Adelaide's 'super' scientists awarded fellowships

Thursday, 8 April 2010

New Super Science Fellowships at the University of Adelaide will result in real benefits to environmental and climate change modelling, rapid sensing of pandemic flu, crime scene evaluation and the detection of explosives.

The University has today won eight of the Federal Government's new fellowships, which are aimed at attracting and retaining outstanding early career researchers in key areas of science critical to Australia's future.

The funding - more than $2.2 million - will help grow the substantial research talent base in two of the University's research institutes: the Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing and the Environment Institute.

"The Super Science Fellowships will enable the University of Adelaide to recruit more highly talented researchers," says the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Mike Brooks.

"The Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing and the Environment Institute are both highly regarded for the quality of their work. This is an outstanding result for the University of Adelaide and it highlights the importance of the research being undertaken in these areas to Australia's future," Professor Brooks says.

The work being conducted in the Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing (IPAS) is applicable to health, defence, and the environment. Six Super Science Fellowships have been awarded to this institute. The fellows will work to develop new technologies for biological sensing and new diagnostic tools for IVF medicine, crime scene evaluation, rapid sensing of pandemic flu and detecting trace quantities of explosives.

"To support the fellows, IPAS is also investing in six new PhD positions, which will provide rich opportunities for trainee scientists to engage in innovative research with the potential to build future industries," says IPAS Director Professor Tanya Monro.

"The new IPAS Super Science Fellowships invest in research on the boundaries between physics, chemistry and biology, accelerating collaborations between IPAS and leading researchers in the Environment Institute and the Robinson Institute. These fellowships have also been boosted by partnerships with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), the Prince Henry Institute in Melbourne and BioInnovation SA."

The Environment Institute tackles some of the most serious environmental challenges facing Australia and the world. Two fellowships have been awarded to this institute to examine environmental DNA barcoding and genomics, develop methods for rapid visual analysis of ecosystem change and improved climate change modelling approaches.

"The fellows will develop advanced predictions of ecosystem changes based on novel genetic and image analysis methods," says Professor Andy Lowe, Director of the Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity and Chair of Plant Conservation Biology in the University's Environment Institute.

"This work is lead by the Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity, and involves collaboration with the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA and the Australian Centre for Visual Technologies at the University."


Contact Details

Professor Tanya Monro
Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics
Director, Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing; ARC Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellow, FAA, FTSE, FAIP
School of Chemistry and Physics, The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 3955
Mobile: 0400 649 369

Professor Andy Lowe
Chair, Plant Conservation Biology
Environment Institute
The University of Adelaide
Mobile: +61 434 607 705

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762