2011 Eureka Prize Winners in Research & Innovation
Presented annually by the Australian Museum, the Australian
Museum Eureka Prizes reward excellence in the fields of research & innovation, leadership & commercialisation, school science and science journalism & communication. More information...
Image: Australian Museum Eureka Prizes and 247 Studios
Back row: (L-R) Dr Christopher Dey, Dr Joy Murray, Dr David Moss, Professor Ben Eggleton, Professor Rick Shine, Associate Professor Kathy Belov, Professor Paul McGreevy, Dr Bidda Jones, Dr Andrew McLean. Front row: (L-R) Professor Trevor Hambley, Dr Michael Spence.
Environmental Research WINNER - The Devils' Advocates
A contagious cancer is threatening to wipe out the native Tasmanian devil within 20 years. Given the iconic devil's status as the number one predator keeping feral cats and foxes in check, other marsupials will be on the endangered list if the feisty animal becomes extinct.
However, the brilliance and tireless dedication of a team of researchers has the potential to save the devils - renowned for their eerie screeching and bad temper - from Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease, or DFTD. In so doing, they would simultaneously protect the island state's biodiversity and ecosystems.
The multi-disciplinary team that has been researching conservation of the Tasmanian devil comprises Dr Menna Jones, from the School of Zoology at the University of Tasmania; Professor Hamish McCallum, head of the School of Environment at Griffith University; Associate Professor Kathy Belov, from the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney; Associate Professor Greg Woods at the Menzies Research Institute Tasmania; and Anne-Maree Pearse, from the Save the Tasmanian Devil program at the state's Animal Health Laboratory.
For their research into DFTD and methods of responding to the disease, the team - known as the Devils' Advocates - has won the 2011 Eureka Prize for Environmental Research. Read more ..
Research that Contributes to Animal Protection WINNER - Professor Paul McGreevy's Lab
Led by Professor McGreevy, researchers at the University of Sydney's Faculty of Veterinary Science have challenged the use of the whip in thoroughbred racing. Indeed, their findings suggest whipping does not increase horses' chances of finishing in the top three and that they actually run faster when they are not being hit. The researchers have proposed an ethical framework for assessing the impact of different equine sports on animal welfare.
For research underpinning the humane treatment of horses in sport, Professor McGreevy and his team have won the 2011 Eureka Prize for Scientific Research that Contributes to Animal Protection. The group comprises Professor McGreevy, Honorary Associate Professor David Evans, Honorary Associate Dr Andrew McLean and Honorary Associate Dr Bidda Jones. Read more...