Alumni Profiles

Professor Calum John Drummond Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionRMIT University
Host InstitutionKoch Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Award NameFulbright Senior Scholarship
DisciplinePharmaceutical Science
Award Year2016

Calum is a graduate of The University of Melbourne (BScEd (H1, 1981), BSc Hons (H1, 1982), PhD and DSc in Physical Chemistry (1987 and 2015). As the current RMIT Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Vice President, he has a leadership role in the development of discovery and practice-based research and in building and enhancing capability in research and innovation across the University. He joined RMIT University in 2014 from CSIRO where he was Group Executive for Manufacturing, Materials and Minerals. Immediately prior to this CSIRO Group Executive appointment, he was Chief of CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering. Previously, Calum was seconded from CSIRO to be the inaugural Vice President Research at CAP-XX, an Intel portfolio company.

He is an active researcher with interests in the area of advanced materials, including application to energy storage and biomedical products. The outstanding calibre of his research has been recognised through the award of the 2015 Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation (Physical Sciences Category), CSIRO Fellow designation (2013; CSIRO’s highest award for exceptional scientists), World Economic Forum Global Technology Pioneer (2005; awarded to CAP-XX), Frost and Sullivan (USA) Excellence in Communication and Information Technologies Award (2006; awarded to CAP-XX), an Australian Research Council (ARC) Federation Fellowship (2003-2010), an ARC Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship (1990-1993), the inaugural R.J.W. Le Févre Memorial Prize from the Australian Academy of Science (1989), the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Rennie Memorial Medal (1989), the RACI Applied Research Award (2002), the RACI Industrial Chemistry Division RK Murphy Medal (2004), the RACI Green Chemistry Challenge Award (2005), the RACI Physical Chemistry Division Medal (2006), the RACI HG Smith Memorial Medal (2015), CSIRO Medal for Outstanding Research Achievement (2004), CSIRO Medal for Business Excellence (2011), Distinguished Lecturer Award from The Colloid and Surface Chemistry Division of the Japanese Chemical Society (2011), Distinguished Paper Award of The Soap and Detergent Association (USA) and The American Oil Chemists Society (2001), both the David Syme Research Prize (2002) and the Grimwade Prize in Industrial Chemistry (1995) from The University of Melbourne, and a Rothmans Foundation Fellowship (1990; declined).

Throughout the term of his Fulbright Scholarship, Calum hopes to embed ongoing research collaboration between MIT and RMIT in the area of drug delivery. His plans include disseminating new knowledge through publishing research papers in high impact journals and presenting at international science and engineering conferences, with aims to advancing the understanding of therapeutic protein structure and function preservation (protein stability) in vitro and in vivo. While in Boston, Calum will be exchanging the latest thinking on enhancing university research and innovation ecosystems, improving university research and innovation management, and translating research beyond the academic community to deliver broader positive economic, community and environmental impact.

Arthur Durband Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionTexas Tech University
Host InstitutionFlinders University
Award NameSenior Scholarship
DisciplineAnthropology
Award Year2013

“The skeletons at Roonka represent the largest single sample of pre-contact Aboriginal Australians known. These individuals date from approximately 7,000 years before present (BP) to around 1840, with roughly half of the series dating to pre-4,000 years BP.”

Associate Professor Arthur (Art) Durband, Associate Professor with the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work at Texas Tech University will come to Flinders University for four months to study the skeletons from the Early Holocene site of Roonka in South Australia.

“This research project will enable the discovery, recording, and dissemination of biological and behavioural data from the largest excavated pre-contact cemetery site in Australia. Consisting of nearly 200 Aboriginal Australian skeletons, many dating to between 4,000-7,000 years, this is one of the largest early Holocene cemetery sites excavated anywhere,” Art said.

“During the period of my proposed Fulbright support I will collect data from the skeletal sample that will form the basis for a volume in a proposed monograph series on this site. This work will preserve valuable information on this irreplaceable skeletal sample in anticipation of its eventual repatriation.”

Art said that the Aboriginal group responsible for the Roonka remains, the First Peoples of the River Murray and Mallee Region (FPRMMR) has granted permission for researchers to conduct research on the collection but has also expressed their desire to eventually repatriate and rebury it.

