2015 Alumni

All Fulbright Scholars | 2015

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Douglas Cochran

Distinguished Chair

Anthony Maeder

Distinguished Chair

Carol Weissert

Distinguished Chair

Scott Chapman

Senior Scholars

Linda Fetters

Senior Scholars

David Lee

Senior Scholars

Ted Lefroy

Senior Scholars

Tim McCormack

Senior Scholars

Kirsten Nielsen

Senior Scholars

Paul Secunda

Senior Scholars

Stuart Tangye

Senior Scholars

Mike Webster

Senior Scholars

Jill White

Senior Scholars

Matthew Crowley

Professional Scholars

Michelle Deshong

Professional Scholars

Robert Fowler

Professional Scholars

Simon Jarman

Professional Scholars

Michael Jensen

Professional Scholars

Adam Lockyer

Professional Scholars

Sean O’Toole

Professional Scholars

Mark Putland

Professional Scholars

Annette Stewart

Professional Scholars

Emma Barrett

Postdoctoral Scholars

Renxun Chen

Postdoctoral Scholars

William Feeney

Postdoctoral Scholars

Gayle Maloney

Postdoctoral Scholars

Stephane Shepherd

Postdoctoral Scholars

Charis Teh

Postdoctoral Scholars

Courtland Adams

Postgraduate Students

Mary Ajamian

Postgraduate Students

Dylan Cronin

Postgraduate Students

Isaac Donnelly

Postgraduate Students

Brian Entler

Postgraduate Students

Joel Fuller

Postgraduate Students

Kathleen Heath

Postgraduate Students

Rachel Heenan

Postgraduate Students

Vale Dr Dean Jarrett

Postgraduate Students

Abby Kelly

Postgraduate Students

Josiah Khor

Postgraduate Students

Matthew Lee

Postgraduate Students

Robert Marshall

Postgraduate Students

Vincent Redhouse

Postgraduate Students

Jana Soares

Postgraduate Students

Tracey Steinrucken

Postgraduate Students

Briony Swire-Thompson

Postgraduate Students

Benjamin Tien

Postgraduate Students

Kathryn Zealand

Postgraduate Students

Douglas Cochran Distinguished Chair

Home InstitutionArizona State University
Host InstitutionDefence Science and Technology Group
Award NameFulbright Distinguished Chair in Advanced Science and Technology, Sponsored by the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group – DSTG
Award Year2015

Doug Cochran holds S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in applied mathematics from Harvard University and degrees in mathematics from MIT and the University of California, San Diego.  Since 1989, he has been on the faculty of the School of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU) and is also affiliated with the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences.  Between 2005 and 2008, he served as Assistant Dean for Research in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU. Between 2000 and 2005, Doug was Program Manager for Mathematics at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and he held a similar position at the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research between 2008 and 2010. Prior to joining the ASU faculty, he was Senior Scientist at BBN Systems and Technologies Inc.

Doug’s research interests are in the mathematical and statistical foundations of remote sensing. He has worked on applications to radar, sonar, medical imaging. He is an award-winning educator and has a long history of professional service, including editorial positions with book series and journals.  He was General Co-Chair of the 1999 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP 2015), Technical Program Co-Chair of the 2015 ICASSP co-founder of the Workshop Defense Signal Processing. He is a classic and vintage motorcycle enthusiast and is planning to conclude his stay in Australia with a solo ride from Adelaide to Perth.

Doug’s Fulbright activity will focus on emerging concepts in radio-frequency remote sensing rather than with particular emphasis on passive methods that rely on opportunistic signals. Australian researchers have leveraged their long history of excellence in remote sensing to establish Australia at the forefront of this developing area. During his Fulbright visit, Doug will collaborate extensively with colleagues in the Defence Science and Technology Group, the University of Queensland, and the Defence Science Institute. He hopes to foster an exchange of ideas that will extend well beyond the Fulbright visit.


Professor Anthony Maeder Distinguished Chair

Home InstitutionWestern Sydney University
Host InstitutionKansas State University
Award NameFulbright-Kansas State University Distinguished Chair in Agriculture and Life Sciences
DisciplineComputer Science (Health IT)
Award Year2015

Anthony is Professor in Health Informatics at Western Sydney University, and was previously Research Director of the CSIRO eHealth Research Centre in Brisbane from 2004. Prior to that, he was Head of the School of Engineering at the University of Ballarat and subsequently at Queensland University of Technology’s School of Electrical and Electronic Systems Engineering. His earlier appointments were at Monash University in the Department of Computer Science, where he undertook his PhD in Software Engineering. Anthony is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia and was the founding President of the Australian Pattern Recognition Society. He is currently chair of the Standards Australia IT-14-12 Telehealth Subcommittee and a member of the IT-14 Health Informatics Committee Australian delegation to ISO/CEN meetings. He was a Board Member of the Health Informatics Society of Australia and their representative on IMIA WG1 (Education) until 2010. Anthony was president of the Australasian Telehealth Society in the period 2010-2012, and joined the Governing Board of the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth in 2013. Anthony holds appointments as Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Information Systems at Rhodes University, and Honorary Professor in the School of Nursing and Public Health at University of KwaZulu-Natal. His research areas related to eHealth and Telehealth include web and mobile computing, data mining, digital image analysis, human factors and human-computer interaction. He is leader of the eHealth Research Group at Western Sydney University, where he founded the Telehealth Research and Innovation Laboratory (THRIL) in 2010.

Anthony’s Fulbright research is titled “Promoting healthy lifestyle in children and adolescents benefits from multiple channels of intervention”. Young people’s affinity for use of mobile devices (like smart phones) and the appeal of social connectivity enabled by this environment offer opportunities for boosting engagement and adherence to more conventional approaches. Anthony’s Fulbright research project will investigate methods to develop purposeful mobile applications to support physical activity and nutrition programmes already underway with KSU collaborators, based on expertise gained in recent comparable programmes at Western Sydney University in Australia. Anthony plans to visit other research groups when presenting public lectures elsewhere in the USA, enabling broader interactions in this area.

Carol Weissert Distinguished Chair

Home InstitutionFlorida State University, Department of Political Science
Host InstitutionFlinders University
Award NameFulbright-Flinders University Distinguished Chair in American Political Science, Sponsored by Flinders University
DisciplinePolitical Science
Award Year2015

Carol’s Ph.D. is from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She was on faculty at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, fourteen years prior to moving to Florida State. At Michigan State, she headed the Institute of Public Policy and Social Research; at Florida State, she heads the LeRoy Collins Institute for Public Policy. She has also served as staff of the premier intergovernmental groups in the United States—the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Carol served as editor of the international journal, Publius: The Journal of Federalism for ten years (2005-2014), and is a fellow at the prestigious National Academy of Public Administration. She is the recipient of the Daniel J. Elazar Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations presented by the American Political Science Association Section on Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations, and also the Donald Stone Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Intergovernmental Relations presented by the Section on Intergovernmental Administration and Management of the American Society for Public Administration. She was president of the Southern Political Science Association in 2008-2010. She serves on the editorial boards of four journals including the American Political Science Review.

Carol’s research is focused on federalism, health politics and policy. She is co-author of a book, Governing Health: The Politics of Health Policy, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, now in its 4th edition. Her academic articles have dealt with health policy, intergovernmental relationships, comparative federalism, state politics, and fiscal federalism.

The topic of cooperation and coordination between federal and state governments is a long-time interest for Carol. As part of her Fulbright research project, she seeks to understand how changes over the past decade in political leadership and partisanship in Australia and the U.S. have altered intergovernmental relations, with a special focus on health policy. She is interested in the impact of hyper partisanship on federal-state relationships and on health policy that results in the U.S. and Australia. Of particular concern is the role of intergovernmental groups in representing states’ interests at the national/commonwealth level.

Scott Cameron Chapman Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionCSIRO Agricultural Flagship and The University of Queensland
Host InstitutionKansas State University
Award NameKansas State University Senior Scholarship
DisciplineAgriculture (Crop Science)
Award Year2015

Agricultural research is a diverse area – from studying soils and microbes through to looking at the DNA of plants. As a crop physiologist, Scott enjoys trying to understand how plants ‘work’. This helps plant breeders to develop better varieties for farmers to grow. His focus is on dryland crops, especially those subject to drought and heat, so he tries to determine how to select crops with the best growth characteristics – how the patterns of growth of leaves, roots and grains are best ‘organised’ over the season to efficiently use light, water and nutrients. The work involves detailed experiments to measure crop growth using basic tools (rulers and knives), and developing and applying new remote sensing methods (cameras, lasers, heat sensors) mounted on ground or aerial robots. Processing these large datasets into useful information is a major activity for Scott, and he then uses this information to build computer models of how plants grow. Just as computer models are essential to the design of new cars and aero planes, they are also useful to describe biology of crops and how they respond to soil and climate conditions. Scott uses historical weather records to predict how plants would have grown over the last 50 years, and this information helps breeders and farmers to know how ’virtual’ crops should perform in any place where we would propose to grow them. These models also allow him to predict how crops should grow in ‘future’ climates.

During Scott’s PhD at The University of Queensland and a short term at the state research department, he developed a great interest in crop physiology and the adaptation of crops. With a four year post-doc at an international centre (CIMMYT) in Mexico, Scott learnt how these research areas could be used to design better crop varieties for farmers, especially in the developing world. Since then he has been based in Australia (for the last 17 years at CSIRO) and has been able to work with researchers and breeders around the world on multiple crops including sunflower, sorghum, sugarcane, maize (corn) and wheat. In that time, there have been great improvements in the opportunities to genetically characterise and manipulate crops. So now, the main limit to breeding better crops is the ability to more rapidly measure how they grow (their phenotype), especially in the field. In recent years, Scott’s work has focused more on using wireless sensors and aerial robots in high-throughput applications to measure these plants and to try to integrate this information into crop models.

Scotts’ Fulbright Scholarship will allow him to undertake new research into how best to characterize wheat plant growth in response to field stress conditions. KSU is located in a low rainfall zone with some of the largest areas of wheat and sorghum production in the USA, the two crops that Scott works on in Australia. Although he has frequently worked with scientists in the region, this study period will help build new collaborations with KSU and other agricultural centres in the US into the future. It will also provide the opportunity to better understand how plant breeding can be used to improve adaptation to drought and heat conditions.

Linda Fetters Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionUniversity of Southern California
Host InstitutionCerebral Palsy Alliance Research Institute
Award NameFulbright Senior Scholarship
DisciplineAllied Health
Award Year2015

Linda earned a BS in Physical Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a MS in Physical Therapy from Boston University and a PhD in Experimental Psychology from Brandeis University. She is Professor and Sykes Family Chair in Pediatric Physical Therapy, Health and Development, Division of Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy and Department of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. She directs the Development of Infant Motor Performance Laboratory where her research focuses on improving the quality of life for infants and children with movement difficulties due to neurological insults including the impact of cerebral palsy, in-utero drug exposure on sensori-motor development and most recently on the coordination of infants born prematurely. She developed very early physical therapy treatments using an innovative computerized mobile paradigm for those infants who are at risk for developing cerebral palsy. Linda teaches development, motor control, pediatric physical therapy and evidence-based physical therapy practice. She is Editor-in-Chief of Pediatric Physical Therapy, the journal of the Section on Pediatrics, American Physical Therapy Association and a member of the Editorial Board of Revista Brasileira De Fisioterapia (Physical Therapy Journal of Brazil). Professor Fetters is co-author of the textbook Evidence for Physical Therapy Practice, published by FA Davis, 2012.

She received the Research Award from the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the Pediatric Section Research Award of the APTA. She served on the Scientific Review Committee of the Foundation for Physical Therapy. Linda is a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the APTA, the highest honor the association bestows upon its members. She has taught and given scientific presentations throughout the United States and Sweden, the Netherlands, Tanzania, Taiwan, Japan and Brazil.

Linda will work with an international team, headed by Professor Iona Novak of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Institute to collaboratively develop an international clinical practice guideline for the identification, assessment and treatment of infants (birth to 2 years) who are at risk for or diagnosed with cerebral palsy. She plans to visit educational programs and clinical environments that serve infants and children who have developmental challenges. This is Linda’s first experience in Australia and she plans to explore the culture, communities and passions of Australia.

David Lee Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionUniversity of Miami
Host InstitutionThe University of Sydney
Award NameFulbright Senior Scholarship
DisciplinePublic Health
Award Year2015

Dr. Lee earned his doctorate in Preventive Medicine and Community Health from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. He has been a member of the faculty of the University of Miami since 1990.
Dr. Lee is a tenured Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences within the Miller School of Medicine. Currently, he is the Project Director of the Florida Cancer Data System Cancer Registry, the Co-Founder and Leader of the University of Miami Mind-Body Medical Workgroup (http://www.umindbody.org), and the Director of the Department of Public Health Sciences Graduate Programs. Dr. Lee is also a member of the National Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Advisory Council at National Institutes of Health.

He has published book chapters and monographs, over 200 peer reviewed journal articles as well as other works and abstracts. Dr. Lee has been involved in the mentoring of students including service on 25 dissertation committees Additionally, students are active members of his research teams contributing to the 50+ student-led publications in leading biomedical journals including the American Journal of Public Health, Preventive Medicine, Cancer, Circulation, Diabetes Care, and the American Journal of Ophthalmology. He is a chronic disease and occupational epidemiologist and has been continuously funded as Principal Investigator on various grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 1993. Dr. Lee’s current research interests include: public health applications of mindfulness practices (e.g., yoga, meditation) for the prevention and management of chronic disease, enhancing the health of the US workforce, population approaches toward the reduction of eye disease, and cancer surveillance and prevention.

