Read about the fascinating lives and work of these featured Fellows of the Academy.
Dr Max Day AO FAA is a respected ecologist and entomologist whose scientific publications span 74 years. The last of his papers, on the biology of the Australian scribbly gum moth, was published when he was 97 years old. He worked with the famous CSIRO insect collection and was the first Chief of the CSIRO Division of Forest Research. Now in his 100th year (2015), Max is the Academy's oldest living and longest serving Fellow.
Professor Tanya Monro is one of Australia’s leading physicists, known for her work in photonics—a branch of science concerned with the emission and control of light particles. Her work on optical fibres enables the creation of new tools for scientific research, helping to create solutions to some of the biggest problems in health, the environment, industrial processes and defence.
Jenny Graves has done pioneering work in the function and evolution of human genes, particularly those responsible for sex determination. Much of her work has been finding clues about the human genome by studying the genetic diversity of Australia's unique animals. Jenny has also been involved in international comparative gene mapping and was the first to predict the disappearance of the Y chromosome.
Patrick De Deckker pioneered the study of the Quaternary (that is, the last two million years) history of the oceans bordering Australia, using principally microfossils and their chemical composition to reconstruct past changes. In addition, Patrick was the first to link the patterns of environmental change on land and at sea using microfossils and other proxies, found that glacial oceans have become progressively warmer as aridity increased in Australia and most recently, Patrick is looking at the microbiological and geochemical fingerprinting of airborne dust with the aim of linking dust events with changes in the oceans.
Michael Alpers has made truly seminal observations on the epidemiology, pathogenesis and aetiology of the prion disease kuru. Critically, he showed that kuru was a transmissible disease. His many other major contributions to tropical medicine in Papua New Guinea include pivotal field studies on pneumonia and malaria. Through his leadership, the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research has achieved world renown.
Electrical engineer Brian Anderson is past president of the Academy. His career spans more than 40 years in leadership roles in academia, industry and government agencies in Australia and around the world. His research interests include circuits, signal processing, and control of complex systems.
Dr Cyril Appleby’s curiosity about the world of science began by watching smoke escape from his neighbour’s burning leaves when he was 8 years old. Despite being labeled as a ‘precocious’ student with a complete lack of sporting finesse, he successfully navigated school and went on to complete a PhD in yeast biochemistry. Appleby discusses a life studying plant and microbial cytochromes and haemoglobins, including how a brief bit of ‘carelessness’ lead to him crystallise the first ever cytochrome.
Paleontologist Michael Archer, Fellow of the Academy since 2002, is a professor in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Archer's research includes: conservation through sustainable use of native resources -- including having native animals as pets -- and trying to bring extinct species back into the world of the living. Previously Archer served as the Curator of Mammals at the Queensland Museum and Director of the Australian Museum in Sydney.
Bruce Armstrong is a leader in cancer research and management and is an authority on the causes and prevention of skin cancer and melanoma. He has also made important contributions towards the understanding of the causes and control of other cancers, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Bryan Gaensler has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of the Universe through his outstanding research on high-energy astrophysics, cosmic magnetic fields and the structure of our Galaxy. His pioneering studies have delivered a unique view on the brightest explosion in history, provided the standard framework for relativistic outflows from neutron stars, revealed the distribution of magnetic fields throughout the Universe, and revised our estimates of the thickness of the Milky Way.
© 2017 Australian Academy of Science