Flinders rewards its emerging best and brightest

m-gardnerNine Flinders academics with brilliant research records who completed their PhDs less than 10 years ago are the inaugural recipients of the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Early Career Researchers.

In recognition of their outstanding individual achievements, Vice-Chancellor Professor Michel Barber (pictured with Dr Mike Gardner) presented a cheque for $2,500 to each of the nine at an informal ceremony.

“The awards have been set up to acknowledge the contribution to the University of a very special group of people,” Professor Barber said.

He said modern universities make complex demands on academics across a range of dimensions.

“But in the end, to succeed as an academic, one has to have a strong and vibrant commitment to research, and that is what each of this cohort have shown in very different fields,” he said.

The researchers and their fields of research interest are:

  • biologist Dr Luciano Beheregaray, who is exploring aquatic biodiversity through molecular ecology and conservation genetics;
  • medical scientist Dr Kathryn Burdon, who is researching the genetic causes of diabetes-related eye disease;
  • English academic Dr Kate Douglas, who is analysing life writing and non-fictional literature;
  • biologist Dr Mike Gardner, who looks at the maintenance of genetic diversity in animal populations by studying their DNA;
  • neuroscientist Dr Damien Keating, who is studying cell communication;
  • medical scientist Dr Michelle Miller, whose research centres on the effects of nutrition and diet in the elderly;
  • psychologist Dr Reg Nixon, who is studying treatments for post-traumatic stress;
  • paleontologist Dr Gavin Prideaux, who researches ancient climate through the study of the fossil record;
  • psychologist Dr Nathan Weber, who is researching eyewitness memory.
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