Dr. Lee will participate in teaching a seminar course on the intersections of psychology and spiritual/contemplative practices and will mentor students. Drs. Lee and Tiliopoulos will also undertake a cross-cultural assessment of mindfulness practices at the University of Sydney, the University of Miami, and Udayana University, Bali, Indonesia.  Physical and psychological health measures will also be assessed to determine if mindfulness practices correlate with these outcomes. Research findings and student engagement will help to further establish the University of Sydney as a leader in mindfulness research and to inspire students to pursue this field of study.

Ted Lefroy Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionUniversity of Tasmania
Host InstitutionUniversity of Washington
Award NameTasmania State Senior Scholarship
DisciplineEnvironmental Sciences (Natural Resource Management)
Award Year2015

Ted graduated from the University of Western Australia with a degree in agricultural science in 1973. He spent the next 12 years working in agricultural extension and rural development in Queensland and Papua New Guinea. In Papua New Guinea he worked for the North Solomon’s Provincial Government through the Australian Volunteers Abroad program on a project to improve food self-sufficiency on four remote coral atolls. In 1987 he returned to Western Australia to work with watershed groups in a United Nations Man and the Biosphere project to improve environmental management on farmlands surrounding the World Heritage listed Fitzgerald River National Park. He has since held positions in agricultural and environmental research with the Western Australia Department of Agriculture, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Universities of Western Australia and Tasmania. For the last 15 years he has led interdisciplinary research teams working with land managers to solve problems in agriculture, natural resource management and nature conservation.  In 2003 he was awarded a Eureka Prize for research into the potential of the Australian native plant Weeping Rice Grass (Microlaena stipoides) as a perennial grain crop. In 2005 he was appointed Professor of Environment and Director of the Centre for Environment at the University of Tasmania. Since 2006 has led two national research projects Landscape Logic and the Landscapes and Policy Research Hub that brought together ecologists, geographers, economists and social scientists to work with land managers, planners and policy makers on environmental problems in agricultural landscapes and protected areas. This has included management of soil salinity, conservation of threatened species, control of invasive plants and animals, adaptation to climate change, development of alternative crops and adoption of conservation farming methods.

At the University of Washington Ted will conduct research for an illustrated book ‘The Myths of Nature and the Rise of Ecology”. The book will explore the gap between perceptions of nature in popular culture and concepts accepted within the scientific disciplines of ecology and conservation biology. Ted’s contention is that this gap is currently limiting our ability to develop and implement effective environmental policy. He plans to critically test the ideas behind the book with scholars from a wide range of fields including history, sociology, philosophy, ecology and conservation biology. Ted is also keen to learn about research methods used in environmental history and the history and philosophy of science.

Tim McCormack Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionUniversity of Tasmania and The University of Melbourne
Host InstitutionThe U.S. Naval War College. Newport
Award NameSenior Scholarship
DisciplineInternational Law (Law of Armed Conflict)
Award Year2015

Tim was the Foundation Australian Red Cross Professor of International Humanitarian Law (1996-2010) at the Melbourne Law School and also the Foundation Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law (2001-2010) – a collaborative initiative (established 2001) between the Melbourne Law School and The Australian Defence Force Legal Service. He has developed an international reputation for his expertise in International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law. In June 2011 he was appointed by the Government of Israel as one of two international observers for Phase 2 of the Turkel Commission of Enquiry into Israel’s Processes for Investigation of Alleged Violations of International Humanitarian Law. The Final Report of the Commission including its recommendations was presented to Prime Minister Netanyahu in February 2013 in Jerusalem. From 2002 – 2006 he acted as amicus curiae on international law matters to the judges of Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague for the trial of Slobodan Miloševic. From 2003 – 2007 he provided expert International Humanitarian Law advice to Major Mori for the defence of David Hicks. In that capacity Tim travelled to Guántanamo Bay to attend the US Military Commission proceedings against David Hicks in March 2007.

Tim is a member of the international advisory boards of a number of academic institutions in Israel, Germany and Sweden and serves on editorial advisory boards of academic journals in the US, UK, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia. He is co-editor-in-chief with Sir Christopher Greenwood of the International Humanitarian Law Series published by Martinus Nijhoff in Leiden and is also the Correspondents’ Reports Editor for the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law. He is a graduate of the University of Tasmania (LLB Hons – 1982) and of Monash University (PhD – 1990).

Tim will take up the position of Charles H Stockton Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence in the Stockton Center for the Study of International Law at the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island (August 2015 – June 2016) and has also been appointed Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School to teach in the Winter Term (January 2016). His research will focus on responsibility for violations of the law arising from emerging weapons technologies.

Kirsten Nielsen Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionUniversity of Minnesota
Host InstitutionThe University of Queensland
Award NameFulbright Senior Scholarship
Award Year2015

Kirsten obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Purdue University in 1996. She then moved to North Carolina State University where she received a Ph.D. in Botany in 2002 for her work studying the important plant and human fungal pathogen Aspergillus flavus. She then joined the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Heitman at Duke University for her post-doctoral training. Dr. Nielsen joined the faculty in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Minnesota in 2007, where she has established a world-renown research program studying Cryptococcus neoformans, a human pathogenic fungus that kills more AIDS patients in sub-Saharan Africa than any other disease and has mortality rates approaching 70%.

Kirsten has received many academic honors including a National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirchstein National Research Service Award, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Postdoctoral Fellow, an American Society for Microbiology Women’s Career Development Award, and a Bryden Research Award. In addition to her personal accomplishments, Dr. Nielsen’s research endeavors have been recognized by various societies such as the American Society for Cell Biology Novel and Newsworthy Top Pick 2009, the International Society for Human and Animal Mycoses Top Paper 2012, and the International Conference of Human and Animal Mycoses Top Paper 2014. In addition, her manuscripts have been recognized by the Faculty of 1000 (highlights the most interesting papers in biology, based on the recommendations of over 1000 leading scientists) and Nature Reviews, and are commonly highlighted in the scientific literature.

Kirsten’s research interests focus on understanding how fungal pathogen Cryptococcus causes disease in humans, with the goal of developing better treatment strategies that reduce the mortality of this deadly pathogen. As part of her Fulbright research project, Kirsten will work with researchers at the Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre to address the most fundamental and crucial problem regarding this deadly infection: how does Cryptococcus evolve in response to the host environment to survive and cause disease? The answer to this question will impact not only our understanding of Cryptococcus infections, but also many other microorganisms that cause deadly disease in humans.

Kirsten will be travelling to Australia with her husband and daughter who are excited to explore the diverse and unique Australian wildlife and ecosystems.

Paul Secunda Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionMarquette University
Host InstitutionThe University of Melbourne
Award NameFulbright Senior Scholarship
Award Year2015

Over the last decade, Professor Secunda has devoted his scholarly endeavours to a study of how to use employer-based retirement legal schemes to ensure that increasingly aging populations throughout the world have adequate retirement income. In addition to recently being named the chairman of the ERISA (employee benefits) Advisory Council to the United States Department of Labor, to provide reports and recommendations to the U.S. government on workplace retirement and welfare plan issues, Professor Secunda has been recently elected to the U.S. National Academy of Social Insurance in recognition of his innovative work on international and comparative employee benefits law.

With the assistance of the Senior Fulbright Scholarship Award, Professor Secunda is researching, on a comparative legal basis, the Australian Superannuation Guarantee. Super, as it is called in Australia, is considered one of the most successful workplace retirement programs in the world, recently ranked #2 on the basis of sustainability, efficiency, and adequacy. At the invitation of the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law (CELRL) at Melbourne Law School, Professor Secunda is spending six months in 2015 interviewing numerous government officials, Super fund executives and managers, union officers, legal and financial service practitioners, Super peak bodies, and academics, across the country to determine what policy and legal lessons can be gleaned from Super for the United States’ 401(k) workplace retirement scheme. He will also teach a Masters level class on comparative superannuation law at the Melbourne Law School in October 2015.

Professor Secunda plans to present a number of seminars on his Super research at: numerous Australian universities (including at Business, Law, and finance and economics departments), various law firms, and Super funds across the country.  In addition to exploring his home city of Melbourne, Professor Secunda is looking forward to his travels to Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, and Tasmania in furtherance of his Fulbright research.  His plan is to present the findings of his workplace pension research to the United States Department of Labor on his return in January of 2016.Professor Secunda also hopes to use his newly-obtained comparative perspective to develop innovative courses for his law students on his return to North America.

Stuart Tangye Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionGarvan Institute of Medical Research
Host InstitutionRockefeller University
Award NameSenior Scholarship
DisciplineMedical Sciences (Immunodeficiencies)
Award Year2015

Stuart is currently a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funded Principal Research Fellow and Head of the Immunology & Immunodeficiency lab in the Immunology department at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of NSW. He completed his PhD on B-cell leukemia under the supervision of Prof Bob Raison at the University of Technology Sydney in 1995 and then undertook postdoctoral training at the DNAX Research Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology (Palo Alto California, USA; 1996-1999) in the laboratories of Drs Jan de Vries, Joe Phillips and Lewis Lanier. It was during this time that his passion for human immunology, cell biology and immune deficiencies took hold. He returned to Australia in 2000 as a Research Fellow at the University of Sydney to work with Dr Phil Hodgkin at the Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology (The University of Sydney). He established his own independent research lab in 2002, and was recruited to the Garvan Institute in 2006

His research interests focus on the biology of human lymphocytes in health and disease, and elucidating mechanisms whereby defects in signalling, activation and function underlie the development and clinical features of several immunodeficiencies. This is achieved by studying lymphocyte development, signalling, differentiation and effector function in patients with diseases resulting from monogenic loss-of-function mutations in key regulators of immune responses, as well as in corresponding animal models of these human conditions. In the past few years, his lab has made significant contributions to elucidating how these mutations can result in some of the clinical features that are associated with primary immunodeficiencies.

Since 1995, he has published over 115 peer-reviewed research articles and invited reviews and has been funded by research fellowships and grants awarded by the NHMRC, Cancer Council NSW, XLP Research Trust and Association for International Cancer Research (exceeding $38 million total for all funding awards). In 2011, he received the Gottschalk Medal from the Australian Academy of Sciences, which recognises “outstanding research in the medical sciences by scientists no more than 40 years of age”. He is regularly invited to present his latest findings at numerous international immunology conferences. In addition to overseeing his own research lab, he serves as the Deputy Editor of the journal Immunology & Cell Biology, as an Associate Editor of Journal of Immunology and Journal of Clinical Immunology, and an Advisory Editor for the Journal of Experimental Medicine. When he is not at work, he enjoys surfing, cycling, swimming and most of all being a Dad to his three beautiful children!

The goal of the research performed in his lab is to make substantial discoveries in the regulation of normal immune cell function and to understand how defects in these processes cause the clinical features of human immunological diseases such as primary immunodeficiencies. Stuart’s research to date has had significant success in these efforts – but the ultimate outcome will be to see this work have a lasting and substantial effect on human health. This will be achieved by acquiring the skills and know-how required to discover novel disease-causing mutations, and deciphering how these errors in single genes result in human immunological diseases. The guidance and instruction provided by the host lab of Prof Casanova and his team at the St. Giles Laboratory will ensure the success of this endeavor, contributing to long-term interactions between the two labs and collaborative discoveries that result in not only new knowledge but novel approaches to treating patients with primary immunodeficiencies.

Mike Webster Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionCornell University
Host InstitutionThe University of Melbourne
Award NameFulbright Senior Scholarship
Award Year2015

Professor Webster’s research focuses on the social behavior of birds from an evolutionary perspective, particularly focusing on the evolutionary factors that shape sexual signals, like plumage color and song in birds, and how those signals in turn affect the process of speciation. Research in Webster’s lab is integrative and combines intensive fieldwork with genetic and hormonal analyses in the lab, all aimed at unlocking the secret lives of birds and other taxa. Most of this work focuses on New World Warblers and Australian Fairy-wrens, but also includes work on other species as well.

Webster received his B.S. degree from the University of California at San Diego, and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. After a Postdoctoral Position at the University of Chicago, Webster moved to academic appointments at SUNY Buffalo and Washington State University. Currently, he is the Robert G. Engel Professor of Ornithology in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University. Webster is also Director of the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which is the world’s oldest and largest collection of “biodiversity media” (i.e., audio and video recordings of animals in the wild).

Mike has two goals for his period as a Fulbright Scholar in Australia. The first is to establish collaborative research relationships with several Australian researchers to develop a large, multi-investigator comparative study of Australian fairy-wrens. The second is to establish a strong and mutually beneficial working relationship between the Macaulay Library and the Australian National Wildlife Collection, aimed primarily at building a comprehensive collection of audio/video recordings capturing the behavior of Australian animals.

Jill White Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionThe University of Sydney
Host InstitutionUniversity of Pennsylvania
Award NameSenior Scholarship
DisciplineNursing (Health Policy)
Award Year2015

Jill’s interest is in the influence of nursing on health policy. As Dean of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Sydney until recently, Jill has been involved in encouraging greater contribution of nurses to health policy debate and influence. The focus of Jill’s work is to gain a better understanding of the consequences of a global move away from social justice as the underpinning framework for health policy decision-making, to health as an economic good, and the import of this move for nursing and its role in improving health outcomes and patients experiences of health and illness. Jill is a Registered Nurse and Registered Midwife, has a Bachelor and a Master degree in Education, a PhD and is currently completing a Master of Health Policy.

