19 October 2016

ARC-funded researchers recognised in 2016 PM’s Prizes for Science


The Australian Research Council (ARC) congratulates all recipients of the 2016 Prime Minister's Prizes for Science, and in particular researchers who have received ARC support throughout their illustrious research careers.

ARC Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ms Leanne Harvey, extended special congratulations to three researchers who have received funding from the ARC to support their research.

Professor Rick Shine—current ARC Australian Laureate Fellow from The University of Sydney—has been awarded the 2016 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science for his work using evolutionary principles to address conservation challenges.

“Professor Shine’s important research focusses on protecting Northern Australia’s peak predators, snakes and lizards, from the invasive pest species such as the cane toad,” said Ms Harvey.

“This award acknowledges his outstanding contribution to protecting our native species. The ARC is honoured to have supported him in his career to date, through over 14 successful research grants since 2002, including his Australian Laureate Fellowship.”

Professor Richard Payne—a current ARC Future Fellow, also from The University of Sydney—has received the 2016 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year for his chemistry research which has created powerful new drugs to address global health challenges.

“Professor Payne’s research, chemically recreating naturally-occurring peptides and proteins, is developing revolutionary new drugs to address global health concerns, such as tuberculosis, malaria, and antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.

“Professor Payne has led seven previous ARC funding grants for his research since 2009, including his ARC Future Fellowship,” said Ms Harvey.

Associate Professor Kerrie Wilson—previous ARC Future Fellow from The University of Queensland and Node Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions—has been awarded the 2016 Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year for optimising the global allocation of scarce conservation resources.

“Associate Professor Wilson’s work on applied conservation resource allocation—such as where to invest limited resources to protect or restore biodiversity—is helping governments to make smart investments in conservation.

“Associate Professor Wilson has led four previous ARC funding grants for her research since 2008, including her ARC Future Fellowship.

"It is no surprise that all these researchers have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to science with these awards,” said Ms Harvey.

The ARC also commends all other 2016 prize recipients.

For more information about all prize winners, visit the Prime Minister's Prizes for Science website or Science in Public.

For more information about the ARC and its funding schemes, please visit the ARC website.

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