2011 L'Oreal For Women in Science Fellowships Announced
On Tuesday 23rd August, the recipients of the 2011 L’Oréal For Women in Science Fellowships were announced. Three talented women, Dr Tracy Ainsworth, Dr Georgina Such and Dr Eve McDonald-Madden, were celebrated for their contribution to science in Australia and awarded $20,000 to support the continuation of their research.
Deepening our understanding of coral reefs: Tracy Ainsworth, James Cook University, Townsville is changing our understanding of the life of the tiny coral animals that built Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef—now threatened by a warming ocean and by bleaching.
Growing up on the beaches of New South Wales, Tracey spent almost her entire life playing, learning, studying and working by the sea. Now she is giving something back—her research is changing how we understand and manage coral reefs. When she moved to James Cook University in Townsville to study marine biology, Tracy first worked on prawns and aquaculture. But she became increasingly interested in how marine creatures cope with stress and disease and came to admire coral.Visit the For Women in Science website to read more about Tracy's work and watch her interview.
Building smart pills with nanotech: Georgina Such, University of Melbourne is inventing a smarter way to deliver drugs—a miniscule capsule designed like a set of Russian babushka dolls that sneaks through the blood stream to target cancer cells and nothing else. When it finds its target it passes into the cell, sheds a layer, finds the part of the cellular machinery it needs to attack, sheds another layer and releases its cargo of drugs, destroying the cancer cell and only the cancer cell. Visit the For Women in Science website to read more about Georgina's work and watch her interview.
Using maths to save species and dollars: Eve McDonald-Madden, University of Queensland/CSIRO, is using mathematics and artificial intelligence to develop systems that allow us to make tough conservation decisions with limited information. Working at The University of Queensland and CSIRO, she has already helped to develop and implement a policy for monitoring the Sumatran tiger to prevent poaching. In addition, she has come up with a strategy for managing Tasmanian devils as they confront an infectious facial tumour disease. Her L’Oréal Fellowship will allow her to travel to France with her young son to learn about and incorporate the latest techniques of artificial intelligence (AI) into her decision-making frameworks. Visit the For Women in Science website to read more about Eve's work and watch her interview.
The Managing Director of L’Oréal Australia, Johan Berg presented the fellowships and discussed the importance of supporting female scientists, "The L’Oréal Fellowships highlight a worldwide challenge of maintaining women in science, and operate in parallel with the efforts of other influential bodies, such as UN Women Australia, the Australian Academy of Science and the CSIRO, who have all been working to promote highly skilled women within science and engineering, and increase incentives encouraging women to return to the workforce after maternity. Australia is losing its top young scientists, and not to better salaries overseas. Instead, they are dropping out of science and engineering in their thirties as they try to balance building a competitive science career with building a family. Just like the past four years of Fellows, we hope that these Fellowships will support these three women during the most challenging part of their career.”
Since its inception in 2007, the Fellowships have been awarded to 14 outstanding female scientists who have used the award to increase their impact in their chosen field of science, provide support to managing both families and lab work, and jumpstart their independent careers in science. Visit the For Women in Science website to learn more about their work and how the fellowships have supported their work.