Jill notes that she “fell into nursing and fell in love” – she knew immediately it was what she wanted to be involved in for the rest of her life and she has been fortunate enough for that to have happened. She states that “nursing is one of life’s best kept secrets which is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing in that people’s lack of real understanding of the work enables the nurse to work quietly and supportively to ensure extraordinary experiences are able to be coped with, that the unbearable is able to be helped to become bearable and that people are kept safe in unsafe situations. Expert nursing is often only recognized in its absence; when practiced well the hand of safety and support is virtually invisible. This is good for patients and their families but bad for the general population understanding and respect for what is done by nurses. It results in nurses being dismissed as valuable contributors to broad health care discussions and policy making. The lack of understanding and acknowledgement of this wonderful work is the genesis of all her career choices.”

Jill fought for and was engaged in the pilot programmes of nursing into the higher education sector – necessary in her opinion for understanding and articulating the work of nurses and for producing a research base for practise. She participated in government commissions into nursing and its future as the nominee of the Federal Minister of Health. Jill sought engagement within the universities to gain respect and profile for the profession and took progressively more senior positions to further this goal. She fought for legislative change and ended up as president of the New South Wales nursing and midwifery regulatory body, and with national regulation, as the inaugural chair of the Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council, the largest health professional accreditation council in the country.  Jill speaks on any occasion she believes will make a difference which has led to the joy of giving papers in 28 countries and providing workshops and undertaking projects in 15. Jill has been privileged by having been recognized in the Australian Honours system as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).  She has come to believe in the inseparability of education, research, practice and policy and having fought for 35 years for the former three she is now crusading for the fourth – input into policy.

Jill believes the Fulbright Scholarship will assist her to make this next step of “voice into policy” thus completing the circle in her “quartet of concern” – education, research, practice and policy and providing a sustainable legacy of education and internships to develop articulate policy leaders in nursing. During her Senior Fulbright Jill proposes to work with senior health policy scholars at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), School of Nursing and Wharton Business School, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the World Bank, the American Academy of Nursing and the Institute of Medicine in Washington. Each of these institutions has a major role in either health policy development or in the capacity building of policy skills for senior nurses.

Matthew Crowley Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionDepartment of Commerce, Western Australia State Government
Host InstitutionFederal Trade Commission, Georgetown University
Award NameProfessional Coral Sea Scholarship
DisciplinePublic Law (Regulatory Law)
Award Year2015

Matthew is currently General Counsel within Western Australia’s Department of Commerce, and practises extensively in regulatory law, and consumer protection in particular. Matthew is a lawyer admitted to practise in New York, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, the High Court of Australia, and Victoria, and has appeared as counsel in federal, State, and Territory courts and tribunals across Australia, including the highest State courts. Matthew holds undergraduate degrees with honours in English & History, and in Law, from Monash University in Melbourne, a Master’s degree in law from Monash, and is completing a doctorate in law at the University of Western Australia in Perth, where he is also a Visiting Lecturer from time to time. Matthew’s professional career and interests have been unusually broad, covering taxation, administrative law, customs & trade, family law & child support, employment, criminal law, property & leasing, banking & finance, native title, and ‘law enforcement’, and he has represented at least a dozen federal agencies in court. Matthew is also a reservist Legal Officer with the Royal Australian Navy.

Matthew is particularly interested in regulatory law systems, and in consumer protection regulation and modes of regulatory enforcement. Regulation is now the dominant mode of governance in developed economies, corresponding broadly with a withdrawal of government as provider of goods and services. The incapacity of legislatures to respond effectively to complex market systems has led to the rise and rise of ‘the regulator’. Matthew is also particularly interested in ‘civil penalty’ litigation as a mode of enforcement of regulatory systems. The ‘rediscovered’ civil penalty mode of enforcement, ancient in origin but with modern appeal, is a flexible and efficient tool in the regulator’s toolkit – a hybrid of criminal law-type sanctions and civil procedure – which has seen it being introduced into a wide range of regulatory schemes, which schemes are being introduced more widely. This ‘rediscovery’ in Australia has placed pressure on the courts to develop a consistent jurisprudence across jurisdictions, crystallized by its hybrid nature. In the United States a mature civil penalty jurisprudence already exists, yet many of the similar issues have never been entirely satisfactorily settled, and in fact have turned full circle. The United State’s Federal Trade Commission is arguably the world’s leading and most sophisticated exponent of regulatory law, including in particular consumer law and anti-trust (competition) law, which celebrated its centenary in 2014.

Matthew will be joining the Federal Trade Commission at its headquarters in Washington DC as an International Fellow. This will provide him with an opportunity to examine first-hand one of the world’s leading and most sophisticated regulators at a time in which the Global Financial Crisis has invited considerable public debate in the United States and Australia. This debate about regulators and regulatory systems has also focused on  the actual application of civil penalty litigation in the United States. Matthew will progress his doctoral work, a comparative analysis of civil penalty litigation in Australia and the United States as a Visiting Scholar, and hopes to meet with experts  in New York who preside over some of the biggest civil penalty cases in the world. He also hopes to meet American colleagues interested in cooperating on a forum for United States – Australia comparative law. Matthew can’t wait to share this experience with his fiancée and young family.

Michelle Deshong Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionJames Cook University
Host InstitutionUniversity of Arizona
Award NameProfessional Indigenous Scholarship (Sponsored by the Australian Government, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet)
DisciplinePolitical Science (Comparative Politics / Indigenous Studies)
Award Year2015

Michelle grew up in the Townsville region of North Queensland and is a mother of 3 children.  She has worked in both the government and NGO sectors as a senior manager and held prominent senior leadership roles.  From 2001-2010 Michelle was the Executive Director of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre and in 2001 she was awarded ACT Aboriginal Person of the year.  She has also held a number of community advocacy roles such as the co-chair of the Canberra Bushfire Recovery Appeal, Chair of Midtha Goothilans Indigenous women’s network in Townsville and was appointed to the Queensland Justice Taskforce in 2012. She is currently a Director of the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service and Fair Agenda.

She has been an Australian NGO representative (representing Indigenous women) at the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) negotiations and the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations over a number of years.  This work has prompted her interest in further research and development of gender equality principles and domestic policy development.   She is a strong advocate for Indigenous women and human rights with a background in gender equality work and research that ensures the voices of Indigenous women are represented at all levels.

Michelle has completed a BA Honours (First Class) in Political Science and Indigenous studies at James Cook University and she is now in her final stages of a PhD on ‘enabling the participation of Aboriginal Women in public and political life in Australia’.  Michelle has received a University Medal and Dean’s List award from James Cook University.  She was awarded the Runner Up in the 2012 Queensland Rural Woman of the Year and in 2013 Michelle was named in the Australian Financial Review/Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards.

She is also a Fellow with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and an accredited trainer and facilitator in Leadership, Politics and Governance fields. Michelle is passionate about working with Indigenous women and in particular runs a range of Indigenous women’s leadership programs across the country to empower and engage women in capacity building.

Michelle will be working collaboratively with the Udall Center and Native Nations Institute to undertake a comparative analysis on First Nations women in governance roles.  This will include the completion of an Indigenous Governance program at the University of Arizona.  She will be working to identify best practice and key principles that contribute to effective nation building and link to areas of self-determination and decision making as underpinned by the Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Michelle is eager to learn from an international gendered perspective on tribal leadership, native nations development and educational services between CANZUS countries. Michelle wants to enhance the capacity to engage broadly and increase Indigenous knowledge and apply these principles to an Australian context. Importantly the relationships established as part of the collaboration will lead to the development of new tools and resources to engage Indigenous women in areas of leadership and governance in Australia.

Robert Fowler Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionUniversity of South Australia
Host InstitutionGeorge Washington University
Award NameProfessional Scholarship in Climate Change and Clean Energy (Sponsored by the Australian and U.S. Governments
DisciplineLaw (Environmental Law)
Award Year2015

Rob is an Adjunct Law Professor at the University of South Australia, where he continues to teach and research in the field of environmental law after a career spanning almost forty years. In the course of his career, he has served in a number of leadership roles, including as co-founder and co-director of the Australian Centre for Environmental Law; Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Adelaide; Project Leader for an AUSAID judicial training programme on Indonesian environmental law and enforcement; and as a Program Leader for a Cooperative Research Centre on site contamination (CRC CARE) at the University of South Australia.

Rob held a Chair in International Environmental Law at the University of South Australia until 2008, when he decided to pursue other activities. In particular, he served for five years until 2013 as Chair of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, a global network of over 170 law schools involved in the field of environmental law. For the past three years, he has also been a member of the Board of the South Australian Environment Protection Authority. Alongside these professional activities, Rob has given voluntary service over many years to a number of non-government organisations, including the Australian Conservation Council, the Environmental Defenders Office (SA), the Conservation Council of South Australia, the Places You Love Alliance and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Rob’s research and writing has focused on various aspects of environmental law, including environmental impact assessment, soils and land degradation, biodiversity conservation and climate change. Alongside these specific areas, he has had a long-standing interest in the nature of environmental federalism, in particular the question of what is the appropriate role of the Federal government in environmental matters and how this role can be pursued to the greatest effect. He has just commenced writing a book on federal environmental law and policy that will explore this issue in greater detail. His proposed research in the United States will focus on environmental federalism generally and its application to climate change and clean energy specifically. Given current efforts by the US Environment Protection Agency to develop a Clean Power Plan that will rely considerably on state agencies for its implementation, this research could provide useful insights for Australia as it seeks to develop new approaches to climate mitigation and also engages in a wider reflection upon the appropriate role of the Federal government in relation to the environment.

Rob’s personal interests include sport, music, bush-walking, reading, wine collection and gardening. For many years, he was a passionate tennis player but has converted more recently to golf – applying himself with an equal dedication but considerably more frustration. He loves to attend live music performances of all kinds and is especially proud that his two youngest daughters have formed a band that performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2014. Rob also loves to travel and enjoys reading travel writers with a cultural perspective (such as Newby, Chatwin, Thesiger and Theroux) for relaxation.

Rob will investigate from a US perspective how the federal government collaborates with other levels of government (state, regional, local) to manage environmental challenges, with a particular focus on climate change and clean energy. His research will involve collaboration with some of the leading environmental law scholars in the USA who are based in or near Washington DC, and also consultations with senior administrators within the various levels of government for their perspectives on this subject. He looks forward to building a network of scholars interested in future collaboration from a comparative perspective on Australian and US approaches to environmental federalism.

Simon Jarman Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionAustralian Antarctic Division, Australian Government Department of the Environment
Host InstitutionCenter for Coastal Studies, Provincetown
Award NameProfessional Scholarship
DisciplineBiology (Genetics)
Award Year2015

Simon’s main current research interest is the development of genetic methods to study age in animals. The processes driving ageing at the molecular level have become far better understood in the last few years. The most significant change in the understanding of molecular ageing is the recognition that the process of ageing is not just the accumulation of damage, but also includes aspects that are part of a genetic program. The programmed aspects of ageing involve control of gene expression through epigenetic changes such as DNA methylation and expression of regulatory microRNAs. His research on whale age estimation has focused on changes in methylation of specific parts of whale DNA that can be measured in DNA purified from small skin samples to provide an estimate of the age of a whale.

Simon trained as a geneticist at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland where he first learnt about epigenetics and molecular ageing. He then moved back to Australia and pursued some short research projects at the Australian National University and the University of Adelaide on developmental genetics, the first part of the ageing process. He then moved to the University of Tasmania to research of the evolutionary genetics of Antarctic krill as a PhD project. After completing his PhD he worked for the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation’s (CSIRO) marine research division for a year on developing methods to study population genetics in a diverse range of marine animal species. During this time he developed ideas for studying animal diet from the DNA of animals and plants that survive digestion and can then be detected in stomach contents or scats of an animal. This approach allows the diet of animals like whales or penguins to be studied without harming them. He persuaded the Australian Antarctic Division to employ him to develop these methods for studying the diet of whales. This work was successful and Simon continues to work in this organisation with a team of fellow scientists using DNA-based methods to study the diet of many Antarctic animals such as penguins, Antarctic krill, seals and whales. The success of the application of DNA-based approaches to studying animal diet led to consideration of other features of animal ecology that could be studied with molecular methods such as genetic estimation of animal age.

Simon is lucky to live in the Australian island state of Tasmania, which has large wild areas of coast, rivers and small mountains. He enjoys exploring this island by sea kayak, packraft, bicycle, skis and on foot. Simon has built most of the house in which he lives and hopes to complete this project sometime in the middle of the century.

Simon’s Fulbright scholarship will allow him to work with whale ecologist Dr Jooke Robbins on the applications of population age structure information in whale ecology. Dr Robbins works on the population of humpback whales in the Gulf of Maine. This population has been studied for many years and contains the largest number of whales that have a known age from being recognised visually when less than one year old, and re-sighted in subsequent years. Samples from these known-age whales were essential for calibrating DNA-based methods for age estimation. Commercial harvesting of the Gulf of Maine humpback whales ceased in the early 1900s, whereas the east coast Australian whale fishery was still operating until 1962, which is within the 95 year lifespan of humpback whales. The reearch will compare the population age structures found in both areas and relate the modern day age structures to differences in past whaling history.

This work will also provide a foundation for application of genetic methods for age estimation in other animal species. Simon intends to develop similar genetic age estimation methods for other long-lived wild animals such as albatross and penguins and to use the age information for population status monitoring.

