Every year, final year PhD candidates present their doctoral studies to the Royal Society of Victoria, competing for prizes recognising excellence in Victoria’s young researchers. Eight finalists present under the four categories: Biological Sciences, Biomedical & Health Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Physical Sciences. This year our finalists were selected from a highly competitive field of 63 applicants.
If we want a young person from disadvantaged circumstances to achieve good educational and employment outcomes in the near future, or open broader employment options for young adults against the currents of their cultural and economic context, then we need to foster STEMM literacy in the lives of whole communities.
Aquatic systems, by their nature, distribute pollutants widely and effectively. Port Phillip Bay is currently impacted by a range of introduced pollutants and its long-term viability needs to be reassessed. New standards and technologies should be reconsidered, and system-wide thinking applied to the management of our limited water resources; particularly in a time of climate change and population growth. Business as usual will *not* be the solution.
The fate of the thylacine was not an isolated incident in Australia’s recent history – rather, it represents a story repeated so often that it lacks the shocking impact it should have. To compare with a different story that regularly draws greater national focus: every 4 years Australia has sent athletes to compete at the Olympic Games, while every 2.34 years Australia has completely removed another species from existence.
The Royal Society of Victoria is delighted to congratulate Dr Ashleigh Hood, the 2022 recipient of the Phillip Law Postdoctoral Award, and the first to be awarded in the new category of Earth Sciences. Her research focuses on the co-evolution of life and planetary surface conditions over the last several billion years of Earth’s history. Ashleigh attained her PhD in geology from the University of Melbourne in 2014.