Academy welcomes 20 new Fellows for their outstanding contributions to science

May 25, 2023
There are 20 new Fellows in 2023

An engineer, a microbiologist and an ecologist are among 20 researchers recognised for their outstanding contributions to science by being elected Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science.

The new Fellows include engineer Professor Zaiping Guo, who is designing the next generation of batteries.

She has made pioneering contributions to our understanding of how electrode materials and electrolytes behave, leading to the development of more powerful, longer lasting and safer rechargeable batteries for portable devices, electric vehicles and smart grids.

Ecologist and Distinguished Professor Brajesh Singh has shown how the loss of microbial diversity in soils can reduce the functioning of ecosystems.

His research has been translated into products and guidelines to improve soil health and led to changes in farm management practices in the agriculture sector. Professor Singh has also conducted global studies that have demonstrated the central role of soil microbes in predicting, mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Antimicrobial pharmacologist Professor Jian Li’s research delivered a novel antibiotic to combat life-threatening superbugs. His research has also led to the first scientifically based dosing guidelines for ‘last defence’ polymyxin antibiotics and improved global clinical practice around treating deadly bacterial infections.

They are joined by 17 other outstanding researchers from across the breadth of Australian science, including experts in neuroscience, infectious diseases and plant biology.

President of the Australian Academy of Science Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC congratulated the new Fellows on their contributions to science.

“Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science are among the nation’s most distinguished scientists, elected by their peers for ground-breaking research and contributions that have had clear impact,” Professor Jagadish said.

“There is no greater professional honour than being recognised by your own peers and the leaders within your own field of research for your achievements.

Fellows … are elected by their peers for ground-breaking research and contributions that have had clear impact.

“This year’s new Fellows come from countries including Germany, China, India and Italy and all now call Australia home.”

The Academy’s new Fellows for 2023 are:

  • Professor Timothy Brodribb FAA, Plant Evolutionary Physiologist, University of Tasmania
  • Professor Liming Dai FAA, Materials Scientist, UNSW Sydney
  • Professor Mariapia Degli-Esposti FAA FAHMS, Immunologist, Monash University
  • Professor Michael Fuhrer FAA, Materials Physicist, Monash University
  • Professor Zaiping Guo FAA, Materials Scientist, University of Adelaide
  • Professor Elaine Holmes FAA, Computational Biologist, Murdoch University
  • Professor David Keith FAA, Ecologist and Conservation Biologist, UNSW Sydney
  • Professor David Komander FAA, Biochemist and Structural Biologist, WEHI (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research)
  • Professor Sharon Lewin AO FAA FAHMS, Infectious Diseases Physician and Virologist, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Jian Li FAA, Antimicrobial Pharmacologist, Monash University
  • Distinguished Professor Belinda Medlyn FAA, Ecologist, Western Sydney University
  • Professor Louis-Noël Moresi FAA, Computational Geophysicist, Australian National University
  • Professor Richard James Payne FAA, Chemical Biologist, University of Sydney
  • Professor Shizhang Qiao FAA, Materials Scientist, University of Adelaide
  • Professor Pankaj Sah FAA FAHMS Neuroscientist, Queensland Brain Institute
  • Distinguished Professor Brajesh Singh FAA, Soil Ecologist, Western Sydney University
  • Professor Peter Taylor FAA, Applied Mathematician, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Leslie Weston FAA, Plant Biologist and Biochemist, Charles Sturt University
  • Professor Andrew Wilks FAA FTSE FAHMS, Molecular Biologist, SYNthesis Group
  • Distinguished Professor Xinghuo Yu FAA, Electrical Engineer, RMIT University

Corresponding Members

The Academy is also admitting two Corresponding Members for 2023:

  • Professor Gareth H McKinley FAA FRS, Mechanical Engineer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States
  • Professor Linfa Wang FAA FTSE, Virologist, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore

Corresponding Membership is a special category within the Fellowship, comprising eminent international scientists with strong ties to Australia who have made outstanding contributions to science.

There are currently 36 Corresponding Members of the Academy including Sir David Attenborough, Professor Elizabeth Blackburn and Sir Fraser Stoddard.

More information

Following the 2023 election of our new Fellows, the Fellowship now stands at 601 Fellows.

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. The Academy will celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2024.

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

© 2024 Australian Academy of Science