Australian Laureate Fellowships to keep Australia at the forefront of research

Outstanding new Australian Laureate Fellows will receive a total of $46.4 million in funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC) to lead new Australian research endeavours.

ARC CEO, Professor Sue Thomas, today welcomed the announcement by Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, naming the sixteen successful 2018 Australian Laureate Fellows through the ARC Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme.

“These prestigious fellowships, highly coveted in the Australian research sector, provide support to some of our best and brightest researchers to focus on their important areas of research, essential to expanding Australia’s knowledge base and research capacity,” said Professor Thomas.

“The Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme aims to attract and retain outstanding Australian researchers and research leaders of international repute, so they can undertake their ground-breaking, internationally-competitive research here in Australia.

“Australian Laureate Fellows also perform a vital role in nurturing excellent research training environments, to develop and mentor our early career researchers who will learn from their experience.

“Indeed, two of these Australian Laureate Fellowships are awarded to exceptional female researchers who—in addition to their successful fellowship awarded in their area of research—are provided with extra funding support to undertake a further ambassadorial role to mentor early career researchers, particularly women.

“The 2018 Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellowship for the humanities, arts and social science disciplines is awarded to Professor Marilyn Fleer at Monash University; and the 2018 Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship in science and technology is awarded to Professor Christine Beveridge at The University of Queensland.

“These two world-class researcher leaders clearly demonstrated their capacity to undertake ground-breaking, internationally-competitive research, as well as build Australia’s research capacity by promoting women in research and encouraging them to enter and establish careers in research in Australia.

“I extend congratulations to all of the exceptional Fellows announced today as they embark on their Australian Laureate Fellowships.”

A full list of all 16 successful fellows is below, and biographies for each fellow is available on the ARC website.

2018 Australian Laureate Fellows

  • Professor Jonathon Barnett—The University of Melbourne—to create new knowledge about successful adaptation of communities on low-lying islands to climate change.
  • Professor Christine Beveridge (2018 Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellow)—The University of Queensland—to discover the genes and processes that control plant shoot architecture, a major driver of yield in field, horticultural and forestry crops.
  • Professor Tamara Davis—The University of Queensland—to measure and explain the dark side of the universe, by performing new theoretical analyses of two ground-breaking surveys.
  • Professor Marilyn Fleer (2018 Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellow)—Monash University—to research concept formation in early childhood by examining imagination in play-based settings.
  • Professor Stephen Foley—Macquarie University—to understand the roles of carbon, water and nitrogen in the development of plate tectonics as drivers of mantle evolution.
  • Professor Julian Gale—Curtin University—to create new methodologies for quantitatively predicting the result of crystallisation processes, central to industries from pharmaceutical and food manufacture through to minerals processing.
  • Professor Karl Glazebrook—Swinburne University of Technology—to transform our understanding of the early Universe using the giant James Webb Space Telescope.
  • Professor Hong Hao—Curtin University—to use new green materials and techniques to develop the next-generation of resilient structures to advance the construction of sustainable infrastructure.
  • Professor Jolanda Jetten—The University of Queensland—to advance our understanding of factors that promote successful adjustment to collective-level change, which is imperative for well-being and the fabric of society.
  • Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh—RMIT University—to investigate and make new discoveries on the unique properties of liquid metals and explore their untapped potential.
  • Professor Bostjan Kobe—The University of Queensland—to improve understanding of innate immunity in mammals and plants.
  • Professor Dan Li—The University of Melbourne—to undertake nanoionic research to develop technological innovations to solve problems in industries, including manufacturing, mining, water management and bioengineering.
  • Professor Hanns-Christoph Nägerl—The University of Queensland—to build quantum technologies for future needs in simulation, computing, sensing and metrology.
  • Professor Madeleine van Oppen—The University of Melbourne—to develop microbes that are able to enhance the climate resilience of corals, for more climate-resilient coral stock in reef conservation and restoration initiatives.
  • Professor Peter Visscher—The University of Queensland—to develop new statistical methods and user-friendly software tools to apply to datasets on millions of individuals to generate new knowledge on human life history variation and healthy ageing.
  • Professor James Whisstock—Monash University—to further develop new instrumentation and approaches to enable direct visualisation of large macromolecular structures in cells.

Further details about the Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme is available from the ARC website.

Media contact: 

ARC Stakeholder Relations
0412 623 056 or