Soil scientist recognised with high science honour

Monday, 25 May 2015

The University of Adelaide’s Professor Mike McLaughlin has been elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, one of Australia’s highest honours for achievement in the sciences.

Professor McLaughlin’s outstanding research is widely recognised both nationally and internationally. It combines fundamental science and commercial application. He uses novel methods to study fertiliser and contaminant reactions in soils and plant uptake, including isotopic tracing and spectroscopy.

He developed concepts to recognise soil and environmental variability in contaminant risk assessments that have been adopted internationally and recognised by both US and EU regulators.

His research has gained strong commercial success and his laboratory is regarded internationally as a leader in development and evaluation of fertiliser technologies.

Professor McLaughlin, a Professorial Research Fellow with the University’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine is also a Science Fellow with the CSIRO. He will join twenty other new Fellows being recognised for their outstanding contributions to science and scientific research and is the only candidate from South Australia to be honoured in this year’s election.

“To become a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences is a great honour for me and I would like to dedicate the award to the many students, postdoctoral fellows, scientific visitors and collaborators who have worked with me over the years and contributed to the research I have been involved in,” Professor McLaughlin says.

“For me, science is the excitement of a new idea, testing it and (if it works) seeing it get adopted and go into use. It is also about teaching and mentoring younger scientists to achieve their goals.”

Academy President Professor Andrew Holmes says: “Election to the Academy celebrates excellence and recognises contributions to science of the highest order.

“Each of these research scientists has changed the way we think and made a significant and lasting contribution to his or her field.”

The fellowship continues an exceptional year for Professor McLaughlin, who was awarded the 2015 IFA Norman Borlaug Award in March, for excellence in research.

An almost thirty-year career in science has also seen Professor McLaughlin become a Member (AM) of the Ordinary Division of the Order of Australia.


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