Professor Rick Shine shortlisted for Eureka honours

16 August 2011

Professor Rick Shine - finalist in the Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research category.
Professor Rick Shine - finalist in the Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research category.

Professor Rick Shine, from the School of Biological Sciences, has been named a finalist in the 2011 Eureka Prizes for effectively and consistently communicating his research to the public.

Announced on August 12, Professor Shine is one of three finalists in the category of Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research within the prestigious Eureka Prizes.

As one of Australia's foremost researchers in ecology and evolution, Professor Shine is also one of this country's most widely heard science communicators. Throughout his 35-year career, Professor Shine has devoted enormous effort into public outreach and has helped to break down the barriers between researchers and the wider community.

Through delivering public talks, publishing books and popular science articles, creating websites and maintaining an active public profile with consistent media appearances, Professor Shine has informed the Australian public on a range of issues from understanding our ecological challenges to preservation of endangered reptiles to evolutionary theory and basic biology of frogs and reptiles.

Most recently, Professor Shine has substantially changed the public's opinion on cane toads - Australia's most notorious invasive species that has lived here for over 70 years. Through actively communicating the research from his group - Team Bufo - Professor Shine is replacing myth with fact and filling in the long-standing knowledge gap, both in the scientific community and in the Australian populace, surrounding cane toads.

Professor Shine is one of a number of University of Sydney scientists - including seven individuals and a team from the Faculty of Veterinary Science - to be named as finalists in the Eureka Prizes, commonly referred to 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.

Other University of Sydney finalists are:

  • The 2009 winner of the Eureka People's Choice Award, Associate Professor Kathy Belov, has been nominated once again, this time as part of a team shortlisted for the Eureka Prize for Environmental Research.
  • Associate Professor David Moss, from the Institute of Photonics and Optical Science, has been nominated for the Eureka Prize for Innovation in Computer Science.
  • Professor Manfred Lenzen, Dr Christopher Dey and Dr Joy Murray, from the School of Physics, have been jointly nominated for the Eureka Prize for Innovative Solutions to Climate Change.
  • Research by members of Professor Paul McGreevy's Lab into the practice of horse whipping in the racing industry has earned them a place as finalists in the Scientific Research that Contributes to Animal Protection category.
  • Professor Ben Eggleton, Director of CUDOS, the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Photonics, with over 130 researchers from seven Australian Universities, is in the running for the Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science.

The prizes will be presented at Sydney's Hordern Pavilion on 6 September, where $240 000 in prize money will be awarded across a range of categories.

For further information about all the finalists visit the Australian Museum's website:

Contact: Carla Avolio

Phone: 02 9351 4543

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