Eureka Prize finalists in six categories from the Division of Natural Sciences

17 August 2011

Eight scientists from the University of Sydney's Division of Natural Sciences have been named as finalists in the prestigious Eureka Prizes announced on 12 August 2011.

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.

Associate Professor Kathy Belov, from the Faculty of Veterinary Science and the 2009 winner of the Eureka People's Choice Award, has become a finalist once again, this time as part of a team shortlisted for the Eureka Prize for Environmental Research.

Associate Professor Belov and her colleagues from across Australia - known as the The Devils' Advocates - are collaborating across disciplines to try to save the Tasmanian Devil from with extinction from a contagious cancer. Associate Professor Belov discovered one of the key reasons the disease has affected the devils so badly is the lack of genetic diversity within the devil population.

Professor Paul McGreevy and his team in the Faculty of Veterinary Science have been named as finalists in the Eureka Prize for Scientific Research that Contributes to Animal Protection category. Professor Paul McGreevy's team have been nominated for their research into the practice of horse whipping in the racing industry.

Estimates from the Australian racing industry's own data suggest racehorses suffer more than a million whippings annually. While the industry seeks to justify whip use by claiming it enhances performance and safety, Professor McGreevy's team's data demonstrate that whipping tired horses in the name of sport is difficult to defend.

The judges chose him for his outstanding record of multidisciplinary research leadership in Australia and the US, his ability to develop and lead breakthrough science and technology, and translate discoveries into commercial realities.

Professor Ben Eggleton, from the School of Physics, Faculty of Science.

Professor Manfred Lenzen, Dr Christopher Dey and Dr Joy Murray, from the School of Physics, Faculty of Science.

Associate Professor David Moss, from the School of Physics, Faculty of Science.

Professor Rick Shine, from the School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science.

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