“It is crucial to document this important collection while we have the opportunity. My proposed Fulbright support will run between January-May, 2014. During this time, I will study the Roonka remains at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide, South Australia as a member of a team dedicated to producing, sorting, and updating the archaeological and biological data from the site for a proposed monograph series.”

Art has B.A. English and Anthropology, Northern Illinois University; M.A. Anthropology, Northern Illinois University; and a Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of Tennessee. He has won awards and prizes including Mortar Board Professor of the Year and he has published widely. In his spare time he enjoys reading and travelling.

Dr. Paul R. Sanberg Senior Scholars

Paul Sanberg
Home InstitutionUniversity of South Florida and National Academy of Inventors
Host InstitutionUniversity of Melbourne: School of Chemistry, Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship, Ormond College, and Bio21 Institute
Award NameFulbright Specialist
DisciplineNeuroscience; Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Award Year2017

Dr. Sanberg is Senior Vice President for Research, Innovation & Knowledge Enterprise; Distinguished University Professor; and Executive Director, Center of Excellence for Aging & Brain Repair, University of South Florida (USF). He is an international leader in advancing recognition of academic innovation as founder and President of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and on prominent national committees providing future direction for science and innovation in the United States. His leadership has propelled USF forward in national and international rankings. He led a national dialog to transform academic tenure and promotion to include innovation activities. His scientific work and industry experience were instrumental in translating novel therapeutics to clinical trials and commercialization for neurodegenerative diseases such as stroke, ALS, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. He trained at York University, University of British Columbia, Australian National University, Curtin University, and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, among others. He holds 158 worldwide patents; authored 650+ articles and 14 books with 30,000+ citations; Fellowship in the NAI, Royal Societies of Chemistry, Public Health and Medicine, AAAS, and American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering; received Sigma Xi’s McGovern Science & Society Award; Florida Inventors Hall of Fame inductee; and AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassador. In Australia, he will share expertise in changing the culture to enhance industry engagement, entrepreneurship and impact of academic innovation on society.

Michael Jensen Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionU.S. Department of Energy
Host InstitutionThe University of New South Wales
Award NameFulbright Professional Scholarship in Climate Change and Clean Energy
DisciplineLaw
Award Year2015

Michael serves as program and regulatory counsel for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, where he advises senior government officials on an extensive portfolio of building energy efficiency, sustainability, renewable energy, project funding, electricity delivery, vehicle technology, and greenhouse gas reduction initiatives. One of his primary responsibilities is serving as the legal point of contact for the implementation of federal energy performance contracts and other financing mechanisms for large-scale clean energy projects. Michael also serves as the regional applicant recruitment chair of the Cleantech Open—the world’s oldest and largest business accelerator program for emerging clean technology companies. Michael previously served as an environmental attorney, defending the government in litigation and advising program staff on issues involving federal and state environmental laws. He has worked in the highest levels of government, including a clerkship with a federal appeals court judge and positions at the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division. Michael is a frequent contributor to American Bar Association energy and environmental publications, has served as an editor on two policy-focused law reviews, and was awarded a Presidential Management Fellowship in which he served in a policymaking capacity at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Michael received a J.D. from the American University Washington College of Law and a B.A. from Bates College. In his spare time, Michael enjoys swimming, hiking, and singing off-key duets with his wife, Kathryn, to their unimpressed daughter, Haley. Michael and Kathryn are looking forward to living in Sydney, traveling throughout Australia, and introducing Haley to Vegemite.

Accelerated investment in clean energy solutions is needed to mitigate climate-related risks, yet institutional investors traditionally have not financed energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at a scale necessary to address this challenge. Innovative policies to encourage the development of robust secondary markets for clean energy loans thus are critical in attracting private sector capital investment in this arena. Secondary market financing only recently has proved successful under disparate state and local programs in the United States; however, each of these programs overcame significant policy and financial obstacles to deployment. Through his research and dialogue with government officials, academics, financiers, and the energy industry, Michael intends to discuss strategies to address these barriers and to foster cooperation between both Australia and the United States in adopting and promoting successful policies for clean energy finance.