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
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.

Adam Lockyer Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionMacquarie University
Host InstitutionGeorgetown University
Award NameProfessional Scholarship in Australia-United States Alliance Studies (Sponsored by the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
DisciplineInternational Relations (US-Australian Alliance)
Award Year2015

Before joining the Department of Policing and Counter Terrorism (PICT), Adam was a Research Fellow in Defence Studies at the University of New South Wales. He has also held positions at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in Washington, DC, and was the Lowy Institute’s 2008 Thawley Scholarship in International Security winner. He also spent four years serving in the Australian Army.

Adam has published widely on issues relating to Australian defence strategy, US defence and foreign policy, post-conflict reconstruction, governance and insurgency. His article titled “The Logic of Interoperability: Australia’s Acquisition of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter” won the SAGE Award for the best international contribution to a Canadian academic journal in 2013. His article entitled “Evaluating Civil Development in Counterinsurgency Operations” won the prestigious Boyer Prize for best original article published in the Australian Journal of International Affairs in 2012.

The Fulbright Scholarship in Australia-United States Alliance Studies will provide Adam with an opportunity to pursue his research on the future of the alliance in the Indo-Pacific Arc region. The Indo-Pacific Arc is vital to both Australia and the United States. As such, at first glance, it would seem an ideal area for enhanced security cooperation. However, despite many voices of optimism, there are reasons to suspect that cooperation between the allies will be more challenging in the Indo-Pacific Arc than many assume. Australia and the United States have their own unique bilateral relations with many of the countries that constitute the Indo-Pacific Arc, including Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. Adams research examines the compatibility of US and Australian aims in the region within the context of their own diplomatic histories. Adam hopes his research will eventually inform both an article and chapter in his larger project on Australian defence strategy.

Sean O’Toole Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionNSW Department of Family and Community Services
Host InstitutionUniversity at Albany, State University of New York
Award NameProfessional Scholarship in Vocational Education and Training (Sponsored by the Australian Government, Department of Education and Training)
DisciplineEducation (Australian Aboriginal Education)
Award Year2015

Sean grew up on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, coming from a small regional centre Sean was eager to broaden his view of the world.  He saw a continuing commitment to tertiary education throughout his life as an important part of that journey.

After finishing his first degree at Charles Sturt University, Sean returned to Port Stephens where he had grown up and took a job as a journalist on the local newspaper. Sean was able to use this experience to provide a platform for local environmental and social causes. This also kindled an interest in local Aboriginal people and he published a range of stories highlighting the Aboriginal culture of the area.

Later that year, Sean joined the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and worked as a detective in the Sydney office.  A strong driver in this role was his sense of justice and the great satisfaction that Sean drew from being able to assist victims of crime. While Sean was in the AFP he obtained a Master of Arts degree from the University of New South Wales. Sean’s major was Australian studies and this included an historical analysis of Aboriginal people and culture which opened his eyes to the plight of Indigenous Australians and the terrible dislocation and disparities they faced.

In 1993 Sean took on a policy analyst role in the NSW Ministry for Police and then went on to work as a senior policy analyst for NSW Corrective Services. During this time he began working part-time at night as a teacher for TAFE and gained formal VET qualifications in adult education. NSW Corrective Services has a large training academy, and in 1997 Sean accepted a role running the professional development team. Sean obtained a Masters in Education and moved into a range of leadership roles over the next nine years. He ultimately became Academy Director.

In 2006, Sean was appointed Director Learning & Development with the NSW Department of Community Services. Eventually, this department was amalgamated with several others to form Family and Community Services – effectively the social justice arm of government.  He became Director Learning & Development for this larger department, which is still his role today.

Over the past decade Sean has had five books published, studied at Harvard University, won a Churchill Fellowship and become an accredited executive coach. Sean has also had a platform in this role for his writing and has been fortunate to have had a wide range of his work experiences both published and presented as conference papers.

Aboriginal children and families are grossly over-represented as clients of the human services system in all Australian States and in many international jurisdictions where there are significant indigenous populations, including the USA. Over the past decade, Sean has been part of a process of developing the capabilities and building the career paths of Aboriginal staff in the human services sector in NSW as a means of addressing some of this imbalance.

An understanding of cultural differences is at the heart of good organisational education and career development programs that have a meaningful impact on indigenous employees. Sean’s project aims to strengthen the capability and career options for Aboriginal people working in the human services sector. It builds on best practices in learning approaches and career development programs delivered via the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) for indigenous people working in the social welfare context in the United States.

Detailed research into the success factors for the NCWWI’s programs can be leveraged to enhance career development opportunities for Aboriginal Australians in human services. Furthermore, in the course of conducting this research and working collaboratively with the NCWWI, Sean believes there will be multiple opportunities to share insights, which will benefit practitioners in this field in both countries.

Mark Putland Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionBendigo Health Care Group and Monash University
Host InstitutionThe Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Trauma Ward
Award NameProfessional Scholarship
DisciplinePublic Health (Regional Systems of Trauma Care)
Award Year2015

Mark graduated from Melbourne University Medical School in 1998 and became a Fellow of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine in 2007. His emergency medicine training was predominantly completed at The Western Hospital Footscray, in Melbourne’s western suburbs. He also spent time at The Royal Children’s Hospital, The Alfred Hospital and with Careflight Queensland. For the past seven years he has been an emergency physician at Bendigo Health in central Victoria and has shared the role of Co-Director of Emergency Medicine Training there for the past four years. In that time he has also worked part-time for the state critical care retrieval service coordinating and carrying out the retrieval of critically ill patients from rural areas to the city and in private and public urban emergency departments.

Mark is interested in the way well constructed systems allow talented people to do extraordinary things. Working as a director of training he has been passionate about building an educational environment at Bendigo to best bring out the talents of his trainees. Working in public and private, rural and urban EDs and for the state retrieval coordination service he has developed a broader interest in health care systems and the way they can be structured to make the most of the talents and resources available. He is particularly passionate about building capacity in rural and regional areas, having been part of a team that has built a successful and highly functioning emergency department and sought-after medical training hub in a hospital that only recently struggled to find medical staff year by year.

Mark will travel to several US states to examine the ways in which the concept of a “model trauma system” has been implemented to suit local needs. He will focus on identifying the features which are successful in some jurisdictions but absent in others.  In this way he will gain a perspective that can inform the further evolution of Victoria’s very successful trauma system. He hopes to bring back knowledge that could be applied in other Australian states and in other countries that are looking to develop their emergency care systems. Following his research term in the US, Mark will take up a sabbatical position at the National Trauma Research Institute at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne where he aims to consolidate his work on the project.

Annette Stewart Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionBush Heritage Australia
Host InstitutionConservation Measures Partnership
Award NameProfessional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership (Sponsored by Origin Foundation and Supported by Australian Scholarships Foundation)
DisciplineBusiness (Project Management)
Award Year2015

Annette’s career has spanned a wide range of roles in three very different industries – starting in Information Technology, then Financial Services, and now in the not-for-profit world of Conservation. Through these roles she has built a broad skills base covering systems development, business planning, strategy development, and business process improvement. This on-the-job experience has been augmented with broader insights from academic learning; Annette has a Masters of Business Administration from Macquarie University, and a Masters of Environmental Management & Restoration from Charles Sturt University.

Annette’s particular interest in all roles has been to analyse how a business operates and then identify opportunities to improve efficiency and effectiveness. In the commercial world this is an accepted and fundamental activity that leads to improved profitability. In the not-for-profit world, there is rarely the opportunity for capacity-building activities such as these, and yet continual efficiency and effectiveness improvements are critical for ensuring that donors’ funds are used wisely.

In recent years Annette’s role at Bush Heritage Australia has provided the opportunity to leverage her skills in a field that she is passionate about – protecting Australia’s plants and animals for future generations.  In collaboration with her colleagues, she has been able to make significant improvements in the way they plan, implement and monitor their conservation work. Annette has also found innovative ways to connect their conservation projects and information into their other core business processes of financial management, people management, and fundraising.  The result has been a significant improvement in the way they manage the business of conservation.

Through this work Annette has had the opportunity to collaborate with people in conservation groups around the world who are working on similar endeavours; these people have been inspirational in showing what can be achieved by smart, committed people working with very limited resources.  She has greatly benefited from the experiences of others, and is keen to give something back.

Annette is fortunate in that her professional work fits easily alongside her personal passion of protecting the planet for future generations.   Outside of work she enjoys travelling to wild and remote places, to observe wildlife going about its daily life far from the influences of human activity.   These opportunities are increasingly rare, which motivates her to work towards solutions that allow for a happy co-existence amongst all living creatures.   Beyond work and travel, Annette spends her time bushwalking, photographing landscapes and wildlife, and being inspired by creative people in many areas of the arts.  Watching sports of all sorts has created and sustains many valued friendships.

The privilege of receiving a Fulbright Scholarship gives Annette the opportunity to work closely with the Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP), which is an active consortium of leading conservation organizations, agencies and funders in the US. The CMP brings together its members to share experiences and conduct research to improve the practice of conservation. This work is encapsulated in the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation, a series of best practices for designing, managing, monitoring, and learning from conservation work, along with some supporting software, Miradi.

Annette’s Fulbright project aims to develop a series of case studies. These case studies will help to demonstrate to the senior leadership of conservation and donor organizations the benefits obtained through systematic project planning and implementation, and the resultant improvements to business efficiency and effectiveness. The case studies will also highlight the barriers faced by organisations, providing a focus for further work to address these issues.

Annette is hoping that she will be able to develop new insights to empower conservation organisations around the world to achieve better protection for the world’s wildlife and landscapes.

Emma Barrett Postdoctoral Scholars

Home InstitutionThe University of New South Wales
Host InstitutionMedical University of South Carolina
Award NameNew South Wales State Postdoctoral Scholarship
DisciplinePsychology (Addiction Prevention and Treatment)
Award Year2015

Emma grew up with her family in the grounds of the scenic Gladesville Psychiatric Hospital, established in 1838, on the Parramatta River in Sydney, Australia. Inspired by her mothers work there as a psychiatrist, Emma pursued a career in Psychology with a keen interest in the treatment of psychological trauma. During her Masters degree in Forensic Psychology she worked with a number of individuals within prison settings, most of whom had experienced serious trauma (often in their childhood) and were suffering from anxiety or depression, and substance misuse. It was at this time when Emma recognised an ever-growing need for psychological treatments to address both mental health and substance use disorders in an integrated fashion.

Emma completed her PhD at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales. Combining her clinical and research skills, she worked on a world-first randomised controlled trial of an integrated treatment for adults with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorder. During her PhD candidature, Emma recognised the alarmingly high rates of childhood trauma among individuals with PTSD and substance use disorder and that these comorbid (i.e. co-occurring) disorders tended to develop during adolescence. These individuals, however, did not receive any treatment until much later in life, if at all. By adulthood the disorders and related harms were well established and it was clear that the chronic disability associated with the conditions may be reduced with effective early intervention. With a view to pursuing research in this area, Emma sought to improve her knowledge and skills in adolescent mental health at the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance. She was successful in obtaining a competitive Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Centre and her passion for research into mental health and substance use comorbidity has continued to thrive.

To date, Emma’s research has contributed significantly to improving the understanding of comorbid PTSD and substance use and the related harms. She has published articles in leading peer-reviewed journals and her research has received national and international recognition at over 60 major scientific conferences. Most notably, in 2014 she was awarded the College of Problems on Drug Dependence (CPDD) Early Career Travel Award to present her research on mental health and substance use outcomes associated with child trauma at the CPDD Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico. In recognition of the quality and significance of her research, Emma has received a total of 15 travel grants and awards for scientific excellence. Emma is delighted to be awarded the Fulbright Scholarship as it will provide her with an unparalleled opportunity to work closely with leading comorbidity experts in the US to increase her knowledge and clinical skills, and to improve treatment options for individuals exposed to trauma.

During her time on a Fulbright Scholarship at the Medical University of South Carolina, Emma aims to develop and test an integrated psychological treatment for co-occurring traumatic stress and substance use among adolescents. She will work closely with international experts in this area to share knowledge, advance clinical research and foster strong, long-lasting research collaborations. Given the severe and chronic mental health consequences associated with trauma, research on the development of effective, theory-driven treatments for adolescents is of paramount public health importance. Upon her return to Australia, Emma will share her experiences and new knowledge, maintain the cross-national collaborations, and will strive to become a recognised leader in comorbidity research.

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.

William Feeney Postdoctoral Scholars

Home InstitutionThe University of Queensland
Host InstitutionUniversity of Delaware and University of California, Berkeley
Award NamePostdoctoral Scholarship
DisciplineEnvironmental Sciences (Evolutionary Biology)
Award Year2015

William Feeney is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland. He completed his PhD at the Australian National University, and held an Endeavour Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Cambridge. His research focuses on the ecology and evolution of competitive interactions between species, and how these interactions affect biological diversity. He will work with Dr Danielle Dixson at the School of Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology, from January 2016 to October 2016.

His research will focus on mutualistic interactions between coral reef fishes. In particular, he will investigate whether interspecies mutualisms predict resilience to a changing environment.

“While competitive interactions are relatively well studied, and tend to generate biological diversity, mutualistic interactions are generally less well studied, but seem to conserve diversity. Coral reefs are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and this project will investigate whether mutualistic interactions will help the involved species cope with their changing environment.”

Whilst at the Georgia Institute of Technology William will study if mutualistic interactions between species confer resilience or vulnerability in a changing environment, which continues on from his work at the University of Queensland.

