I’m delighted to report that ANU has topped the nation today, winning four out of 17 ARC Laureate Fellowships, more than any other Australian university. Three ANU scholars, and one who will move to ANU, were named ARC Laureate Fellows by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research Senator Chris Evans. These prestigious fellowship projects are worth a combined $11.8 million – again, more than any other university.
The researchers are Professors Sue O’Connor and Tessa Morris-Suzuki from the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, David Lindenmayer from the ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment and Eelco Rohling, currently of the University of Southampton, but joining us soon.
Today’s results build on a culture of research excellence that is based firmly in the University’s commitment to attracting and nurturing world-class staff. They are a cause for celebration across campus.
I heartily congratulate all the ARC Laureate Fellows announced today, but especially the four researchers who will conduct their work at ANU.
These researchers are carrying out vital studies in the national interest, and it’s very pleasing to see their hard work, years of dedication and commitment to excellence recognised.
Professor Sue O’Connor is a leading light in the world of archaeological research. Her recent work discovering the world’s oldest evidence of deep sea fishing rewrote the history books about how hunter gatherer societies in the Southern hemisphere functioned more than 40,000 years ago. Her project will look at: Understanding modern human dispersal, adaptation and behaviour en route to Australia.
Professor O’Connor has the special honour of being named the 2012 Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellow. This Fellowship is awarded to a highly-ranked female from the humanities, arts and social sciences, and carries with it an ambassadorial role to promote women in research.
Professor Eelco Rohling will join us from the University of Southampton in the UK. His research project Sea Level Change and Climate Sensitivity will look at past sea-level and ice-volume change and how rapidly sea levels might adjust through climate change. We congratulate him on his Fellowship, and look forward to welcoming him to the University.
Professor Tessa Morris-Suzuki is widely-recognised as a leading expert on recent and modern Japanese history, as well as conflict and resolution on the Korean peninsula and migration issues across the region. She is highly respected in her field, both in Australia and throughout the region. Her project will aim to develop a new framework for observing emerging forms of political activity in our region.
Professor David Lindenmayer is one of the world’s leading ecologists. His work on wildlife conservation and biodiversity has, for many years, led world research in this area. His ARC Laureate Fellowship project will look at the important issue of ‘surrogate ecology’ – using particular species or landscapes as an indicator of what’s happening more widely – and how effective this concept is.
These researchers are fitting recipients of these highly-prestigious fellowships. On behalf of the ANU community, I congratulate and wish them all the very best.