Amy Salapak Professional Scholars

Amy Salapak
Home InstitutionFaculty of Business and Law, Curtin University
Host InstitutionInstitute of Ethical Leadership, Rutgers University
Award NameFulbright Professional Coral Sea Scholarship (Business/Industry)
DisciplineBusiness
Award Year2018

It has been almost a decade since we witnessed the impact of the global financial crisis (GFC). Yet, the GFC was more than the result of extraordinary failures by regulatory and credit agencies, poor corporate governance and ineffective risk management. It demonstrated epic and ongoing failures in corporate ethics and leadership.

Amy is a lawyer specialising in litigation, with more than a decade’s legal experience acting for corporate entities, the private sector and government. She is currently an in-house solicitor with the Western Australian Department of Health, and is an accredited mediator. As a Visiting Research Fellow at Rutgers Institute of Ethical Leadership, Amy’s research will investigate the American perspective of what is required to foster ethics in business, and whether this requires a carrot or stick approach. Amy will use her Fulbright Scholarship to explore the role culture, leadership, organisational behaviour, legal and regulatory frameworks have in promoting ethical conduct.

Andrew Tyndale Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionGrace Mutual, Ltd
Host InstitutionThe Milken Institute
Award NameProfessional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership (sponsored by the Origin Foundation and supported by the Australian Scholarships Foundation)
DisciplineBusiness Administration – Social Finance
Award Year2013

“Around the world and throughout Australia, the infrastructure used to deliver social services (education, aged care, social and affordable housing, disability accommodation and delivery of health services) is in need of significant investment, both to update existing capital items and to meet the new demand of a growing and aging population.”

Mr Andrew Tyndale, Director and Founder of Grace Mutual Limited, has won one of two inaugural Fulbright Professional Scholarships in Non-Profit Leadership, sponsored by the Origin Foundation and supported by the Australian Scholarships Foundation. Andrew will go to The Milken Institute in the U.S. for four months, to further his research in social investment.

“Social Investment is a new field in which commercial investment is directed to investments which generate a good social outcome. They may include employment, community enterprise, environmental or social inclusion,” Andrew said.

His focus is on mechanisms to attract wholesale capital into the infrastructure necessary to deliver social services such as affordable housing, aged care, disability accommodation, education and health. Through his project he will research developments in the US that may be applied in Australia.

“Over the next 5 years in Australia, it is estimated that more than $100 billion is needed for aged care and housing alone. There is a general, global acceptance that governments cannot fund these needs, and there is considerable thought being given to the problem at State and Commonwealth levels. Much is based on work being done in the UK and the US to develop ways to attract commercial funding (primarily pension savings funds) into this sector,” Andrew said.

Andrew’s goal will be to write up a number of initiatives, using his technical finance skills and knowledge of the social sector to assess the compatibility and likelihood of success in Australia. Then he will work with government, investors, financial intermediaries and the social sector to implement them.

Andrew has a Hon, BComm in Business Administration from Queen’s University in Canada. He has been an investment banker for 30 years: 26 years in a competitive commercial environment, and 4 years in a not-for-profit vehicle that he founded. Together with his wife, Philippa, he has also had extensive involvement, over almost three decades, in the charitable sector, both in domestic welfare and international development. His interests include travel, skiing, rugby and trekking.

Renxun Chen Postdoctoral Scholars

Home InstitutionThe University of New South Wales
Host InstitutionRutgers University
Award NamePostdoctoral Scholarship
DisciplineChemistry (Surface Chemistry)
Award Year2015

Renxun obtained his bachelor degree in Nanotechnology with honours from the University of New South Wales. He continued at UNSW where he completed his PhD under the supervision of Prof Naresh Kumar and Prof Mark Willcox with the support of the National Health and Medical Research Council Dora Lush Postgraduate Scholarship.  In his current role as a postdoctoral fellow as well as in his PhD, Renxun has been working in a cross-disciplinary field encompassing chemistry, material science and microbiology, to develop new antimicrobial coatings to prevent infections on medical devices and implants using novel antimicrobials. His research specifically focuses on the development of antimicrobial chemical coatings on biomaterial surfaces for biomedical devices and implants. The use of biomedical devices and implants such as catheters, stents and contact lenses has resulted in enormous improvements in the quality of life and patient survival rates. However, the development of infection on these devices and implants results in high patient morbidity and mortality, as well as enormous associated medical costs to the community. It was estimated that more than 50% of hospital-acquired infections are biomaterial related. By grafting antimicrobial agents such as novel antimicrobial peptides (synthetic peptide “melimine” and its analogues) and quorum sensing inhibitors such as dihydropyrrolones (DHPs), Renxun has shown that biomaterial infections can be prevented and/or treated. Melimine and DHPs are both Australian inventions and are being developed by Prof Kumar and Prof Willcox in UNSW. These new antimicrobials have unique proposed mechanisms of action which does not readily induce resistance in microbes. This is a significant advantage in their future development.

