Celebrating success

Professor Wei Zhang adds a new fellowship to his resume, while other successes include award wins for MPH academics and koala campaigner joins push to save the species.

New fellowship for marine bioproducts leader

Professor Wei Zhang

Professor Wei Zhang, Mathew Flinders Distinguished Professor and Inaugural Director of Flinders’ Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development, has been named a new fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering (ATSE).

Currently Research Director of the Marine Bioproducts Cooperative Research Centre (MBCRC), in highlighting his appointment ATSE described Professor Zhang as “an inspiring leader in marine biorefinery and bioproduct development technologies, and he has passionately pursued an overarching career driving translational research with industry impacts.”

An entrepreneurial academic champion, Wei’s vision to connect formerly disparate marine bioproducts research and commercial sectors led to growing Australia’s industry R&D capability and market impacts into a new third-gen marine bioproducts industry,sustainably utilising Australian untapped marine bioresources. ”

Elected by their peers, Professor Zhang was one of 27 new fellows announced for 2022.

Society crowns winners

Congratulations to Medicine and Public Health academics Dr Swasti Chaturvedi and Matthew Flinders Professor Jaquelyne Hughes, who were both recognised in the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology’s (ANZSN) 57th Annual Scientific Meeting in Sydney.

Dr Chaturvedi was awarded the 2022 Rural Science Award for her outstanding contribution to research that is directly relevant to populations in rural and remote areas, while Professor Hughes won the award for the 2022 Advancing Equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and Maori Peoples.

Professor Hughes was also featured on an award-winning abstract for the project Live Strong COVID-safe Frailty to Fit Project. The project was started and initially led by Menzies School of Health Research but will shortly be transferred to Flinders.

Excellence in nursing recognised

Flinders University nursing was well represented at the annual SA Health Nursing and Midwifery Awards.

Associate Professor Yvonne Parry, a finalist in the Excellence in Research and Knowledge Translation category, was pleased to see the calibre of work being done in the nursing profession.

The nursing and midwifery work presented was truly inspirational and outstanding. It was a fantastic opportunity to connect with friends, colleagues and peers from across the state,” says Dr Parry.

Flinders lecturers Alicia Bell and Toni Slotness-O’Brien were also nominated in the 2022 awards.

Flinders University is a silver partner of the awards, and sponsors the Excellence in Research and Knowledge Translation, which was presented this year by Professor Robyn Clarke.

Koala campaigner joins push to save the species

Associate Professor Danielle Clode, author of a new book Koala A Life in Trees (Black Inc.), will MC the NSW State Koala Conference in Coffs Harbour this weekend (27 October).

Dr Clode’s new book was launched by the SA Minister of Environment and Deputy Premier Susan Close, right, and Rebekha Sharkie (Federal member for Mayo), left, and other VIPs including Josh Teague (State member for Heysen) and Chris Daniels from Koala Life at Cleland Wildlife Park this month.

Faced with the threat of extinction along the eastern seaboard, the koala conference is a summit of scientists, conservation groups and concerned citizens aiming to raise awareness of dramatic corrective action needed to save wild koalas in NSW– as well as other states.

Biologist and natural history author Associate Professor Clode, from the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Science, will speak on habitat loss and bushfire recovery, covering some of the main points from her new book, which draws on research on ecology, palaeontology, morphology and archaeology by several other Flinders scientists.

Koalas – designated an endangered species in NSW, ACT and Queensland – are abundant in some parts of South Australia and Victoria, with Flinders University researchers now assessing whether their success in southern Australia can help save the species.

Researchers from the College of Science and Engineering are conducting extensive studies of local populations, focusing on the Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges and Kangaroo Island, both before and since the devastating Black Summer bushfires. A research team led by Professor Karen Burke da Silva recently counted more than 100 koalas in the Belair National Park, and have continued monitoring koalas rescued from the bushfires.

Supported by conservation group Koala Life, the new book Koala A Life in Trees (Black Inc) was launched by the SA Minister of Environment and Deputy Premier Susan Close at Cleland Wildlife Park this month, ahead of its US and UK release in early 2023.

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