Our Researchers Lead the Way

24 July 2014

Associate Professor Tim Stephens
Associate Professor Tim Stephens

Congratulations to Associate Professor Tim Stephens and Dr Jacqueline Mowbray on their recent Research Fellowship success.

Associate Professor Stephens was successful in his application for an Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Fellowship, one of only three that were successful in the discipline of Law for 2014.

Tim's project will examine how international law deals with environmental systems in the Anthropocene: the current geological epoch defined by human interference with Earth's biophysical systems.

"Humanity faces a cascade of major threats this century as we play God with the global environment," Associate Professor Stephens said.

"Indeed so enormous is human interference with the environment that geologists now call our era the Anthropocene, signalling that humanity is leaving a mark in virtually every aspect of the environment.

"International environmental law has developed since the 1970s to deal with all manner of problems from ozone depletion to marine pollution to species protection.

Taking insights from Earth systems science, my research will seek to understand whether we can be bolder in our international environmental law-making.

"Can we move beyond just dealing with specific problems to safeguard whole environmental systems and spheres in their totality so that human civilisation can survive and prosper in the coming centuries?

"Or is the idea of a 'good Anthropocene' just a fantasy?."

"This is truly an outstanding achievement," said the Dean, Professor Joellen Riley.

"We expect great things to come of Tim and his research project."

Associate Professor Stephens' project will commence in 2015

The ARC Research Fellowships run for four years and they aim to retain Australia's best researchers by offering opportunities to conduct high-level research in Australia.

Dr Jacqueline Mowbray
Dr Jacqueline Mowbray

In other related news, Dr Jacqueline Mowbray has been awarded a Brown Fellowship.

Her project is entitled 'Choice of language and justice in international law: the case of international courts' and she will start in 2015.

The Fellowships are awarded by the University and are named after Mary Elizabeth Brown, one of the University's first female graduates.


Contact: Greg Sherington

Phone: +61 2 9351 0202

Email: 241d4a0d055c1e16410741351059171629155d1e4a137722312d5b2000