The results from these projects have been published in high impact journals in the field such as Biomaterials, Biofouling and Acta Biomaterialia. The potent ability of tethered melimine to prevent microbial adhesion and colonisation on biomaterial surfaces were demonstrated. Furthermore, the structure-activity relationship for effective tethering of antimicrobial peptides was found, whereby the cationic portion of antimicrobial peptides has to be exposed to the bacteria for optimal activity. Renxun also demonstrated the link between attachment chemistry, and final activity for peptide-coated surfaces. The significance of these papers is demonstrated by the 28 citations so far. Furthermore, Renxun also demonstrated the use of “click” chemistry to covalently attach DHPs, quorums sensing inhibitors, which acts as an antimicrobial without killing bacteria, onto surfaces. He demonstrated this unique mechanism of action through the use of fluorescence staining and GFP-mutants strains of bacteria.

Building on the work of Prof Kathryn Uhrich’s group at Rutgers University, Renxun’s Fulbright project aims to develop a new dual action drug-releasing polymer that not only prevents the increasingly hard-to-treat microbial infections, but also promotes wound healing and reduces inflammatory response. It is envisaged that this new therapy will become the gold-standard for infection prevention and wound management and revolutionise the biomedical devices industry. The potential outcome of this project is significant for the community as bacterial infection is a growing problem that is worsening due to lack of new treatments and emerging antibiotic resistance.

Dr Simon O’Rourke Postdoctoral Scholars

Inspector Simon ORourke PhD
Home InstitutionWestern Australia Police
Host InstitutionCrisis Leadership Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Award NameFulbright Western Australia Postdoctoral Scholarship
DisciplinePublic Administration
Award Year2017

Simon is a Police Inspector currently assigned to the Counter Terrorism and Emergency Response Command at Western Australia Police. His current role is to develop and prepare senior Police Commanders for the challenges they will face during a major police operation, where they will be required to make critical decisions in a highly complex and fluid environment. His Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholarship will see him attend the Harvard Kennedy School as a visiting Fellow, at the Program on Crisis Leadership.

Simon’s Fulbright project at Harvard University presents a unique opportunity for police to engage with a practitioner focused and internationally renowned centre of excellence in the field of Crisis Leadership. This partnership will identify ways to enhance the professional development of senior police officers, who will fulfil the role of Police Commander during a major incident, including terrorism.

Benjamin Cheah Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionUniversity of New South Wales, Macquarie University
Host InstitutionJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland
Award Name2011 Fulbright NSW Scholarship
DisciplineBiological sciences
Award Year2011

“Motor neurone disease (MND) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease. It involves the progressive death of neurones in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary movement. Sufferers develop profound disability and typically die within three years from onset of muscle weakness.”

Benjamin Cheah, a PhD candidate at the University of New South Wales, is the winner of the 2011 Fulbright New South Wales Scholarship, supported by the NSW Government and NSW universities. Through his Fulbright fellowship, Benjamin will spend twelve months in the Department of Biostatistics, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland conducting statistical research with relevance to MND in the hope of furthering our understanding of this complex disease. “I plan to research MND from angles that are different from what constitutes current, mainstream practise in neuroscience, particularly in Australia,” Benjamin said.

Benjamin will use an emerging technique called functional data  analysis, which will enable scientists and statisticians to extract more information from high-dimensional neurophysiological data than methods currently available. Through this work he will combine his neuroscience background with complex statistics.“Functional data analysis will enable us to capture the complete ‘story’ behind our data.”

