigonal three-connecting ligands. He helped to discover a new class of magnetic materials based on the dicyanamide ligand. He has also developed a naming system to describe the ways networks interpenetrate, which has been adopted by researchers worldwide. His latest research includes the design of 'nanoballs' that have magnetic and photomagnetic features.
Dr Kostya (Ken) Ostrikov
Associate Research Professor, Australian Research Council QEII Fellow, School of Physics, The University of Sydney
Ken Ostrikov has achieved international repute through his contributions to diverse multidisciplinary fields, particularly in plasma nanoscience, where he is widely recognised as a pioneer and world leading authority. He has used innovative approaches to the creation and manipulation of atomic and nanoscale building blocks, the organisation of nanomatter by plasma, and describing the interactions between plasma and solids. His research has created new ways to generate self-assembled nanomaterials, nanoelectronic and photonic structures, and devices for future computer chips, solar cells, communications systems and biosensors.