Fellows update—February 2020

February 28, 2020

Honours and awards to Fellows

Australia Day 2020 Honours

Professor Anthony Thomas AC FAA— Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for eminent service to scientific education and research, particularly in the field of nuclear and particle physics, through academic leadership roles

Dr Brian Walker AO FAA FTSE— Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to science, particularly to ecosystem ecology and research, and to professional scientific bodies

Professor Rachel Webster AO FAA— Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to education in the field of astrophysics, to astronomical research, and to young women scientists

Professor Robyn Williams AO FAA— Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to science as a journalist, radio presenter and author, and to education

Emeritus Professor Anthony Guttmann AM FAA FTSE— Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the mathematical sciences, and to education

More about these awards

More honours and awards

Professor Lisa Kewley FAA—James Craig Watson Medal from the National Academy of Sciences for outstanding contributions to the science of astronomy. More about Professor Kewley’s award

Professor Marilyn Renfree AO FAA—Marshall Medal from the Society for Reproduction and Fertility for outstanding contributions to the study of fertility and reproduction

Professor Stephen Powles FAA FTSE—BASF Industry Award for his contribution to the Australian agriculture and farming sectors

Dr Surinder Singh FAA FTSE—Australasian Section of the American Oil Chemists Society Award for Scientific Excellence in Lipid Research

Professor Andrew Holmes AC FAA FRS FTSE—Honorary Doctorate of Science from Curtin University

Professor Melissa Little FAA—Julian Wells Medal for outstanding contribution to genome research in Australia


Professor Gerry Wake

Professor Robert Gerard ‘Gerry’ Wake FAA

8 August 1933 to 26 January 2020

Professor Gerry Wake was a biochemist elected to the Academy in 1985 for his pioneering work in bacterial cell division. He was known for the clarity of his reasoning and he made seminal contributions to milk protein chemistry and to a series of fundamental discoveries concerning the mechanism of bacterial chromosome replication.

His work included a break-through in the understanding of multi-forked chromosomes and he published the definitive work of bidirectionality of DNA replication. Professor Wake also participated in one of the earliest demonstrations of in vitro semi-conservative replication of DNA polymerase and he provided the earliest conclusive evidence for concatamers of the chromosome of bacteriophage lambda.

Professor Wake gave his time generously to the Academy. He served on Council and as Vice-President, and was active on many committees.

Emeritus Professor Lew Mander

Emeritus Professor Lewis (Lew) Norman Mander AC FAA FRS Hon FRSNZ

8 September 1939 to 8 February 2020

Professor Lew Mander was an internationally renowned organic chemist elected to the Academy in 1983 (at the age of just 43) for his total synthesis of a number of natural products which pose particular difficulties. Using innovative strategies, his outstanding synthesis of the family of plant hormones called gibberellins has been described as a brilliant landmark achievement. A successful objective of the gibberellin work is to illuminate relations between structure and biological activity, using structurally modified analogues, and to provide specific isotope labelled compounds as probes for biological investigation.

For this dauntingly complex work and his other advances, Professor Mander received international acclaim including election as a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and as an Honorary Member of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He received a NAITO Foundation Fellowship, University of Tokyo and was made an Eminent Scientist of RIKEN, Saitama, Japan. The numerous prizes, honours and lectureships that Professor Mander received include the Flintoff Medal and Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Industrial Award for Synthetic Organic Chemistry.

Professor Mander was a Nuffield Commonwealth Fellow at Cambridge University, after which he was based at the Research School of Chemistry at the Australian National University and was appointed Dean from 1981 to 1995. From July 1986 to January 1987 he was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard. In 2018, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia for his outstanding service to science.

Professor Mander gave his time generously to the Academy. He served on Council and was active on many committees.

Emeritus Professor Ray Martin

Emeritus Professor Raymond Leslie Martin AO FAA FTSE FAIM FCS (Lond) FRACI

3 February1926 to 25 February 2020

Professor Ray Martin was an inorganic chemist elected to the Academy in 1971 for his major work on the magnetism and structure of transition element compounds. His early magnetic studies on copper acetate and related compounds first drew attention to the copper–copper interactions that was one of the starting points of the widespread interest in metal–metal bonds.

Following completion of his PhD in Cambridge in 1952, Professor Martin became senior lecturer at UNSW. He then worked at Imperial Chemical Industries, after which he was appointed Professor and Head of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Melbourne, where he helped set up the Inorganic Department. He moved to the Australian National University as Foundation Professor of Inorganic Chemistry and then Dean of the Research School of Chemistry. Professor Martin was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Monash University and was a Professor of Chemistry. He was also Chair of the Australian Science and Technology Council and a member of the Science Council.

Professor Martin received numerous prizes and awards throughout his career, including RACI’s HG Smith Medal in 1968 and its Leighton Memorial Medal in 1990. He received an Honorary DSc from the Australian National University, an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Monash and an Honorary DSc from the University of Melbourne. Professor Martin was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in 1987 for services to science and higher education.

Professor Martin gave his time generously to the Academy. He was active on many committees including the National Committee for Chemistry, and was interviewed for the Academy by Professor Bruce Holloway in 2008.

Professor Martin’s father, Sir Leslie Harold Martin CBE FAA FRS, was a Foundation Fellow of the Academy.

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