“With respect to motor neurone disease, this analysis will enable more information to be extracted from data we have collected in our lab, thereby demonstrating how the disease evolves over time and potentially helping to hasten the discovery of a cure.” “Neuroscience encompasses many different fields, from genetics, imaging, as well as my primary field of neurophysiology. As such, enormous amounts of data are arising from all these new technologies. We need innovative strategies for making sense of all this data.”

Benjamin hopes to establish a neurostatistics group at Neuroscience Research Australia upon returning to Australia. The group will comprise scientists from biomedical and mathematical streams collaborating to revolutionise our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases and break down the barriers to those elusive cures.

Benjamin has a BA in Japanese and BSci (Medicine, First Class Honours) from the University of New South Wales and a Masters of Biostatistics from Macquarie University. He has won various awards and scholarships including a Brain Sciences UNSW PhD scholarship stipend and the 2010 Pfizer Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia Award for Excellence. In his spare time, Benjamin enjoys gardening, listening to music, swimming, jogging and rock-climbing. He is also a St. John’s ambulance first-aid volunteer. The prestigious Fulbright program is the largest educational scholarship of its kind, created by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright and the U.S. Government in 1946. Aimed at promoting mutual understanding through educational exchange, it operates between the U.S. and 155 countries. In Australia, the scholarships are funded by the Australian and U.S. Governments and corporate partners and administered by the Australian-American Fulbright Commission in Canberra. Benjamin is one of 26 talented Australians to be recognised as a Fulbright Scholar in 2011.

Emmet Cleary Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionCalifornia Institute of Technology
Host InstitutionThe University of Adelaide
Award NamePostgraduate Scholarship
DisciplineChemical Engineering
Award Year2012

“Current sources and means of producing energy make it difficult to meet the world’s growing energy needs. Projections indicate that this demand will continue to increase.”

Mr Emmet Cleary, a recent graduate in Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology, has won a Fulbright Scholarship to come to the University of Adelaide for eleven months. Through his Fulbright Emmet will examine a cleaner way to generate energy and will apply it to solid fuels.

“Scientists have made tremendous strides in energy research, finding new and more efficient ways of harvesting energy to meet the increasing demand. Combustion processes are currently used to meet most of our energy needs, and apply broadly to many demand sectors: transportation, industry, commercial and residential buildings, and electricity generation. Although combustion technology is so widely used, it is far from perfect; there is still much room for improvement,” Emmet said.

Emmet’s research will focus on a technique that burns fuels with lower emissions of pollutants, known as moderate or intense low-oxygen dilution (MILD) combustion. His proposed project will study the MILD combustion regime of pulverized coal, an industrially important solid fuel, at the Centre for Energy Technology (CET) at the University of Adelaide.

According to Emmet, while previous studies with this technique have focused on natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas, it is of crucial importance to expand these studies to include solid fuels.

“This burner has been used for studies with sawdust, suggesting the potential for expansion to a broad range of solid fuels. As solid fuels make up the largest fraction of fossil fuels burned on an industrial scale, a better understanding of the MILD combustion of solid fuels is essential to realize the environmental benefits of this unique regime.”

In addition to his BS, Emmet has won a number of undergraduate fellowships. He has represented the U.S. in Irish Dancing, and is also an accomplished pianist.

 

 

Hamish Graham Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionAlice Springs Hospital
Host InstitutionJohns Hopkins School of Public Health
Award NameFulbright Postgraduate Scholarship
DisciplineHealth Policy
Award Year2012

“Child malnutrition is currently one of the world’s most critical public health challenges, affecting nearly one third of children under the age of five around the world in some way and accounting for approximately 10 percent of the world’s burden of disease.”

Dr Hamish Graham, a Paediatric Registrar at Alice Springs Hospital, has won a Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship to spend a year at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He will undertake a Masters of Public Health focussing on health policy measures to reduce childhood malnutrition, a condition that causes one third of the preventable child deaths worldwide.

“Malnutrition is the direct cause of the deaths of three million children under the age of five each year, causing more than one third of deaths in this age group. Despite impressive progress in the reduction of child mortality over recent decades, the progress of improving nutrition has been patchy and slow, currently affecting the majority of children in Asia and Africa and is increasing in many places in these regions,” Hamish said.

