Four Curtin University researchers have been recognised in the Western Australian Young Tall Poppy Science Awards, an initiative of the Australian Institute of Policy and Science, for their outstanding contributions to science research, communication and outreach.
Nutritional scientist Associate Professor Lucinda Black and perinatal epidemiologist Dr Gizachew Tessema from Curtin’s School of Population Health, digital anthropologist Associate Professor Crystal Abidin from Curtin’s School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry, and astrophysicist Dr Danny Price from the Curtin node of the International Centre of Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) and the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy (CIRA), were all recognised in this year’s awards.
Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne congratulated the four researchers on being recognised as leaders in their respective fields.
“The WA Young Tall Poppy Science Awards recognise excellence in research, as well as the importance of communicating that research to the wider community. The Curtin recipients are not only leaders in their research area, but passionate science communicators who share their knowledge with the wider community,” Professor Hayne said.
“The recognised Curtin researchers come from a diverse range of research fields including nutrition and neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis, reproductive health, internet culture and radio astronomy.
“It is exciting to see four of our researchers recognised as leaders in their fields by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science and we wish them all the best for the national awards held in September.”
The four recipients awarded are:
Associate Professor Lucinda Black is a nutritional scientist investigating vitamin D, vitamin K, and the link between diet and the risk of onset and progression of multiple sclerosis (MS). Associate Professor Black’s diet and MS research has demonstrated links between a healthy dietary pattern, higher fish and unprocessed red meat consumption, and lower likelihood of developing MS. Her nutrition research has received grant and fellowship funding from government, philanthropic and industry funding bodies, including two NHMRC grants. Associate Professor Black has been awarded a Curtin University Research Fellowship and three consecutive Postdoctoral Fellowships from MSWA and MS Australia since 2016.
Dr Gizachew Tessema is an early career researcher in perinatal epidemiology, maternal and child health, and health systems research. Dr Tessema is a leading researcher in reproductive and child health, and contemporary global issues including the COVID-19 pandemic. His work has been recognised by funding bodies and includes a prestigious Australian NHMRC Investigator Grant awarded in 2021. He was also awarded the Gro Harlem Brundtland Visiting Researcher Fellowship from Norway. Dr Tessema is a demonstrated leader with a strong commitment to actively engage with the community to share his research findings.
Associate Professor Crystal Abidin is a digital anthropologist whose research investigates the fast moving and rapidly evolving work of internet cultures. Her research focuses on influencer cultures, online visibility, and social media pop cultures especially in the Asia Pacific region. Associate Professor Abidin has published over 60 articles and chapters on various aspects of internet celebrity and internet cultures. Her work has contributed to new legislation and policies for the regulation of influencers for the protection of children online and cyber-bullying. She was listed on Forbes ‘30 under 30 Asia’ and Pacific Standard ‘30 Top Thinkers under 30’.
Dr Danny Price is an astrophysicist at the Curtin node of the International Centre of Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), and the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy (CIRA). Dr Price’s research focuses on designing signal processing systems for radio telescopes and the search for life beyond Earth. Dr Price is leading Australia’s involvement in the US$100 million Breakthrough Listen initiative: the most rigorous and comprehensive search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI) ever undertaken. Dr Price is passionate about communicating science and enjoys running outreach activities about space and astronomy.
Further information about the WA Young Tall Poppy Awards can be found online here. The overall national winner will be announced at a special ceremony held in September.