UQ Researchers U.S.-bound on Fulbright Scholarships

2017 UQ Fulbrighters

Three University of Queensland (UQ) researchers have joined the ranks of a distinguished group of almost 5000 scholars worldwide after being awarded prestigious Fulbright Scholarships.

UQ music expert Professor Margaret Barrett, intellectual history and literature researcher Professor Tim Mehigan, and PhD student Ms Victoria Reynolds will all travel to the United States of America to advance their work.

Professor Barrett, Head of UQ’s School of Music, has been awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholarship to work at The University of Washington, the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress, where she will analyse children’s songs and song-making.

“It’s an enormous privilege and I feel honoured to be a recipient of the scholarship,” Professor Barrett said.

“I’ve spent the last decade or so investigating young children’s invented song and known song and the role it plays in their learning and development.

“The opportunity to access one of the great collections in the world at the Smithsonian with Professor Patricia Campbell from the University of Washington is exciting.

“I can see the ways in which it’s going to be a means for us to foster further collaborations between our two institutions and to do some great work between the US and Australia.”

Professor Mehigan, who also won a Fulbright Senior Scholarship, will divide his time abroad between the University of Chicago and the University of Texas, investigating influential Nobel Prize-winning writer JM Coetzee’s links to The Committee of Social Thought.

Professor Mehigan, Deputy Director of UQ’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, said the visit would strengthen ties between UQ and the University of Chicago, not only in the areas of intellectual history and philosophy but also in literature.

“I’m looking forward to working with Professor Robert Pippin and his colleagues at the University of Chicago, and to assessing whether JM Coetzee’s time in Chicago was as important as I currently hold it to be,” he said.

Ms Reynolds, a PhD student in UQ’s School of Biological Sciences, has won a Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship to visit Emory University’s Environmental Science Department, where she plans to assist in developing a DNA meta-barcoding method for insect-collected pollen.

“I am excited by the opportunity to work in this emerging field of study, help to develop this technology and shape its use by pollination ecologists worldwide,” Ms Reynolds said.

“I will have access to world-class peers and facilities while working towards achieving a protocol that will be of use to scientists not only in Australia and America, but worldwide.”

The Australian-American Fulbright Commission scholarships are awarded to foster understanding between the United States and Australia and encourage excellence, innovation and creativity.

About 50 scholars travel between Australia and the U.S. each year through the Fulbright Program.

By Belinda McDougall, UQ Communications
Originally published on UQ News