The Masters of Public Health is a one year intensive course, with an emphasis on mentoring and career development. It will give Hamish the opportunity not only to acquire essential skills and knowledge in the area of child health and nutrition, but also collaborate and learn from some of the leading experts in this field.

On completion of the Masters in Public Health Hamish intends to pursue further work and research in the area of child health and nutrition, both in Australia and abroad.

“I hope to combine clinical and public health work in a way that enables me to continue contributing to Indigenous health in Australia and also contribute to communities abroad, particularly in Afghanistan.”

Hamish has an MBBS (Hons) from Monash University and a M.SSc (International Development) from RMIT. His achievements include being on the Deans Honour Roll; Jane Connor Memorial Prize in Global Health and four scholarships. He has also coordinated the health program at a Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) refugee hospital in Darfur (Sudan), authored books and journal articles on global health and working abroad, and was founding president of the Global Health Gateway. In his spare time he enjoys music, gardening, writing and sport.

Tracey Steinrucken Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionWestern Sydney University and CSIRO Biosecurity Flagship
Host InstitutionUniversity of California Berkeley
Award NameQueensland State Postgraduate Scholarship
DisciplineBiology (Plant pathology and ecology)
Award Year2015

Tracey is a plant ecologist with a particular interest in invasive plant pathology and molecular biology. Invasive plants have profound economic, environmental and social impacts around the world. Innovative methods to control these weeds are continuously sought to reduce herbicide use and avoid expensive manual removal. Tracey’s research focuses on Parkinsonia aculeata, an invasive thorny tree that was originally introduced from Central America as a garden tree or hedge. Currently covering over 1 million hectares of northern Australia, Parkinsonia impacts heavily on the beef and pastoral industries and native biodiversity.  Over the last decade, farmers and scientists have noticed a phenomenon known as “dieback” or “decline” in some populations. Dieback has reduced the size of these invasive populations, sometimes achieving levels of control that would be impossible or at least very expensive to achieve manually. However the cause of dieback remains unknown and this is where Tracey’s research comes in.

Already making great progress in her PhD, Tracey has narrowed down the cause of Parkinsonia dieback.  By combining field studies with laboratory and molecular methods, she was excited to reveal that there is a significant difference between the microbial communities in dieback-affected Parkinsonia compared to healthy plants in the same area: this is the first step to identifying a potential biological control tool to supplement current management strategies.  Her creative approach to communicating her results saw her representing her university at the Trans-Tasman Three-Minute Thesis competition this year in Perth.

Tracey is a global citizen.  After growing up in South Africa, migrating to Australia, working at a summer-camp in Truckee, CA and studying in Australia and Sweden, she considers travel to be one of her favourite pastimes. Tracey has graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Science from Deakin University in Melbourne and a Master’s in Science from Lund University in Sweden. She did her Honours in Applied Science at RMIT University with a scholarship from the Victoria Department of Environment and Primary Industries.

Tracey found invasion ecology and plant pathology fascinating so she decided to do a PhD along the same lines, enrolling at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University. She is now based in Brisbane with the CSIRO Biosecurity Flagship for the duration of her PhD, and has a research grant from Meat and Livestock Australia. In addition to her research, Tracey is a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology tutor at the University of Queensland.

Tracey is a keen sportswoman, loves wildlife and the outdoors.  She plays soccer and softball for local teams, is a rugby fan, and regularly goes camping, four-wheel driving and hiking. She is a wildlife rehabilitation volunteer, looking after injured and sick native snakes prior to their release.

During her time in the States, Tracey hopes to visit local Parkinsonia field sites in the southern states and California to determine if dieback occurs in North or South American populations or in closely-related species. Working with the Forest Pathology and Mycology Lab at UC Berkeley will allow her access to world-renowned knowledge and experience, particularly in the field of diagnostics. She will investigate dieback in other invasive plant populations in the US to compare the epidemiology and pathology of similar diseases, which will allow for insights into Parkinsonia decline in Australia.

Whilst in the US, she is keen to get involved in Women in Science programs at UC Berkeley, play soccer for a local team and enhance her communication skills by attending and presenting seminars. She also can’t wait to explore the spectacular National Parks in California.

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