Twenty-two Australians recognised among our nation’s most distinguished scientists

May 25, 2021
The new Fellows of 2021.

New Fellows

The Australian inventor of 3D-printed bone substitutes is among a group of scientists being acknowledged today for their outstanding contributions to science.

Professor Hala Zreiqat and her team developed world-first techniques for 3D-printing strong, bio-compatible ceramic materials that can bond to and help repair bones. This is leading to the development of new orthopaedic implants, including the world’s first synthetic material for healing large areas of bone while supporting weight.

The Jordanian migrant who came to Australia in 1991 to pursue her dream of medical research is one of 22 scientists newly elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

The 2021 Fellows also include Professor Ian Reid, whose work on real-time robotic vision has applications in self-driving cars and robot-assisted construction; and Professor Alison Rodger, whose techniques for understanding complex biological molecules using polarised light are now applied in pharmaceutical research and development around the world.

Other new Fellows’ contributions include developing statistical theories to improve weather forecasting, growing ‘qubits’ which form the architecture of quantum computers, and revealing how plant cells communicate with each other about changes in their environment.

Australian Academy of Science President, Professor John Shine, congratulated the new Fellows for their achievements on the international stage.

“These researchers have not only been at the forefront of Australia's scientific community, but have also been leaders in global science,” said Professor Shine.

“The 2021 Fellows were elected by their Academy peers after a rigorous evaluation. I warmly congratulate and welcome each Fellow on their election and for their extraordinary contribution to science and society.”

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. This year’s cohort is made up of 41% women and 59% men. Over the past five years, 35% of the Fellows elected have been women. Following the 2021 election of our new Fellows, the Fellowship now stands at 576 Fellows.

The 2021 Fellows will be formally admitted to the Academy on 3 November, with each new Fellow presenting their work and achievements in talks aimed at a general audience on the following day.

The Academy’s new Fellows for 2021 are:


  • Professor Dorrit Jacob FAA—Geochemist, Australian National University
  • Professor Barry Pogson FAA—Plant biologist, Australian National University


  • Professor Catherine Lovelock FAA—Ecologist, University of Queensland
  • Professor Margaret Sheil AO FAA FTSE—Vice-Chancellor and President, Queensland University of Technology (Special Election)


  • Professor Ian Reid FAA FTSE—Computer vision researcher, University of Adelaide


  • Professor Barbara Nowak FAA—Fish health researcher, University of Tasmania


  • Professor Steven Chown FAA—Antarctic ecologist, Monash University
  • Professor Arthur Christopoulos FAA FAHMS—Molecular pharmacologist, Monash University
  • Professor Brendan Crabb AC FAA FAHMS—Microbiologist, Burnet Institute
  • Professor Mark Dawson FAA FAHMS—Cancer biologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  • Professor Robin Gasser FAA—Parasitologist, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Rob Hyndman FAA FASSA—Statistician (forecasting), Monash University
  • Professor John Sader FAA—Applied mathematician (nanoscale systems), University of Melbourne
  • Professor Gordon Smyth FAA—Statistician (genomics), Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
  • Professor Svetha Venkatesh FAA FTSE—Computer scientist (machine learning), Deakin University


  • Dr Gregory Clark AC FAA FTSE—Non-Executive Director, NextDC (Special Election)
  • Professor Susan Coppersmith FAA—Condensed matter physicist, University of New South Wales
  • Professor Yihong Du FAA—Mathematician (differential equations), University of New England
  • Professor Glenda Halliday FAA FAHMS—Neuroscientist, University of Sydney
  • Professor Andrew Pitman AO FAA—Climatologist, University of New South Wales
  • Professor Alison Rodger FAA—Biochemist, Macquarie University
  • Professor Hala Zreiqat AM FAA FTSE FAHMS—Biomedical Engineer, University of Sydney
Find out more about our 2021 Fellows

New Corresponding Members

Sir Fraser Stoddart and Professor Eleanor Dodson. Photo: supplied

Also admitted to the Academy this year are two Corresponding Members.

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. As of this year, there are 34 Corresponding Members of the Academy.

The Academy's new Corresponding Members for 2021 are:

Sir Fraser Stoddart FAA FRS Nobel Laureate—Chemist, Northwestern University, USA

Sir Fraser is a 2016 joint Nobel Laureate in chemistry and one of the few chemists during the past 35 years to have created a new field of chemistry: mechanostereochemistry. He pioneered the development of techniques now employed as molecular switches in the fabrication of molecular electronic devices and in the design and synthesis of artificial molecular machines.

Emeritus Professor Eleanor Dodson FAA FRS—Computational biologist, University of York, UK

Professor Dodson’s work has brought the ability to understand large molecule structures into the public realm, revolutionising science and medicine. Known as a great teacher and influencer in the field of protein crystallography, she has made major contributions to both theory and practice.

© 2021 Australian Academy of Science