Gayle Maloney Postdoctoral Scholars

Home InstitutionPsychological Wellness Centre
Host InstitutionYale University
Award NameWestern Australia State Postdoctoral Scholarship
DisciplinePsychology (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
Award Year2015

Gayle is the founder and principal Clinical Psychologist at the Psychological Wellness Centre, a private practice formed in 2006. The practice is comprised of a team of Clinical Psychologists dedicated to providing best practice by matching client’s presenting issues with the most appropriate Clinical Psychologist based on their different areas of special interest, experience and therapeutic approach.

Gayle has worked as a Clinical Psychologist for the past 15 years since graduating with the masters prize in psychology from Curtin University in 2000. Gayle holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) with first class honours; a Masters degree in Psychology (Clinical); and a Ph.D. She is a member of the Australian Clinical Psychology Association and the International OCD Foundation.

Gayle has gained extensive clinical experience working with adult clients and multi-disciplinary clinical teams in diverse environments including Western Australia’s largest public and private hospitals. Gayle has training in a range of psychotherapeutic approaches including cognitive-behavioural therapy, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, schema therapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy.

Gayle’s clinical work is predominantly in the area of providing psychological treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), perfectionism and anxiety. Gayle also provides clinical supervision and training in psychological therapy to other mental health professionals.

Through her clinical work Gayle became fascinated by the more complex causes of OCD and elected to undertake further research in this area, while continuing to work in her private practice. Gayle was the recipient of an Australian Postgraduate Award to complete a PhD during 2007-2011 that investigated the salient aetiological factors in the development of unrelenting levels of perfectionism, which is a known factor associated with OCD. In particular she examined how parental bonding and temperament interact to form specific core beliefs that contribute to the development of perfectionism. Gayle has presented her research at national and international conferences.

In addition to practicing evidence-based psychological therapy for OCD, Gayle’s research interests are concurrently focused on the development of adjunct psychological treatment strategies for OCD sufferers whose symptoms do not adequately respond to existing available psychotherapeutic approaches and medications. Gayle believes that the process of achieving successful treatment outcomes often requires drawing on knowledge from multidisciplinary teams, and a variety of therapeutic approaches to develop optimised treatment methodologies.

As a Fulbright scholar, Gayle will collaborate on a research program with one of the leading experts in OCD, A/Professor Christopher Pittenger at the Yale OCD Research clinic, during July-November 2015. The Yale clinic has a 25-year history of groundbreaking advances in the understanding and treatment of OCD. In particular, they will work together on combining an adjunct clinical component with established treatments whilst utilising Yale’s neuroimaging technology, in order to expand the scientific evidence base for new OCD treatments.  Gayle will have the opportunity to learn about aetiology and treatment from a wide breadth of disciplines through observing research trials that seek to advance the field’s understanding and treatment of the disorder. Gayle will also complete advanced-level courses on OCD and related treatments, at training facilities only available in the U.S.

Through pursuing research areas that combine Gayle’s clinical experience with OCD sufferers with the biological and neuroimaging expertise at the Yale OCD Research Clinic, the collaboration seeks to foster mutual enrichment of knowledge between Australia and the U.S. to inform further research, and develop desperately needed new adjunct treatments in the field of OCD.

Based on additional knowledge gained in the U.S., Gayle will provide training to the Clinical Psychologists working at the Psychological Wellness Centre, and make available professional development webinars and workshops for Clinical Psychologists and Psychiatrists in the broader Australian profession involved in the treatment of OCD.

By far the most important area to disseminate the findings of the Fulbright scholarship is to the sufferers of OCD and their families. Hence, Gayle plans to open the ‘Perth OCD and Anxiety Clinic’ in 2016, which will be comprised of a team of experienced Clinical Psychologists with a special interest in the treatment of OCD. The clinic will also provide ongoing advanced professional development opportunities in the field of OCD psychological treatment.

Stephane Shepherd Postdoctoral Scholars

Home InstitutionSwinburne University
Host InstitutionUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of California Los Angeles
Award NamePostdoctoral Scholarship in Cultural Competence (Sponsored by the National Centre for Cultural Competence at the University of Sydney)
DisciplinePsychology (Criminology)
Award Year2015

Stephane developed an acute interest in the theoretical underpinnings of criminal behavior in his youth. Naturally this curiosity steered Stephane to scholarly pursuits in order to nurture his burgeoning interest in the processes of the criminal justice system. He completed his BA in Criminology from Monash University in 2005. Unperturbed (at the time) by his ever expanding higher education student loan, Stephane continued with his studies and obtained a Master of Communications in 2007, also from Monash University. In keeping with his interest in Criminology, Stephane’s Masters dissertation canvassed the literature on media representations and public perceptions of extreme youth violence. In 2010 Stephane received a PhD scholarship from Monash University in Forensic Psychology. His thesis investigated the cross-cultural validity of adolescent violence risk assessment instruments for Australian young offenders in custody. Stephane received his doctorate from Monash University in 2013 and has since worked as a postdoctoral research fellow and lecturer at the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science at Swinburne University. In the short period of time that Stephane has been involved in academia, he has established himself as an emerging expert in multicultural violence risk assessment, Aboriginal/policing relations and risk factors for violence across ethnicity. He teaches at the Undergraduate, Masters and Doctoral levels and frequently gives guest lectures and instructional presentations on multicultural issues in forensic psychology and criminology. Stephane has written a variety of scientific peer reviewed publications on cross-cultural risk assessment, risk factors for violence across ethnicity and gender, policing and mental health. He conducted the first published review on violence risk assessment in Australian Aboriginal populations. He is currently a member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology, Freemasons Scientific Advisory Committee and Mensa.

Stephane has a strong interest in the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people in contact with the justice system. He stresses the urgency of expanding cultural competency research to the forensic field which will inform the development of culturally informed therapeutic initiatives for Aboriginal offenders. Promoting culturally competent service delivery is particularly important in the justice context given the higher socio-economic and psychosocial needs of the clients. This is of particular significance for Aboriginal people who are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. Stephane has expressed caution over generalizing initiatives based on general risk factors for offending to Aboriginal people, who may have unique cultural determinants that increase or decrease the risk of engaging in criminal behaviour. Specifically, scant attention has been paid to Aboriginal notions of mental health, conceptualized as Social and Emotional Wellbeing, and how this may affect the mitigation of offending. To address these concerns, Stephane will collaborate with Psychology and Tribal Law and Native Policy scholars from UCLA, the University of Arizona and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to ascertain the effects of cultural engagement on criminal desistance. The work will help identify the level of the unmet mental health needs of Aboriginal prisoners and existing gaps in culturally oriented service delivery.

This scholarship presents a unique trans-national opportunity to explore the relationship between cultural engagement and desistance from crime for Aboriginal people in custody. The project is in a strong position to address national and local initiatives to improve Aboriginal health outcomes and specifically the health outcomes of Aboriginal offenders through its commitment to improving cultural competency in the forensic mental health field and finally building international collaborative partnerships with research organizations committed to practical cross-cultural outcomes. Furthermore, this research has the potential to develop industry and government partnerships with Aboriginal communities, to inform policy and tertiary education programs. There will also be a stronger focus on working as a culturally informed practitioner within the forensic mental health disciplines.

Charis Teh Postdoctoral Scholars

Home InstitutionThe Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Host InstitutionStanford University
Award NameVictoria State Postdoctoral Scholarship
DisciplineBiology (Immunology)
Award Year2015

Charis is a medical researcher at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) in Melbourne, Australia. She holds an Early Career Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia to pursue her studies into how the body’s immune system behaves normally in health and abnormally during diseases, such as cancer or autoimmunity. Charis received a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from the Australian National University in 2007, Master in Public Health from University of Sydney in 2014 and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in immunology and genetics from the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University in 2012. During her PhD, she uncovered a new mechanism that prevents the immune system from attacking components of our own body, which would otherwise result in an autoimmune disease (e.g. diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis). Upon completion of her PhD, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Daniel Gray at WEHI in 2013. She is currently channelling her efforts to understand how the balance of survival and death signals can control different immune cells and how this can be harnessed for treatment of autoimmunity and cancer. Her long-term career goal is to make a real impact on improving the health of mankind as a researcher in the field of immunology and cancer.

For her Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship, she will work in the laboratory of Professor Garry Nolan at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University. The project will utilize a new cutting-edge technology (called a mass cytometer or CyTOF) to investigate the survival and death switches in blood cells isolated from healthy donors and cancer patients. She will design a unique suite of over 30 probes for cell survival and cell death that can be simultaneously detected in blood cells by the CyTOF technology. This high-throughput detection of 30 parameters in parallel is not currently possible at any institutions in Victoria and represents a leading edge new technique. She will use the probes designed to measure the cell survival and death signature in healthy donors and in cancer patients, before and after treatment with cancer drugs currently in clinical trials. The results will shed light on the specific action of the cancer drug on life/death of cancerous blood cells, and may reveal new approaches for combinatorial therapies that will enhance the elimination of cancer cells.

Besides working in the laboratory, Charis also enjoys travelling and has visited more than 20 countries. Her travels have opened her eyes to how the rest of the world lives, allowed her to experience new cultures and try the local cuisines. She is also passionate in influencing society to lead a more active life because she strongly believes that medical advances need to be coupled with increasing awareness/education about what every individual can do to maintain their bodies in optimal condition. She has found a unique avenue to do so as a Les Mills Group Fitness Sh’bam and Body Jam Instructor.

Charis sees the Fulbright Scholarship as an invaluable technology transfer opportunity and it will enable her to pursue her studies into how the body’s immune system behaves normally in health and abnormally during diseases, such as cancer or autoimmunity. The project will utilize a new cutting-edge technology (called a mass cytometer or CyTOF) to investigate the survival and death switches in blood cells isolated from healthy donors and cancer patients at the Nolan Laboratory at Stanford University (pioneers in the ground-breaking mass cytometry technology). She hopes to have gained comprehensive training on how to design experiments, run, maintain, operate and analyse the high content data obtained. This collaboration will maximize the use of this complex technology, which is still in its infancy stage in Australia. This project will also build a strong partnership and a long-standing collaboration between her institute (WEHI) and Stanford University.

Courtland Adams Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionUnited States Military Academy
Host InstitutionThe University of Melbourne
Award NameFulbright Postgraduate Scholarship
DisciplineEnvironmental Studies
Award Year2015

Court is a U.S. Army Officer and recent graduate of the United States Military Academy where he graduated first in his class with a Bachelor of Science in environmental science. As a Cadet, Court was the captain of the Men’s Varsity Rowing Team and was awarded the 306th Infantry Award for achieving the highest aggregate fitness scores over four years. Court is also the recipient of numerous foreign military awards including the completion of Brazilian Mountain Warfare School, which he accomplished while studying abroad for six months at Brazil’s Military Engineering Institute. In August 2015, Court was nominated to participate in the Australian-American Young Leaders Dialogue and was the youngest delegate in the program’s history.

Court’s academic interests include climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, and environmental policy. His passion to serve and protect people and the environment originates from his upbringing in Colorado Springs, Colorado where his family was forced to evacuate their home in response to the infamous Waldo Canyon Wildfire. Upon returning to the United States, Court will serve a minimum of four years of active duty service in the U.S. Army Infantry. As an infantry officer, Court hopes to gain leadership skills that will directly transition to a lifetime of service to humanity and the environment.

As a Fulbright Scholar, Court will pursue a coursework-based Master of Environment degree at the University of Melbourne to gain the necessary knowledge and skill set required to take on an influential leadership role in the multilateral effort to mitigate the impacts of climate change. The Master of Environment program offers him a unique opportunity to study climate change mitigation because of the similar environmental challenges experienced by both the United States and Australia.

Court is thankful for the opportunity to study in Australia as his program is supported by both the Australian-American Fulbright Commission and the United States Army.

Mary Ajamian Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionColumbia University
Host InstitutionThe Alfred Hospital and Monash University
Award NameFulbright Postgraduate Scholarship
DisciplineMedical Science
Award Year2015

Mary received her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience and Behavior from Barnard College, Columbia University in 2008. She received a Columbia Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship in 2007 to support her neuroimmunology-related senior thesis research at the Silver Neurobiology Laboratory. Mary investigated whether the presence of mast cells, which are immune cells best known for their role in allergy, may also promote blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) in the developing central nervous system. Mary became fascinated in neuroimmune mechanisms of normal development as well as disease and desired to pursue further study in a translational research setting.

After learning that she had a sensitivity to gluten and enrolling in Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition for graduate study in 2011, she connected with Dr. Armin Alaedini, PhD who was also interested in studying the immune response to gluten and other food-related, bacterial, or self-antigens in different patient populations, including those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), psychiatric illness, and neurological disease. Mary began working in Dr. Alaedini’s Laboratory and Columbia University’s

Celiac Disease Center for her master’s thesis work, which received Honors. Mary’s first master’s project explored serological markers of Lyme disease in children with autism; her work was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Mary’s second master’s project aimed to investigate a potential immune response to exorphins, which are products of gluten and casein digestion in the intestinal tract, in patients with autism and schizophrenia. Mary will be continuing exorphins-related research as a Fulbright Scholar in Australia. Since beginning work at the Alaedini Laboratory as a master’s student and after graduation as laboratory manager and researcher, Mary has contributed to the publication of 4 peer-reviewed articles, including 3 first-authorships, and 3 conference abstracts with several more publications currently under review or in preparation.

