University of Adelaide researchers win Tall Poppy awards

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

University of Adelaide researchers have won four out of eight awards in this year’s South Australian Young Tall Poppy Science Awards, to be presented at a special ceremony at Government House this evening.

Each year the Australian Institute of Policy and Science presents the Tall Poppy Awards in recognition of individuals who combine world-class research with a passionate commitment to communicating science and who demonstrate great leadership potential.

The University of Adelaide’s 2017 Tall Poppy Awards winners are:

Dr Jayakumar Bose (Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) Fellow, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine and ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology). Dr Bose’ research focuses on discovering salt-tolerant genes from naturally salt-loving plants. He aims to introduce these genes into traditional crops to increase food production in countries with a lot of salty soils.

Dr Bose regularly promotes science and the role of plant science in global food security through outreach sessions for school children and the wider community.

Dr Frances Corrigan (Lecturer, and leader of the Brain Injury Group, Adelaide Medical School). The Brain Injury Group is focused on understanding the secondary injury process following traumatic brain injury, particularly the role of neuroinflammation in the later development of neurodegeneration.

Dr Corrigan’s is particularly interested in identifying treatment strategies to prevent the development of long-term consequences from concussion, including depression, mild cognitive impairment and possibly the development of a type of dementia. She actively communicates her passion for neuroscience through a range of outreach and community events.

Dr Zoe Doubleday (Research Fellow in marine ecology in the School of Biological Sciences). Dr Doubleday is investigating how the balance of animals in the sea may alter under the changing marine environment and what that means for us. Recent research, which gained global attention, showed how cephalopod numbers are rising in oceans, bucking the trend of many other marine species.

Dr Doubleday is also actively investigating ways scientific writing can be improved to facilitate communication among scientists and to be able to transfer scientific knowledge to the outside world. She continues to engage with media and other science communication channels about the future of our oceans.

Dr Laura Weyrich (ARC DECRA Fellow, Australian Centre for Ancient DNA). Dr Weyrich’s research investigates the history of the human microbiome (the healthy bacteria that live in humans) using ancient DNA. She was the first person to reassemble the microbiome of an extinct species, the Neandertals, which captured global interest.

Dr Weyrich’s work is providing new understanding about why many modern diseases are more prevalent in industrialised countries and how these may be linked to changes hundreds of years ago. Her work also gives insights into past climate change. She has been leading a microbiology outreach program for school children.

 

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