11 September 2014

ARC-funded researchers shine at Eureka Prizes  

Acting Australian Research Council (ARC) Chief Executive Officer, Ms Leanne Harvey, has congratulated the finalists and winners of the 2014 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes, which were announced overnight in Sydney.    
"All of these researchers have made a valuable contribution toward the advancement of science and research in Australia and this recognition is highly deserved," Ms Harvey said.       

The ARC extended special congratulations to a number of recipients who have pursued their research through the award of ARC funding.       

Associate Professor Simon Ho from The University of Sydney received the 2014 Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher for his outstanding work in evolutionary science. Since 2008, Associate Professor Ho has received an ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship, a QEII Fellowship and several successful Discovery project grants to support his research.       

Professor Ho is a computational evolutionary biologist who is studying fossils and using computational and  techniques to compare evolutionary rates in different species—to show, among other findings, that modern humans separated from Neanderthals about 200 000 years later than was once thought, and that there may have been two separate coexisting species of woolly mammoths.       

The University of Melbourne SEARCH team, led by Dr Joelle Gergis, was awarded the 2014 Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research. Dr Gergis is an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Awardee and the SEARCH project was also supported by an ARC Linkage Projects grant.

The SEARCH team has extended the record of Australian climate history, previously limited to official records in 1908. The team extended records back more than a century by drawing on the earliest written observations—thousands of pages of gazettes, newspapers and farm records, and First Fleet log books.

Professor Terry Speed from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) of  Medical Research received the 2014 Eureka  Prize for Leadership in Science for his superb leadership of the  bioinformatics team at WEHI and his other contributions to the science of bioinformatics.

Professor Speed was previously a Partner Investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Kangaroo Genomics.

Congratulations also to Professor Michelle Simmons, ARC Laureate Fellow and  Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, who was also a finalist in this category.

For more information about all 2014 prize winners, visit the Eureka Prizes website. For more information about the ARC and its funding schemes, visit the ARC website.

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