It’s always worth it! What a great night – after months of applications, assessments and preparation, the Royal Society of Victoria was delighted to once again welcome eight remarkable young women and men to present the fruits of their postgraduate research on the night of Thursday, 11 August. Over two hours, a panel of judges and a theatre packed with PhD supervisors, colleagues, friends and family heard from a diverse field of subjects across four prize categories; the physical sciences, earth sciences, biomedical sciences and biological (non-human) sciences.
“With 100 highly competitive entries this year, just being here tonight as a finalist is a
remarkable achievement,” said RSV President Bill Birch during the prize announcements, welcoming the entrants as new members of the Society and its long tradition of promoting the sciences in Victoria. Melbourne is one of Australia’s most research-intensive centres and the competition was truly of a high calibre, with eight excellent presentations delivered over the course of two intense hours.
After a challenging judging session, the results for each category were announced at a celebratory function in the Burke & Wills Room, as follow:
RSV Young Scientist Research Prize for the Biological (Non-Human) Sciences:
Ms Yang Chen, Monash University, School of Earth, Atmosphere & Environment Modelling forest litter-bed fuel load using LiDAR
Supervisors: Nigel Tapper, Xuan Zhu, Marta Yebra, Sarah Harris
Category Runner Up: Ms Rebecca Hull, University of Melbourne, School of Biosciences Environmental stress that varies temporally has important consequences for individuals
Supervisor: Michael Keogh
RSV Young Scientist Research Prize for the Biomedical & Health Sciences:
Mr Chi Hai Ly, University of Melbourne, Department of Physiology Metabolism regulates asymmetric division and commitment to the myogenic lineage in skeletal muscle stem cells
Supervisor: James Ryall
Category Runner Up: Mr Thanh Kha Phan, La Trobe University, Department of Biochemistry & Genetics PIP PIP Hooray: PIP2-targeted antimicrobial peptides as novel anticancer therapeutic agents
Supervisor: Mark Hulett
RSV Young Scientist Research Prize for the Physical Sciences:
Category Winner: Ms Rebecca Leane, University of Melbourne, School of Physics Searching for dark matter in the sky and at the Large Hadron Collider
Supervisor: Nicole Bell
Category Runner-up: Mr Dene Murphy, University of Melbourne, School of Physics Colder than the depths of space: Charged particle beams near absolute zero
Supervisor: Robert Scholten
RSV Young Scientist Research Prize for the Earth Sciences:
Category Winner: Mr Mathias Egglseder, Monash University, School of Earth, Atmosphere & Environment Iron oxide nanocrystals: Tiny minerals building huge iron ore deposits
Supervisor: Sandy Cruden
Category Runner Up:
Ms Georgia Roberts, La Trobe University, Department of Archaeology & History The individual in the trees: Assessing human movement, resource use and adaptive strategies in Pleistocene Tasmania
Supervisor: Richard Cosgrove
Congratulations to all of our finalists, both prize winners and runners up, on your outstanding work. Presenting three or more years of complex research in ten short minutes is quite the challenge! Thanks to our hard working judging panel: A/Prof Gavin Smith, Prof Lynne Selwood, Mr Norman Kennedy, Dr Bill Birch, Dr Kevin Orrman-Rossiter and Prof David Walker.
Thanks in particular to the families of Neil Archbold and Edmund Gill for supporting the prizes, and the amazing fundraising work of Melbourne-based science fiction author Lee S Hawke through her Pozible campaign earlier this year – we are so grateful! Tonight we handed out $5000 in prize money to support excellence in Victoria’s early career scientists, and we couldn’t have done it without you.