Doubling up on scientific talent

Megan and Amy Hawley spend a lot of time in each other’s company, and the twins, who both receive honours degrees in science at Flinders University’s graduation ceremonies this week, have turned it into an academic strength.

This year, both commence PhDs at Flinders in the area of wastewater treatment and remediation.

The twins will be among some 1620 graduates to receive their degrees at the graduation ceremonies held at Flinders University this week.

During their degrees, Megan (pictured, left) and Amy (pictured, right) say they have effectively been their own study group.

“It’s been handy having each other, especially if one got the grasp of a concept and the other one didn’t, then we’d try and help each other,” said Amy.

“It’s always interesting when neither of us get it – then we have to go and find someone else.”

Both liked science at school, and although Amy’s original intention was to transfer to medicine, the fascination of science quickly took hold.

Despite a lack of a background in biology, Megan and Amy both found their preferences moving towards the study of molecular biology and microbiology.

After completing their undergraduate majors, the twins undertook honours projects with Professor Howard Fallowfield and Professor Nancy Cromar in the School of the Environment.

Megan’s focus was on reducing the risk of food-borne diseases in lettuce irrigated with treated wastewater, while Amy’s research investigated new processes to enable safe reuse of wastewater for irrigation, a theme she will continue in her PhD.

Megan’s doctoral research will concentrate on systems of treating piggery waste for the High Integrity Australian Pork Cooperative Research Centre, of which Flinders is a founding member: “I’ve jumped up from lettuces to pigs,” she said.

For the time being, the pair will keep living at home with their parents in the north-eastern suburbs of Adelaide and will continue to commute daily to Flinders. In the face of the demands of their PhDs, they also hope to maintain their routine of providing mutual academic and moral support.

“We keep each other sane,” said Megan.

Their proud family will be attending Friday’s ceremony at Flinders.

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2 thoughts on “Doubling up on scientific talent

  1. Congrates Megan and Amy Hawley…love you guys heaps…well done… It is very true indeed, hardwork and good effort pays off. All the best in PhD…I wanted to do my PhD but it looks like only the Lord knows when or the Lord knows best for everyone dear…Amen ! Keep in touch in facebook sweets…warmest regards- Saj ( SajitaSanthirakaanthan)

  2. Well done Amy and Megan you have worked so so hard and had have so far to travel every day.
    Really look forward to reading your publications.
    best wishes
    Lisa (Graces mum from tennis)

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