13 August 2014

ARC-funded researchers commended at 2014 L'Oreal Women in Science awards 

Australian Research Council (ARC) Chief Executive Officer, Professor Aidan Byrne, has  congratulated the three recipients of the 2014 L'Oréal for Women in Science Fellowships announced overnight.

Professor Byrne extended special congratulations to two recipients who recently received funding through the ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) scheme.

A L'Oreal for Women in Science Fellowship is a $25 000, one-year fellowship designed to support female scientists in their pursuit of their research and scientific careers.

Materials scientist, Dr Cara Doherty, is an ARC DECRA  recipient from the CSIRO who is developing new technology that could transform water filters, batteries and biomedical  implants, and clean up carbon emissions. Dr Doherty will use her L'Oréal for Women in Science Fellowship to investigate how to take the next step, that is, to develop the 3D structures  that would be needed for a smart water filter.

Evolutionary biologist at Monash University, Dr Vanessa Kellermann, also an ARC DECRA recipient, is working to find out how vulnerable species cope with climate change. She has already demonstrated that tropical flies are more vulnerable to change in the long term as they don't have the genetic capacity to evolve quickly. Dr Kellerman will now use her L'Oréal for Women in Science Fellowship to explore how flexible fruit flies are in the short term.

"I'm delighted that these dedicated researchers, proudly supported by the ARC during  the crucial early research years, have received these fellowships. This support will allow them to continue making great progress on the research front and in their careers in general," Professor Byrne said.

The third recipient Dr Elena Tucker is a geneticist at Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne who has used DNA sequencing to find the genes responsible for some rare diseases.

With the support of her 2014 L'Oréal for Women in Science Fellowship, she will look at hundreds of individual genomes to determine the genetic causes of sex development disorders.

"I commend all three researchers for the valuable contribution they have—and will continue to make—toward the advancement of science and research in Australia," Professor Byrne said.

"I am sure these women will also be great mentors for young female students and researchers who are thinking about a career in science or research in general."

For more information about all three recipients, visit the Loreal  Australia and New Zealand For Women in Science Fellowships website. For more information about the ARC and the DECRA funding scheme mentioned above, visit the ARC website.

Media contact:
ARC Stakeholder Relations
0412 623 056 or communications@arc.gov.au