Tim Hammer, the very first of the Forrest Scholars to commence his PhD in 2015, was also this week the first to submit his doctoral thesis. Tim came to UWA from the US to undertake research in plant taxonomy, investigating the evolution and characteristics of the iconic plant genus Ptilotus, more commonly known as mulla mulla, widely distributed throughout Australia and especially diverse in the Pilbara. As part of his PhD research, Tim has described 8 new species of Ptilotus and has published 13 papers which help us to better understand the complex and amazingly rich plant biodiversity of Western Australia.
Tim’s research contributes to the ‘brain gain’ created by the Forrest Research Foundation, which attracts some of the world’s brightest minds to Perth to undertake outstanding doctoral and post-doctoral research. After completing his doctorate Tim and his family are staying in Perth where he will use the skills and knowledge gained during his Forrest Scholarship to help understand and document the rich biodiversity of Australia.