News

Six Eureka Prize finalists



24 July 2015

Six teams from the Division of Natural Sciences have been named as finalists in the prestigious Eureka Prizes, known as the Oscars of Australian science.

Presented annually by the Australian Museum, the Eureka Prizes reward excellence in the fields of scientific research and innovation, science leadership, school science and science journalism and communication. The awards dinner, where winners will be announced on 26 August, is the largest national celebration of Australian science.

"It's wonderful that six teams of our scientists have been named as finalists in the Eureka Prizes this year. This success reflects the high calibre research carried out across the Division of Natural Sciences," said Professor Trevor Hambley, Dean of the Faculty of Science.

"Our finalists cover a range of areas of excellence from early career research to established scientific research, and from rural innovation to interdisciplinary scientific research. It's fantastic to see such a diversity of outstanding achievement recognised."

(l-r) Professor David James, Dr Sean O'Donoghue and Associate Professor Jean Yang.
(l-r) Professor David James, Dr Sean O'Donoghue and Associate Professor Jean Yang.

The six Eureka Prize finalist teams from the division are:

Associate Professor Jean Yang, from the School of Mathematics and Statistics, Professor David James, from the Charles Perkins Centre and School of Molecular Bioscience, and Dr Sean O'Donoghue, from the Garvan Institute and CSIRO, are finalists in the Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research. Their BioCode project used 'omics' approaches to unravel, in unprecedented detail and clarity, the insulin/IGF1 signalling pathway that plays essential roles in health, obesity and diseases such as diabetes. The BioCode team have developed innovative analysis and visualisation methods that will benefit researchers in many areas of life science.


Associate Professor Mike Biercuk
Associate Professor Mike Biercuk

Associate Professor Mike Biercuk, from the School of Physics, is a finalist in the Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher. He is internationally recognised for his outstanding contributions to one of the most exciting and impactful disciplines in modern physics: quantum science. He has built a record of transformative discoveries driving the development of a new generation of advanced technologies based on quantum physics, with important practical applications.





Professor Ben Oldroyd and Dr Nadine Chapman
Professor Ben Oldroyd and Dr Nadine Chapman

Professor Ben Oldroyd and Dr Nadine Chapman, both from the School of Biological Sciences, are finalists in the Eureka Prize for Rural Innovation. They have created the first reliable test to genetically identify Africanised bees. The new test is critically important for the Australian agricultural industry, as it will allow Australia to import Varroa-resistant bee semen and queens in order to breed resistance into Australian bee stocks.







(l-r) Associate Professor Kendra Kerrisk, Professor Sergio Garcia, Dr Cameron Clark and Victoria Scott
(l-r) Associate Professor Kendra Kerrisk, Professor Sergio Garcia, Dr Cameron Clark and Victoria Scott

Professor Sergio Garcia, Associate Professor Kendra Kerrisk, Dr Cameron Clark and Victoria Scott, all from the Faculty of Veterinary Science, with Dr Nicolas Lyons, from the NSW Department of Primary Industries, and Rene Kolbach, from DeLaval International, Sweden, are finalists in the Eureka Prize for Rural Innovation. FutureDairy's robotic rotary - an international first co-developed by DeLaval and the University of Sydney - is the latest in automated milking systems. FutureDairy's research on voluntary cow traffic allows cows in large-herd dairy farms in Australia to bring themselves from the pasture to the dairy and be milked by robots without human assistance




Professor Rick Shine
Professor Rick Shine

Professor Rick Shine, from the School of Biological Sciences, is a finalist in the Eureka Prize for Scientific Research. When cane toads invaded Professor Rick Shine's tropical study area 10 years ago, he set out to understand them. In the process, he has changed fundamental ideas about biological invasions, ecosystem resilience and the mechanisms of evolutionary change.







Associate Professor Mary Myerscough
Associate Professor Mary Myerscough

Associate Professor Mary Myerscough, from the School of Mathematics and Statistics, and Professor Andy Barron, from Macquarie University, are finalists in the Eureka Prize for Scientific Research. The Bee Team has identified a mechanism for the mysterious population collapses in bee hives that have impacted honey bees worldwide. Understanding the process of bee colony collapse is now yielding new methods to identify at-risk colonies and techniques to support bee populations for pollination and sustainable food production.

See all the Eureka Prize finalists across Austraia at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/2015-finalists-eureka


Contact: Katynna Parry

Phone: (02) 9351 6997

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