Mary has also volunteered in Armenia between college and graduate school. She provided research support and non-invasive clinical care to patients at a local hospital as well as engaged in NGO work to provide medical access for an underserved community in the de-facto state of Nagorno-Karabakh.
When Mary is outside the laboratory, she enjoys volunteering in her local community, traveling, hiking, dancing, and cooking.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is gaining global awareness, yet there is a great lack of scientific knowledge about this condition. Individuals with NCGS have reported positive behavioral health benefits of following a gluten-free diet. Exorphin peptides derived from the digestion of gluten in the gut are a possible explanation of food’s ability to modulate brain function. These peptides exert marked effects on stress response, anxiety, memory, and emotionality as evidenced by behavioral tests in animal models, yet little is known about their role in human systems.
Mary’s Fulbright project will investigate gluten and casein’s role in the neurobehavioral and extra-intestinal symptoms of NCGS. Mary will perform immunoassay-based experiments as well as analyze data from experimental dietary and drug interventions conducted by Dr. Peter Gibson, MD and Dr. Jane Muir, PhD ‘s team at Monash University Central Clinical School/The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. Mary’s Fulbright experience will allow her to continue exorphins-related research that she started for her master’s thesis as well as connect two leading research groups at the forefront of characterizing an emerging disease entity.

Like the US, Australia experiences a deficit of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), especially at higher levels of academic or institutional seniority. Australia also faces educational iniquities for students of indigenous descent. As part of her community engagement, Mary seeks to mentor students from underrepresented backgrounds who are interested in STEM fields, particularly female students and those of indigenous descent. She hopes to encourage a new generation’s curiosity in stem fields, bolster confidence, inspire action to reach out to potential career mentors, and understand challenges from a different cultural perspective.

Dylan Cronin Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionQueensland University of Technology
Host InstitutionWashington State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Award NamePostgraduate Scholarship
DisciplineChemistry (Biorefining)
Award Year2015

In 2003 Dylan began his tertiary education at the Queensland University of Technology, where over the next four years he obtained his bachelor’s degrees in both Information Technology and Applied Science (majoring in Chemistry).  It was during this time that Dylan met Professor William Doherty, with whom he still works with today.  He began his professional relationship with Professor Doherty and the Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities (CTCB) as a research assistant, working on various projects related to the sustainable development of value-added products from waste agricultural materials produced in the Australian sugarcane industry.  Realising the social and ethical merit of this general area of research, as well as the necessity for its continued growth in the future, Dylan began to develop his career within this institute.

In 2008 Dylan completed a postgraduate honours course in Applied Chemistry research on the preparation of biodegradable multicomponent films.  The project culminated in the preparation of a thesis entitled “Formation of Multicomponent Films Using an Ionic Liquid”, defended during a final presentation several weeks later.  He was awarded the grade of 1st Class Honours for his work and commercial interest towards the project has been expressed by the international packaging company Inova.  Having the opportunity to direct his own research project confirmed his aspirations towards a career in research, particularly within the sustainable energy and materials sector.

On completion of Dylan’s honours thesis he was offered a scholarship to partake in a cultural exchange program in Cordoba, Argentina. Having never travelled outside Australia, Dylan considered this a great opportunity to contribute to his cultural education and knowledge of the Spanish language.  After spending a month attending school and living with numerous other students from around the world, Dylan spent a further nine months travelling and studying Spanish throughout Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia.  Having greatly enjoyed this experience Dylan returned to South America in 2011 to live in Rio for one year studying Portuguese, working as an English and Science teacher, and volunteering with a community outreach centre within one of the local favelas.

The most recent stage in Dylan’s career progression was his enrolment in a doctoral research project in 2013 with the CTCB, and as such his immediate academic goals relate to the successful completion of this work. The refining of organic waste materials into sustainable fuels and products is an area which Dylan has been involved in for nine years, and which interests him greatly.

With the depletion of non-renewable petroleum resources and a growing global demand for both energy and raw materials, biorefining is a socially and ethically pertinent area of research, with the potential to make a significant and immediate contribution to alleviating society’s dependence on fossil fuels. The opportunity to work at the Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory at Washington State University will be of immense value to Dylan’s research, and to the immediate research community. Dylan’s area of specialisation relates to the pulping of lignocellulosic (plant material) and the valorisation of the lignin obtained therein (in basic terms this means the attempt to use a material such as lignin, but also similarly cellulose and hemicellulose,  in such a way as to exploit greater economic and environmental potential). .  It is his objective to gain valuable experience and further knowledge in the application of biomass utilisation processes and technologies, in particular those technologies relating to the acquisition, depolymerisation and subsequent valorisation of lignin.

Isaac Donnelly Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionThe University of New South Wales
Host InstitutionNortheastern University
Award NamePostgraduate Scholarship
(Stochastic Processes, Networks)
Award Year2015

Isaac is currently undertaking an applied mathematics PhD at UNSW investigating anomalous transport on networks. He has co-authored several leading articles in the area and is also interested in applying this theory to the real world to help predict epidemics on airline networks and minimize congestion on city roads. He will travel to Northeastern University in Boston to develop non-linear control theory for networks with world leading scientist Professor Albert-László Barabási.

With the advent of the Internet and global airline networks, the world is becoming increasingly interconnected. The scientific community is also realizing the importance of considering systems as a whole, i.e., the gene regulatory network, not as a set of single components. Network science provides a language in which to understand these complex systems. True understanding requires analytic capability, predictability and controllability. Isaacs Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship will be focused on the latter.

Isaac grew up in Sydney, Hong Kong and in the foothills of Byron Bay. The movement of chaotic crowds in Hong Kong inspired him to investigate complex phenomena, which has led him to his current research. Isaac completed a Bachelor of Advanced Science at UNSW and received first class honours for his thesis investigating game theory on networks. His results showed that there is a significant cost of selfish behaviour in such systems.

Besides a brief stint as a commercial maths consultant for ANSTO and Victoria Roads, he also holds a research assistant position at the UNSW School of Psychology. His multidisciplinary research in this area is focused on models of brain activity on network structures of the brain. Mathematically, the network structure of the brain is similar to airline and traffic networks so progress in understanding one leads to better understanding of the others. He is also a statistics tutor within the School of Mathematics and Statistics.

In late 2013, Isaac co-organised a large symposium on the Limits to Growth at UNSW. With leading domestic and international speakers, this symposium was covered in the mainstream media and helped to promote science in the wider community. Such outreach events increase the public’s scientific knowledge and awareness and Isaac is keen to be involved in similar events in the future.

After his PhD, Isaac intends to pursue a research career on the cusp between academia and industry. Specifically he would like to develop practical mathematical tools such as software that could help to predict and control global epidemics and traffic congestion.

Outside of research, Isaac spends a lot of his time in the water including sailing, swimming and surfing as well as playing piano and studying German and the epistemology of applied science.

Isaac will travel to Northeastern University in Boston to develop non-linear control theory for networks with world leading scientist Professor Albert-László Barabási. With the advent of the Internet and global airline networks, the world is becoming increasingly interconnected. The scientific community is also realizing the importance of considering systems as a whole, i.e., the gene regulatory network, not as a set of single components. Network science provides a language in which to understand these complex systems. True understanding requires analytic capability, predictability and controllability. Isaacs Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship will be focused on the latter. His Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship will give him the opportunity to observe the application of science with the aim of transferring this knowledge to Australia and leading the development of applications of network science.

Brian Entler Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionThe University of Scranton
Host InstitutionMacquarie University
Award NameFulbright Postgraduate Scholarship
Award Year2015

Brian received his Cum Laude degree in Neuroscience and Biology from The University of Scranton in 2013. During his undergraduate career he quickly excelled in research and his institution awarded him both the Presidential and Casey Fellowships for his independent research entitled ‘Morphine addiction in Ants: a new model for addiction, reward, and self-administration.’ Brian first developed his passion for scientific research while interning in Panamá at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. While in Panamá his research focused on the associative learning abilities of two closely related species of rainforest ant. His research in Australia will utilize a similar paradigm.

Brian then received his M.S. in Biochemistry from The University of Scranton in 2015 and was the recipient of a full tuition scholarship and Graduate Teaching Assistantship. As a GTA, Brian actively taught general chemistry lab and assisted in teaching both analytical and forensics labs. During his masters he designed a novel experiment entitled ‘Morphine addiction in Ants: Quantifying serotonin, dopamine, and octopamine using HPLC equipped with Electrochemical Detection.’

Working with Dr. Andrew Barron at Macquarie University and his collaborator Dr. Vincent Daria at The Australian National University Brian will examine mechanisms of choice and decision in the honeybee brain to enable computer modeling of insect brain function. Understanding how the brain works, processes thought, and how both thought and decisions emerge from brain circuitry are the last grand challenges of modern neuroscience. Currently there is enormous interest in efforts to model the human brain, but Dr. Barron, Dr. Daria, and Brian share a mutual conviction that first modeling an organism with a far smaller brain will reveal the essential and fundamental mechanisms by which thought and decisions emerge.

Joel Fuller Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionUniversity of South Australia
Host InstitutionUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst
Award NameSouth Australia State Postgraduate Scholarship
DisciplineMedical Sciences (Biomechanics)
Award Year2015

Joel has always had a love for sport and being active. Growing up he competed in basketball, Australian football and cricket and currently he spends his spare time surfing and scuba diving. Joel’s love of sport has also seen him develop a passion for encouraging others to be active. Throughout high school Joel was a coach in local community sporting programs where he helped school children enjoy being physically active. These early experiences as a leader taught Joel how rewarding it is to help others and ever since he has pursued careers that bring benefit to the community. In 2008, Joel was accepted into the bachelor of physiotherapy program at the University of South Australia, which allowed him to combine his passion for helping others with his love of sports. Joel supplemented his study with work at Flinders Medical Centre as a physiotherapy assistant, where he helped patients improve their level of function and return to the home.

After completing two years of his physiotherapy degree Joel was given the opportunity to complete an honours research project. While completing the honours program Joel learned how research could be used to benefit the widespread community. As an avid sportsman that also enjoys maintaining a good level of physical fitness, Joel has always been aware of the frustrations associated with being injured and unable to participate in the physical activities you love or complete the necessary physical activity to maintain fitness. Sedentary lifestyle is a major cause of chronic illness (in particular cardiovascular disease) and premature morbidity in the U.S. and Australia. As a result, absence from sport and physical activity can have tragic health consequences. Sport and physical activity are also a common form of positive social interaction and absence from this interaction through injury can have a negative effect on mental health. As a result, Joel has always been interested in understanding what can be done to prevent the occurrence of injury and this topic has become a research passion for him. Currently, Joel is completing a Phd with the University of South Australia that is investigating prevention of injury in distance runners in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Sport.

As part of his PhD research, Joel is investigating how variability in the running stride can be used to identify individuals at the greatest risk of injury. To undertake this research Joel undertook a short placement at the University of Massachusetts in 2014 in order to learn the techniques required to study running stride variability. At the University of Massachusetts Joel had the pleasure of working with some fantastic researchers and learnt that international collaboration is the best way to pioneer innovative health strategies. Following this initial exposure to international collaboration Joel has worked towards undertaking further research with the University of Massachusetts in 2015. Joel hopes that this collaboration will lead to improved injury prevention within sports medicine and help reduce the negative health effects that are associated with absence from sport and physical activity through injury.

Joel aims to improve sports injury prevention strategies through the combined expertise of Australian and U.S. sports scientists. Joel will undertake a prospective study investigating whether running stride variability can predict musculoskeletal injury amongst athletes. Undertaking this research at the University of Massachusetts provides the opportunity to work with a large cohort of high-performance athletes. This opportunity is typically not possible at Australian universities, which rarely have high-performance sporting programs. Joel hopes that his Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship will establish an ongoing collaboration between the University of Massachusetts and the University of South Australia. Additionally, Joel’s ongoing collaboration with the Australian Institute of Sport will allow the findings of his scholarship to be effectively integrated into the management of Australia’s athletes and community sporting initiatives.

Kathleen Heath Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionThe University of Sydney
Host InstitutionHarvard University Law School
Award NamePostgraduate Scholarship (WG Walker Award)
DisciplineLaw (Criminal Law)
Award Year2015

Kathleen aspires to work as a criminal defence lawyer, and also to be a leader of criminal law reform – she sees these ambitions as complementary. Kathleen believes being a criminal advocate gives access to the deeply personal stories of clients, and also shows the bigger stories that need to be told – the deep imperfections and systemic failures of the criminal justice system and of our society.

In 2011, she interned for three months at the Capital Post-Conviction Project of Louisiana, and worked with a team of attorneys and investigators to prepare constitutional petitions on behalf of inmates on death row, claiming legal error with the original trial process.

In 2013, Kathleen volunteered with the NSW Public Defenders Office, a chambers of barristers representing low-income clients in serious criminal matters. She assisted in the preparation of a successful appeal to the High Court of Australia on the admissibility of expert evidence.

Kathleen continues to volunteer at the Wayside Chapel, a community centre serving people who suffer from mental illness, substance abuse or homelessness. In 2012, she also volunteered for one month at Inti Warra Yassi, a wildlife refuge in remote Bolivia, walking and caring for a puma that had been rescued from the circus.

Kathleen was awarded the University Medal in Law at the University of Sydney. She ranked first in both the ultimate and penultimate year of undergraduate law, and won prizes for Equity, Jurisprudence and Corporations Law. Kathleen wrote her Honours thesis on the doctrine of sham, supervised by the Honourable Justice Mark Leeming.

