Eureka Prize finalists in six categories from the Division of Natural Sciences
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
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, and Director of CUDOS - the Australian Research Council Centre for Ultrahigh Bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems - is a finalist in the Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science category. Professor Eggleton leads a team of over 130 researchers from seven Australian universities as Director of CUDOS.
Professor Eggleton is a world recognised scientist at the forefront of the exciting field of photonics and optical physics.
Professor Manfred Lenzen, Dr Christopher Dey and Dr Joy Murray, from the School of Physics, Faculty of Science, have been jointly nominated for the Eureka Prize for Innovative Solutions to Climate Change. Their work involves adapting economic theory to estimate the impacts of our actions by using mathematics, large scale data handling, high performance computing and integrated science.
They head up the Integrated Sustainability Analysis team, a multi-disciplinary research group that has developed a model to calculate all supply chain interactions in economies, from local to global scale, and simultaneously link them to greenhouse gas emissions and other important indicators such as land, energy and water use.
Associate Professor David Moss, from the School of Physics, Faculty of Science, and the Institute of Photonics and Optical Science, has been named as a finalist in the Eureka Prize for Innovation in Computer Science category.
Associate Professor Moss has been recognised for his breakthrough work incorporating light onto silicon computer chips. His research will be critical to overcoming many of the energy and bandwidth bottlenecks for on-chip and chip to chip communications, and will play a key role in enabling silicon photonic chips.
Professor Rick Shine, from the School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, is shortlisted for the Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research. Professor Shine is one of Australia's foremost researchers in ecology and evolution, and is one of this country's most widely heard science communicators.
His websites, media appearances and magazine articles have replaced myths with fact, and transformed the public debate about cane toads.
The prizes will be presented at Sydney's Hordern Pavilion on 6 September at the Eureka Prizes dinner, where $240 000 in prize money will be awarded across a range of categories.
More on the Eureka Prize finalists at www.eureka.australianmuseum.net.au