The Forrest Foundation has awarded eight Prospect Fellowships to outstanding early-career researchers to enable them to undertake their innovative work in Western Australia.
The Forrest Foundation funded 20 Prospect Fellowships over two rounds as an additional investment into Australia’s research community in response to the impact COVID-19 had on research funding. The Prospect Fellowships provide each recipient with 18 months of funding, mentoring and a professional development program.
The projects funded in this round include developing infrared sensing technology to improve response to bushfire emergencies, using natural marine ecosystems such as seagrass and coral reefs to prevent coastal erosion and flooding and creating spacial and geographic modelling to identify locations where there are gaps in mental health care.
The full list of fellowship recipients are
Dr Arnold van Rooijen, UWA Oceans Graduate School
Dr van Rooijen will investigate new ways to mitigate coastal flooding, such as use of seagrass meadows and coral reefs, instead of traditional solutions such as use of seawalls and breakers that are not sustainable in the long term.
Dr Brenton von Takach, Curtin University School of Molecular and Life Sciences
Dr von Takach will investigate the genomic and ecological consequences of vertebrate species declines occurring worldwide as a result of habitat degradation, invasive species, land clearing and climate change, including Australia’s own northern quoll and golden-backed tree-rat.
Dr Christopher Lean, UWA Public Policy Institute
Dr Lean will develop a framework to evaluate biotechnology in conservation for use in areas such as the genetic modification of species, to aid scientific discovery and support conservation standards.
Dr India Dilkes-Hall, UWA Centre for Rock Art Research and Management
Dr Dilkes-Hall will examine how plants, tropical rainforests, archaeology and climate change may hold clues to understanding how humans evolved.
Dr Kieran Mulroney, UWA Translational Renal Research Group
Dr Mulroney will work to develop faster and more accurate pathology tests for life-threatening infections, to address current limitations in pathology tests.
Dr Naomi Green, UWA School of Biological Sciences
Dr Green will study a variety of fish to see if they are able to see UV and polarised light. Understanding how they see the world could lead to the development of new technologies to protect marine life.
Dr Nicole Hill, TKI / UWA Centre for Child Health Research
Dr Hill will use cutting-edge geographic and spatial modelling to identify locations where the mental health risks are the highest, to provide insight into priority areas for the allocation of health resources.
Dr Shimul Nath, UWA Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
Dr Nath will investigate infrared remote sensing technology and its future role in preventing the spread of bushfires, as well as its application in other fields such as astronomy and medicine.
These Prospect Fellowships support the Forrest Foundation’s aim to build a world-class centre of research and innovation in Western Australia.