She loves the intellectual challenge, adrenalin and high pressure of oral advocacy, and was involved in mooting throughout her time at university. The highlight of Kathleen’s mooting experience was competing in the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Her team won the National Championship and Kathleen was awarded the medal for Best Oralist in the Grand Final, judged by the Honourable Justice Dyson Heydon AC of the High Court (as he then was).

This year Kathleen has worked as tipstaff to the Honourable Justice Margaret Beazley, President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal. Her role involves accompanying her Honour to court, assisting with legal research and editing draft judgments.

Previously, Kathleen worked as a researcher for Professor Ben Saul, a leading international law professor. She assisted in researching and editing a commentary on the justiciability of economic, social and cultural rights. She also co-authored a chapter on the international law of cyber-terrorism.

Kathleen intends to use a Masters of Law (LLM) in the US as a platform to explore the contested relationship between law and medicine as it relates to individual responsibility. She has chosen to focus on this because she sees it as raising questions that strike at the very core of the criminal justice system, and how it may be reformed or redesigned. How should the law respond to the expanding body of medical knowledge that is chipping away at notions of individual responsibility in favour of explaining our conduct with regard to our biological or neurological states? Does the traditional criminal justice system need to make space for more medical approaches to criminal behaviour?

In answering these questions, the approaches taken by different jurisdictions provide a wealth of material to draw upon. Kathleen hopes to conduct a comparative study between the rules of expert evidence in Australia and the US, and the extent to which the courts of each nation allow professional medical opinions to influence the substantive development of the law. This field of comparison is rich due to both nations being federations of many smaller jurisdictions.

The Australian Alumni (WG Walker) Scholarship Fund was established in 1993 through generous contributions from Australian Fulbright Alumni to annually support a scholarship for the highest ranked Australian Fulbright Postgraduate.

Rachel Heenan Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionThe University of Melbourne
Host InstitutionHarvard University
Award NamePostgraduate Scholarship
DisciplinePublic Health (Global Health)
Award Year2015

Rachel is a young physician pursuing a career in paediatric infectious diseases, at the intersection of clinical practice, health policy and research.

Rachel has a demonstrable commitment to global health, with a strong analytical background gained through her postgraduate studies in tropical medicine in East Africa, policy work in HIV-Hepatitis co-infection with the World Health Organization, and cost of illness research in the Pacific Islands.

She aspires to translate her experiences into leadership in improving the health of children in marginalised and disadvantaged communities, especially for Indigenous Australians.

Rachel would like to study for a Master of Public Health (MPH) with a Global Health concentration.

She believes that society as a whole benefits from equality of opportunity for all. This is especially true for children, who form society’s future, but who are also most vulnerable to the effects of inequality. Rachel wants to focus her career on those children who are victims of structural violence and as a result are the most disadvantaged members of the community.

The causal web of public health challenges is complex, spanning political, social and economic determinants of health. An antibiotic does not rebuild the immune system of a malnourished child, does not prevent contagion in conditions of poor sanitation infrastructure, and does not address the cultural change required to modify risky health behaviours. And a medication simply does not exist when current markets do not incentivize research and development of treatments for diseases that disproportionately affect the poor. The MPH degree will equip her with the academic framework for understanding these multifactorial challenges, and the practical knowledge to lead efforts to address them.

A broad foundation of academic and professional experience has informed Rachel’s desire to leverage clinical experience in the pursuit of public health. She has seen first-hand the impact of socioeconomic determinants of health in her practise: from working as a junior doctor in centres of excellence such as the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, to treating children with severe scabies infestations in conditions of appalling disadvantage in remote central Australia, to the chaotic environment of a medical relief mission during the Pakistan floods. Rachel gained an appreciation of system-level challenges from the bench to bedside during her time studying tropical medicine in East Africa and in developing viral hepatitis treatment guidelines for resource-constrained settings while at the World Health Organization. Rachel’s more recent work quantifying the economic burden of rheumatic heart disease on our Pacific Island neighbours has given her an understanding of the scale of our challenge.

Rachel expects that a combined career of clinical work and research will allow her to contribute technical expertise to public policy. Ultimately this MPH, with its focus on transnational health issues, will allow Rachel to better understand the challenges facing patients in the communities she serves, and to build innovative systems-based approaches to improving their health as vulnerable populations both within and outside of Australia.

During Rachel’s time in the US, she hopes to build on the existing research collaboration between her home institution and the Harvard School of Public Health, in the Department of Global Health and Population. Over the last two years the collaborating partners have jointly studied the cost of illness (ie: the economic burden) of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in Fiji, with findings disseminated at the World Congress in Cardiology. RHD is a chronic condition (caused by an infection) that disproportionately affects the world’s most vulnerable populations. Australia’s Indigenous children have one of the highest rates of RHD in the world. The Fulbright scholarship allows Rachel the opportunity to further a cooperative endeavour to fight this disease.

Vale Dr Dean Jarrett Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionUniversity of Technology Sydney
Host InstitutionUniversity of Arizona
Award NamePostgraduate Indigenous Scholarship (Sponsored by the Australian government, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet)
DisciplineBusiness (Indigenous Entrepreneurship)
Award Year2015

— Note: Out of respect to the late Dr Dean Jarrett, his family and community we have temporarily taken down his profile photo. The Fulbright community stands with Dr Jarrett’s family, friends, and colleagues in this time of mourning. —

While for many years Dean has been a resident of Redfern, Sydney, he grew up between his father’s homelands, the Nambucca Valley (Gumbaynggirr country), and the Central Queensland area as his mum was born and raised in Woorabinda (she is a Gurreng-Gurreng/Boonthamurra women).

Eventually, Dean went to boarding school at St Brendan’s College in Yeppoon, Central Queensland where he spent his secondary school years and completed year twelve.

Since then, he has mainly been engaged in the social sector in mid and senior management positions with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander organisations in the areas of education, employment, health, land rights and economic development addressing issues such as quality improvement, social strategy, policy design, economic growth and program & services analysis.

Academically, Dean is currently the first Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Intern at the UTS Business School, where he is undertaking his PhD. His research is exploring the socio-economic impacts of Indigenous entrepreneurship and social enterprise and he aims to gain an understanding of whether supply diversity has influenced those impacts. As part of this research he will make international comparisons mainly with Native American people in the USA, but also with Canadian Aboriginal businesses, businesses in South Africa, minority owned businesses in the UK and Maori owned businesses in New Zealand (Aotearoa).

Dean has completed the Murra Indigenous Master Class Program through the Melbourne Business School and his Bachelor of Community Welfare at the University of Western Sydney. He is also a Research Affiliate at the Cosmopolitan Civil Society research unit at the University of Technology, Sydney.

He has lectured and taught at the University of Technology, Sydney, Macquarie University and the University of Western Sydney. He has tutored many subjects including Policy Development & Analysis, Contemporary Indigenous Health & Wellbeing, Human Resource Management, Industrial Relations, Aboriginal Studies and Revaluing Indigenous Economics.

Dean also has a business interest which is the consulting firm Global Professional Services International. This business provides advice and services around Indigenous engagement, business development, workplace training and social research. Global Professional Services International is a certified supplier with Supply Nation and Dean has had the opportunity to travel as a delegate to the USA and participate in the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) Annual Conference and Business Opportunity Fair on three occasions, where he has built many business and academic relationships.

Abby Kelly Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionUniversity of Washington
Host InstitutionCSIRO, Manufacturing Flagship
Award NameFulbright-CSIRO Postgraduate Scholarship
Award Year2015

Abby began her professional career as a residential interior designer after completing a Bachelor of Science in Design at the University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL) in 2005. After working as a designer for three years in Lansing, Michigan, she decided to return to school to pursue a degree in engineering in order to make a more significant contribution to society. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Biological Systems Engineering from UNL in 2012. At the end of her bachelors, she was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship due to her undergraduate research on the use of Raman spectroscopy to characterize and diagnose muscle degradation associated with Peripheral Arterial Disease and for her work in engineering education on the accreditation and assessment of undergraduate engineering curricula. Abby conducted her Masters research in the field of gene delivery, developing a method to improve the delivery of foreign DNA to human mesenchymal stem cells through nonviral means for improved genetic reprogramming. She was awarded a Master’s degree in Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering from UNL in 2014. Abby is currently pursuing a PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Washington, where her research focuses on the development and evaluation of more effective drug delivery systems to combat pulmonary infections caused by tier 1 agents Burkholderia pseudomallei and Francisella tularensis. Abby has coauthored multiple publications on her undergraduate and graduate research as well as on her work in engineering education, and is a co-inventor on a patent for a device to more accurately quantify air-leaks from the pleural space following a traumatic lung injury.

Abby will conduct her Fulbright research at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in the manufacturing flagship where she will characterize the effects of polymer architecture on the efficacy and toxicity of peptide delivery. She is most excited to improve her polymer synthesis skills while working with the inventors of one of the most-used polymerization techniques in the world, reversible addition fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) polymerization. Abby will be joined in Australia by her husband, an aspiring filmmaker who is excited to document their once-in-a-lifetime Australian Fulbright adventure.

Josiah Khor Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionThe Australian National University
Host InstitutionTexas A&M
Award NamePostgraduate Scholarship
DisciplineEngineering (Petroleum / Reservoir)
Award Year2015

Josiah graduated from the Australian National University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science majoring in mathematics, and a Bachelor of Engineering with First Class Honours. He was awarded the University Medal, the HA Jones Medal for Engineering Excellence, and the Institute of Engineering and Technology prize upon his graduation. Additionally Josiah was the recipient of multiple scholarships and prizes throughout his undergraduate studies.

Josiah currently works as a Senior Engineer with FEI Lithicon Digital Rock Services in Canberra, a high technology start-up out of the Australian National University focused on providing digital core imaging and analysis services. This role has exposed him to several fields: high performance parallel computing, micro-CT X-ray imaging, and petroleum engineering. His goal is to build expertise in high performance parallel computing programming while developing applications for the oil and gas industry.

Josiah was first introduced to the field of digital rock physics during his undergraduate studies, when he undertook an internship with Lithicon while simultaneously pursuing an individual research project on calibration in micro-CT X-ray imaging at the Australian National University. Since then, he has become more deeply involved with the research and development of image processing and simulation algorithms in the area of digital rock physics.

His current focus is the upscaling of flow properties from laboratory to field scales using digital rock technology. It has been established that small-scale features (e.g., clay layers) can have a significant impact on hydrocarbon recovery and CO2 sequestration. Unfortunately, small-scale heterogeneities cannot be directly incorporated into field-scale (km scale) simulation models because of limitations in computing power. Therefore, the ultimate effects of small-scale heterogeneities in large-scale numerical simulations of flow properties must be accounted for through upscaling techniques. Josiah’s research on imaging and analyzing core samples at multiple scales will help identify the importance of incorporating realistic sedimentary geometries in effective flow and CO2 storage estimates due to contrasts in permeability and pore structure.

In his spare time, Josiah is also involved with the Raising Hope Education Foundation, a local not-for-profit organisation that connects university volunteers with local schools to build confidence in local schoolkids. He currently serves as a Director on the Board of Raising Hope. When not working or travelling, Josiah enjoys spending his free time running, fishing and playing soccer, and has also practiced Judo in the past. A keen snowboarder, Josiah has travelled to Japan and New Zealand chasing the snow. He also enjoys documenting his travels as an amateur photographer and relaxing at the beach.

Josiah’s current focus is the extrapolation of flow properties from smaller to larger scales using digital imaging of rock samples. It is well established that the small scale (below a millimetre) variations in rock structures can significantly impact the recovery of oil and gas from the earth. However, limitations in computing power means that these variations cannot be directly accounted for when modelling hydrocarbon fields on the kilometre scale. Therefore, the ultimate effects of these small-scale variations in large-scale numerical models must be accounted for using upscaling techniques that integrate different scales of information into a single model. Josiah’s research on imaging and analyzing rock samples at multiple scales will help identify the importance of incorporating realistic sedimentary properties when calculating fluid flow and storage properties of rocks.

During his Fulbright scholarship, Josiah plans to spend his time undertaking a Masters of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M. Texas A&M is one of the global leading universities in Petroleum Engineering. This program represents a significant opportunity to learn more about the industry from a different viewpoint, in order to better tailor the potential applications of digital rock physics.

Matthew Lee Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionUniversity of Pennsylvania
Host InstitutionQueensland University of Technology
Award NameFulbright Postgraduate Scholarship
Award Year2015

As a game designer, health professional, and chair of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA)’s Serious Games SIG, Matthew is passionate about the potential for digital entertainment software to enhance people’s lives and improve society. His research focuses on developing a framework for the design of therapeutic games outside the confines of the clinical environment, and his publications examining how entertainment-focused games and other media engage audiences through narrative, gameplay, and social cues.

His previous work explores how virtual worlds could be used for the public good, and he has collaborated with the University of Southern California and the MacArthur Foundation. Matthew designed the simulation and assessment tools of the “PTSD Toolkit for Nurses” – an e-learning program designed to train registered nurses in recognizing the symptoms of PTSD in patients and how to respond effectively, and Quarantine – a public health game best described as “Sherlock Holmes meets SimCity.”

After graduating from the University of Southern California in 2009, he went on to obtain certifications as an EMT and a registered nurse to better understand community health and how games could be useful both in a clinical setting, and in a broader public context.

In 2014, he founded AFK Studios, a company dedicated to tackling real-world problems through the power of games as virtual experiences. Their early work with Tethys, a game tackling the issue of global water management, brought them to the finals of the G20 Global Business Challenge.

