Academy announces 2024 Fellows for outstanding contributions to science

May 23, 2024
There are 24 new Fellows elected to the Academy in 2024.

An expert in spider venoms, a leader in plant science, an authority on star formation and an oncologist who has changed the way melanoma is treated are among 24 researchers elected as Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science.

President of the Academy Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC said it is a privilege to welcome new Fellows to the Academy each year.

“Despite my election to the Academy some 19 years ago, I still recall the deep satisfaction of being recognised for my contributions to science, and I know that our 24 Fellows are sure to be feeling the same.

“From the depths of Earth’s oceans to the edges of our galaxy, Fellows nominated to the Academy today represent the ground-breaking research happening in Australia.”

Professor Glenn King FAA. Photo: supplied.

Newly elected Fellow Professor Glenn King from the University of Queensland has found spider venom to be an unlikely ally in his research career, demonstrating use of venom compounds as eco-friendly insecticides that are safe for humans and honeybees.

Now, Professor King is looking to use spider venom as a potential drug to treat ischaemic heart disease and stroke—the leading causes of death globally.

“We discovered a peptide in venom of the K’gari funnel-web spider that prevents brain injury after stroke, reduces cardiac damage after a heart attack, and improves the viability of donor hearts procured for transplantation,” Professor King said.

Also elected this year is Professor Roslyn Gleadow from Monash University, recognised as an international leader in plant science for her research on how plants respond to environmental changes. 

“Science has enabled me to make discoveries that help us understand the impact of climate change on food security, gain knowledge, and meet amazing people from around the world,” Professor Gleadow said.

From the depths of Earth’s oceans to the edges of our galaxy, Fellows nominated to the Academy today represent the ground-breaking research happening in Australia.

Professor Mark Krumholz, an astrophysicist from the Australian National University, said that from the time he was a child being a physicist always seemed like the next best thing to being a wizard.

Now, he has been elected to the Academy for his research on the way diffuse gas in our universe collects to form stars and galaxies—which may seem like magic but, according to Professor Krumholz, can be explained by mathematics.

“As soon I grasped the basic concept of using maths to represent reality, I knew I was going to be a scientist,” Professor Krumholz said.

Professor Georgina Long AO FAA FAHMS. Photo: supplied.

Professor King, Professor Gleadow and Professor Krumholz are elected alongside Professor Georgina Long AO (University of Sydney), 2024 Australian of the Year, whose clinical trials into complex skin cancers with a particular focus on melanoma resulted in Australian Government funding for 10 new melanoma drugs. 

Professor Long said she looks forward to collaborating with colleagues and being a member of an Academy that makes a difference, not only locally in Australia but also internationally.

“In these times where there is an enormous level of data information, shared across multiple platforms, it is important that we put science and the truth at the centre of our work.”

The 24 Fellows have been elected to the Academy for their outstanding contributions to science across the spectrum of research disciplines.

“Nominated by their peers, Fellows of the Academy are recognised as leaders in their fields, having all made exceptional contributions to science throughout their careers,” Professor Jagadish said.

“The Academy brings the expertise of our Fellows together, to build a nation that embraces scientific knowledge, and benefits from it every day.”

2024 Fellows

The Academy’s new Fellows for 2024 are:

  • Professor Nerilie Abram FAA, Climate Scientist, Australian National University
  • Professor Andrew Blakers FAA FTSE, Engineer, Australian National University
  • Professor Rachelle Buchbinder AO FAA FAHMS, Rheumatologist and Clinical Epidemiologist, Monash University
  • Professor Kylie Catchpole FAA FTSE, Engineer, Australian National University
  • Professor Louisa Degenhardt AO FAA FASSA FAHMS, Psychologist, University of New South Wales
  • Professor Calum Drummond AO FAA FTSE, Molecular Scientist, RMIT University
  • Emerita Professor Mary Garson AM FAA, Organic Chemist, University of Queensland
  • Professor Arthur Georges FAA, Evolutionary Ecologist, University of Canberra
  • Professor Roslyn Gleadow FAA, Plant Biologist, Monash University
  • Professor Dmitri Golberg FAA, Physicist, Queensland University of Technology
  • Professor Michael Kearney FAA, Ecologist, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Matthew Kiernan AM FAA FAHMS, Neuroscientist, Neuroscience Research Australia
  • Professor Glenn King FAA, Biochemist, University of Queensland
  • Professor Mark Krumholz FAA, Physicist, Australian National University
  • Emeritus Professor Zheng-Xiang Li FAA, Geoscientist, Curtin University
  • Professor Georgina Long AO FAA FAHMS, Medical Oncologist, University of Sydney
  • Professor Shahar Mendelson FAA, Mathematician, Australian National University
  • Professor Budiman Minasny FAA, Soil Scientist, University of Sydney
  • Professor Jose Polo FAA, Biochemist, University of Adelaide
  • Professor Hrvoje Tkalčić FAA, Geophysicist, Australian National University
  • Professor Gene Tyson FAA, Microbial Ecologist and Bioinformatician, Queensland University of Technology
  • Professor Madeleine van Oppen FAA, Ecological Geneticist, Australian Institute of Marine Science
  • Professor Lianzhou Wang FAA, Chemical Engineer, University of Queensland
  • Professor Willy Zwaenepoel FAA FTSE, Computer Scientist, University of Sydney

The Academy's new Fellows will be formally admitted to the Academy on 9 September 2024 and present their science on 11 September at Science at the Shine Dome.

Find out more about each new Fellow.

More information

Following the 2024 election of our new Fellows, the Fellowship now stands at 616 Fellows.

Celebrating its 70th birthday this year, the Australian Academy of Science was founded in 1954 by Australian Fellows of the Royal Society of London, with the distinguished physicist Sir Mark Oliphant as founding President.

Find out more about criteria for election to the Academy and how to nominate a scientist for Fellowship.

© 2024 Australian Academy of Science