Australia’s top scientists elected as Fellows of Academy

An Australian scientist whose research changed international food laws and set infant nutrient recommendations worldwide is among a group of scientists who are being acknowledged for their outstanding contributions to science.

Nutrition researcher, Professor Maria Makrides, is one of eight women among 22 scientists elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

This list also includes neuroscientist Professor Lyn Beazley, who has made a major contribution to the advancement of Australian science and was the first female to hold a Chief Scientist role nationally. She joins genetic statistician Professor David Balding, who co-developed a probability formula that has been used in hundreds of criminal cases worldwide to interpret DNA profile evidence.

The new Fellows’ pioneering contributions also include research that has underpinned the safe and cost-effective construction of offshore oil and gas platforms; increased our understanding of why people move differently in pain; and provided new insights into the role of DNA that is unrelated to its genetic function.

Australian Academy of Science President, Professor John Shine, congratulated the new Fellows for making significant and lasting impacts in their scientific disciplines.

“These scientists were elected by their Academy peers following a rigorous evaluation process. What stands out among the new Fellows elected this year is the collective impact of their science on an international scale,” Professor Shine said.

“As the Academy celebrates its sixty-fifth anniversary, we are committed to acknowledging excellence in science, but we recognise that to achieve this we must celebrate and embrace diversity and inclusion in all its forms.

“We have adopted a range of best-practice measures to ensure that the outstanding contributions of our female scientists are properly recognised. These measures are working with 36% of Fellows elected in the past five years being women, but there is more to do.

“We call on the leaders of the science and research sector to help us identify diversity candidates who have made an outstanding contribution to science, so that they may be considered for election to the Academy in 2020,” Professor Shine said.

The new Fellows for 2019 are:

  • SOUTH AUSTRALIA
    • Professor Maria Makrides – South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (nutrition researcher)
  • WESTERN AUSTRALIA
    • Professor Lyn Beazley – Murdoch University (neuroscientist)
  • AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
    • Dr Surinder Singh – CSIRO (plant scientist)
    • Professor David McClelland – Australian National University (physicist)
  • QUEENSLAND
    • Professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik – Queensland University of Technology (polymer chemist)
    • Distinguished Professor Peter Corke – Queensland University of Technology (roboticist)
    • Professor Debra Bernhardt – University of Queensland (chemist)
    • Professor Paul Hodges – University of Queensland (medical researcher)
  • VICTORIA
    • Emeritus Professor David Karoly – CSIRO (atmospheric scientist)
    • Professor David Balding – University of Melbourne (genetic statistician)
    • Professor John Hamilton – University of Melbourne (medical researcher)
    • Professor Kerry Landman – University of Melbourne (mathematical biologist)
    • Professor Mark Cassidy – University of Melbourne (civil engineer)
    • Professor Warren Alexander – Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (medical researcher)
    • Professor Joanne Etheridge – Monash University (physicist)
    • Professor James Whelan – La Trobe University (plant scientist)
  • NEW SOUTH WALES
    • Professor Maria Byrne – University of Sydney (marine biologist)
    • Professor Alex Molev – University of Sydney (pure mathematician)
    • Professor Catherine Stampfl – University of Sydney (physicist)
    • Professor Cynthia Whitchurch – University of Technology Sydney (microbiologist)
    • Professor Ian Wright – Macquarie University (plant ecologist)
    • Professor Alexander Zelinsky – University of Newcastle (engineer)