Among other awards, Matthew has been chosen as a two-time IGDA Scholar (honoring the most promising students in game development) and one of “15 to Watch in 2015” by The Feast, an international network of social innovators.

While in Australia, Matthew will be studying the relationship between peer aggression in online games and the design of underlying systems that promote or inhibit communication, cooperation, and other forms of social interaction, in an effort to learn how online communities – just as communities in the offline world – are shaped by the context of their interactions.  Through an understanding of this relationship, Matthew seeks to minimize online ‘toxicity’ through better design, ultimately helping online communities foster a culture of tolerance and transparency while remaining true to their community’s character and guiding principles.

Robert Marshall Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionRoyal Darwin Hospital
Host InstitutionColumbia University
Award NameNorthern Territory State Postgraduate Scholarship
DisciplinePublic Health (Health Policy)
Award Year2015

Robert hopes to gain the skills and knowledge needed to contribute to government health policy design and implementation through a Master in Public Policy during his Fulbright program. He aims to combine his interests in clinical medicine and public policy in order to improve Australia’s health systems and reduce health inequities in disadvantaged populations. In particular, he is committed to closing the gap in Indigenous health outcomes and improving the delivery of healthcare services in rural Australia.

Robert has worked in a number of challenging clinical settings both within rural and remote Australia and overseas, including as a volunteer in the aftermath of the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti and more recently helping to develop medical education and training in Somaliland. He is a passionate advocate for improving Australia’s health systems and has held leadership and advocacy positions as the National President of the Australian Medical Students’ Association, member of the Australian Medical Association Taskforce on Indigenous Health and Junior Clinical Lead for the Western Australian Department of Health’s clinical service improvement unit.

As a leader in health technology and research in the Asia-Pacific region, Robert believes that Australia will also play an important role in the future of global health development. He hopes to foster strong research connections between Australia and the United States during his time as a Fulbright Scholar and to some day be involved in the development of equitable and sustainable health systems in low- and middle-income countries.

As an undergraduate student Robert completed a combined Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree and spent a year on student exchange studying at l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris. It was his time at Sciences Po that sparked his interest in the interplay between health policy, health economics and political reform to drive better clinical care.

Vincent Redhouse Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionUniversity of Arizona
Host InstitutionAustralian National University
Award NameFulbright Anne Wexler Scholarship in Public Policy
DisciplinePublic Policy
Award Year2015

Vince graduated Summa Cum Laude with Honors in Philosophy, Politics, Economics, & Law from the University of Arizona in 2015. He transferred to the UA in 2012 from Pima Community College. While at the University of Arizona, Vince earned many distinguished awards, including Outstanding Native American Student of the Year, Distinguished Student Speaker in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Outstanding Graduating Student in PPEL. He was also named an Honors College Pillar of Excellence and was a university medalist. He will commence in his pursuit of a Master of Philosophy degree, in Philosophy, at the Australian National University in 2015.

Vince has general interests in both the applied and theoretical areas of philosophy, politics, economics, and law. His emphases at ANU will be in deliberative democracies, constitutional reform, and Indigenous rights. Evidence suggests that randomly selected democratic citizens, in places all over the world, are both able and willing to engage in substantive good faith deliberation over complex and polarized political issues, and that their decisions, in comparison to Congressional or Parliamentary decisions, often lead to more democratically legitimate, as well as epistemically correct, outcomes. During his two years at ANU, Vince will research the efficacy of deliberative democratic institutions as mechanisms for the substantive inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander interests in public policy.

Outside of academia, Vince has a burgeoning interest in beer-brewing. During his stay, he will actively engage with the brewing community in Canberra as well as with the many vineyards that surround the city.

Vince has three aspirations for his Scholarship term:  first, he would like to begin changing the world.  He believes that democratic institutions must evolve in order to remain democratic in the diverse world that we all share, and that Australia may be a good place to start.  Secondly, Vince would like to learn from the current relationship between the Australian government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, as their historical relationship is unfortunately similar that of the United States and the Native American populations.  Lastly, Vince would like to take advantage of this unique opportunity to develop strong relationships with Australian academics, activists, leaders, and politicians.

Jana Soares Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionSt. Edward’s University
Host InstitutionUniversity of Technology Sydney
Award NameFulbright Postgraduate Scholarship
Award Year2015

Jana Soares graduated Magna Cum Laude, from the Honors Program, with a major in Biology and minor in Chemistry from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas in May 2015. As an undergraduate student, she was a Holy Cross Scholar, receiving a four-year merit-based full tuition scholarship, was on the Dean’s List each semester, and conducted three scientific research projects related to the prevention of cardiovascular disease, food-borne illness, and hospital-acquired infections. She also worked as a Resident Assistant for three years, a Hilltop Mentor, a Student Ambassador, was involved in many academic clubs, and helped lead service projects.

As a sophomore, Jana won an Undergraduate Research Capstone Award to attend and present her research at the American Society for Microbiology 113th General Meeting in Denver, Colorado. She also presented her research at the Texas Academy of Science conferences and the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students. Jana was a recipient of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society Alfred H. Nolle Scholarship in 2014, and upon graduating, received the St. Edward’s University Presidential Award and the Outstanding Graduate in Biology Award in 2015.

According to the WHO’s 2014 report, antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a risk to treating common infections in hospitals. Each year, in the United States, 1 in 25 patients has at least one hospital-acquired infection (HAI), resulting in 75,000 deaths, and in Australia, there are 200,000 cases of HAIs. It is important to discover a way to slow the threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, to prevent illnesses and deaths. Jana is interested in how scientific research can spur innovations and help provide solutions to pressing global health problems such as antibiotic resistance. Her Fulbright research will incorporate the study of antibiotics and bacterial interactions in a nematode model organism, using cutting-edge imaging technologies, to identify alternatives to standard antibiotic treatment.

As a Fulbright scholar with a passion to improve people’s lives, Jana seeks to learn as much as possible while in Australia.  She hopes her research will allow her to approach large problems with a scientific understanding, and plans to broaden her perspective through participation in available opportunities in professional, academic and work environments.  Jana is interested in translating scientific research findings into improvements that help the public, and aspires to attend lectures and partake in workshops to learn how scientific innovations are making an impact on the world.  Beyond her research in the lab, Jana looks forward to immersing herself in Australian culture by sampling different cuisines, exploring new sights, and taking part in recreational activities.

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.

Briony Swire-Thompson Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionThe University of Western Australia
Host InstitutionMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Award NameWestern Australia State Postgraduate Scholarship
DisciplinePsychology (Cognition)
Award Year2015

Briony is a PhD candidate with the Cognitive Science Laboratories at the University of Western Australia. Her research investigates how people process misinformation, and how they update their memory when information they believe to be true turns out to be false.

Under the supervision of Associate Professor Ullrich Ecker and Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, Briony’s research looks at when and why these backfire effects occur. She is currently investigating a backfire effect called the ‘familiarity backfire effect’ which occurs when retractions repeat the myth in order to correct it. For example, stating that ‘people do not only use 10% of their brain’ repeats the association between ‘10%’ and ‘brain use’, making this false link more familiar.  As people tend to assume that familiar information is true, retractions can potentially strengthen the misconceptions they are trying to correct.

This Fulbright scholarship will allow Briony to expand her research into the area of political misconceptions, and investigate the effects of political attitudes on the processing of misinformation. By collaborating with Professor Adam Berinsky from MIT’s political science department, she plans to explore a backfire effect which occurs when a person’s belief system is challenged. She states that “strong beliefs define our identity, and when they are challenged we are motivated to defend them, and this biases how we process information. The cognitive mechanisms involved in this phenomenon are still being debated, and various cognitive models of this ‘worldview backfire effect’ are currently being developed. An ideal way to study this effect is to use information which people are passionate about and hold as part of their identity—such as a person’s political beliefs.”

Briony spent a number of years living in Zimbabwe when she was young, and has since sought out opportunities to travel. During her undergraduate degree in psychology and English literature she won a scholarship to study abroad at the University of Bristol, and prior to commencing her PhD she worked in Otavalo, Ecuador for over a year.

Please note: Briony Swire-Thompson is published as Briony Swire.

Benjamin Tien Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionPrinceton University
Host InstitutionMonash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Award NameFulbright Postgraduate Scholarship
DisciplineBiochemical Engineering
Award Year2015

Benjamin graduated with a degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Princeton University in June 2015. He is specifically interested in exploring how science and engineering can be used as vehicles for global development. He has traveled to Peru, where he spent five weeks with Engineers without Borders implementing a water system for a rural community. He served as the technical team leader for two years, successfully coordinating the team in planning the layout of the water system, which would bring clean water to nine families. He wrote multiple grant proposals receiving funding for the service trip to Peru and also wrote much of the documentation needed to obtain trip approval by the national Engineers without Borders organization. He has also taken a class titled “Design for the Developing World,” where he collaborated with an Israeli-Palestinian NGO to improve the performance of a magnetic water pump that would be distributed to rural villages. Co-leading the check valve team, he helped to optimize check valve performance, thereby improving the pump efficiency. Benjamin also won a scholarship from the Princeton Center for Health and Wellbeing to serve 11 weeks as a research intern for Diagnostics For All (DFA), a nonprofit that develops inexpensive paper technology to diagnose easily preventable diseases. He designed lab experiments to optimize paper-based assays that determine levels of glucose and iron in blood serum for diagnostic purposes. His work has contributed to two publications, one in Sensing and Bio-Sensing Research and another that has been presented at the 2015 IEEE International Conference. Finally, Benjamin was president of Manna Christian Fellowship at Princeton, leading weekly meetings to organize fellowship events.

As a Fulbright Scholar, Benjamin will work with Professor Michelle McIntosh and her team at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences to develop an oxytocin aerosol to prevent postpartum hemorrhage (PPH), or bleeding after childbirth. Over 100,000 women die each year from PPH, though it can be prevented with an injection of oxytocin; oxytocin stimulates uterine contractions, which prevents PPH. However, the injectable form of oxytocin requires refrigeration infrastructure that is not available in many low-resource settings. Our team seeks to develop an aerosol formulation with oxytocin that does not require refrigeration and can be inhaled by patients immediately after childbirth, a product that could save numerous lives of mothers in low-resource settings. Benjamin also plans to interact with the indigenous Australian population to assess its healthcare needs, especially as they pertain to maternal health.

Kathryn Zealand Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionMcKinsey & Co
Host InstitutionHarvard University
Award NameFulbright-Anne Wexler Scholarship in Public Policy (Sponsored by the Australian Government, Department of Education and Training)
DisciplinePublic Policy (Public Administration / Development Economics)
Award Year2015

As a management consultant with McKinsey & Company Kathryn has had a whirlwind of opportunities ranging from formulating macroeconomic policy for Nigeria’s finance minister to implementing healthcare reforms in Australia. Going forward, she wants to be at the heart of implementing policies that impact the lives of people both in Australia and beyond.

Kathryn’s interest in these areas was kindled when she first witnessed the stark contrast in opportunities, resources and educational outcomes of aboriginal friends from my primary school in rural northwest Australia. Later, at 15, she worked for a children’s home and saw how education can make such a difference to kids’ futures. Since then, Kathryn strives to make a difference to people who have had a rough start to life, and has been able to work and study various aspects of development from international human rights to Australian healthcare reform.

Through her study of economics, and work with the ANU’s Development Policy Centre, Kathryn has had the opportunity to contribute policy papers about how we could better tackle poverty in rural Australia and our immediate neighbours. She states that, “it was enlightening to hear about the role Australia currently plays and how much more we could do, to improve lives domestically and overseas. Most of our overseas aid contributions are made through multilateral institutions, so developing effective partnerships with countries such as the US is vital to increasing our impact.”

Kathryn’s parents have been consistent role models for generosity in spirit and practice. Her school teachers taught her to always strive to be better. She has seen how individuals can make a real and sustainable difference. Kathryn says it was inspirational to work for with the NGO “No Peace Without Justice”, which actively promotes justice, human rights and the rule of law in fragile states. She was infected with the enthusiasm of those she has met, and is determined to find a way to make a similar difference during her lifetime.

Kathryn has also seen that even when well crafted, good policy alone is not enough to create lasting change. “We need effective public institutions to implement those policies. Working with McKinsey & Company has exposed me to some organisations which have successfully delivered change, and I hope that the Fulbright Scholarship will provide me with more of the skills necessary to transfer these lessons to our public services.”

Kathryn also enjoys sport, and has spent many weekends attempting to learn how to kite-surf, with dubious results. Kathryn hopes the Fulbright Scholarship will equip her with a wider variety of skills necessary improve the public sector; design sound policies, drive improvements in productivity, and improve the lives of all those who rely on the provision of public services.

“Increasingly, the lines between the public and private sector are blurring, as governments use contractors to provide public services, and aim to improve productivity and competitiveness of private firms through effective regulation. It is important for policy setters to fully understand the implications of a particular policy on the private sector, and it is important for the administrators of our public sector to implement policies with world-class project management skills.”  That’s why Kathryn intends to use the Fulbright Scholarship to study the application and administration of public policy.  She is also looking forward to studying a rigorous program of economics. Kathryn believes this is important because stimulating economic growth is the most fundamental way to generate employment and improve human outcomes.

While in the U.S., Kathryn also hopes to learn more about American culture, and in turn share some of the best bits of Australian culture. Open sharing and debate of ideas is the best way to further the goals of democracy.