Associate Professor Wendy van Duivenvoorde will test our current understanding of historic French voyages thanks to a new grant, Nano welcomes a world leader to its ranks, while other successes include a national scholarship for a champion of diversity and an international plenary speech for an eating disorder expert.
New professor of polymer chemistry
Flinders University welcomes a world leader in polymer chemistry to its highly regarded College of Science and Engineering research group. Incoming Matthew Flinders Professor Michelle Coote FRSC FAA FRACI will join the Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, coming from the Australian National University where her research group built an international reputation in computational chemistry and its use in mechanism discovery and catalyst-reagent design in chemical and polymer synthesis.
Award-winning Professor Coote is a Georgina Sweet ARC Laureate Fellow, having had two previous ARC career fellowships, and has recently been promoted polymer executive editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. She has published around 300 peer-reviewed publications, and among her most significant work is the use of electric fields to catalyse chemical reactions, a catalysis harnessed by nature in enzymes but yet to have its full potential realised in chemical synthesis.
Shipwrecks that could shape history
Current understanding of historic French voyages in the Pacific will be tested thanks to new funding from the Embassy of France and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.
Associate Professor Wendy van Duivenvoorde is one of four experts to each receive a $20,000 grant under the 2022 Australia-France Social Science Collaborative Research Program, given to interdisciplinary research projects tackling major societal issues.
Associate Professor van Duivenvoorde’s project will examine what happened to the crews of two ships that were wrecked in the Solomon Islands in the late 1700s whilst on a French exploratory expedition. The crews assembled another vessel and attempted to return to France, but were never seen again. The fate of the survivors and their makeshift craft has long been theorised, but no proof has ever been found – although evidence recently uncovered suggests that the survivor craft may have been wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef in Torres Strait.
Associate Professor van Duivenvoorde will attempt to prove the accuracy of this evidence. If proven, this would represent the only extensive physical remains of French voyages of exploration in Australia, and the earliest known shipwreck on Australia’s east coast.
Champion of diversity wins national scholarship
Dr Monica Cations, from the College of Psychology, Education and Social Work, has been awarded one of two LGBTQIA+ Scholarships from Science & Technology Australia, to heighten participation from a diverse cohort of emerging STEM leaders across Australia.
As a champion of equity, diversity and inclusion, Dr Cations is an advocate for improving mental health service delivery in aged care. She is a clinical psychology registrar and epidemiologist working to maximise the accessibility, quality and safety of care for older Australians, and is the founder and co-chair in SA of Queers in Science.
These scholarships are sponsored by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS).
Educator joins World Council for Gifted and Talented Children
Lesley Henderson from the College of Education, Psychology and Social word has been announced as an Australian delegate for the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children – a worldwide non-profit organisation that provides advocacy and support for gifted children.
Mrs Henderson, who is coordinator of Flinders’ Gifted Education specialisation for postgraduate students and is past-president of the Gifted and Talented Children’s Association SA, will operate as one of WCGTC‘s on-the-ground representatives in Australia.
Delegates promote the World Council and its activities, recruit and communicate with members, forge links with other organisations within their home country, and report their achievements back to the World Council. They also participate in the Delegates’ Assembly at the organisation’s world conference.
UK presentation on eating disorder interventions
Órama Institute director Distinguished Professor of Psychology Tracey Wade is a plenary speaker at the London Eating Disorders Conference this week. Chaired by Ulrike Schmidt, Professor of Eating Disorders at King’s College London, the session featuring Professor Wade will cover interventions to ease the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
Professor Wade is a member of Australia’s National Eating Disorders Collaboration steering committee, commissioned by the Federal Government to inform policy developments for eating disorder prevention and treatment. She says the pandemic is increasing demand for eating disorder treatment, along with increased pressure on Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED) support services around the world.