Science

Update: News from the schools

Former Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov
Monday, 21 October, 2013

UNSW Science researchers have given their name to a new species, won awards and grants, been named as a top innovator, and been appointed to the Australian Research Council College of Experts.

Gantt Medal

Scientia Professor Fred Westbrook, in the School of Psychology, has been awarded the Gantt Medal by the Pavlovian Society. He is only the second non-US researcher to win the prize.

The Pavlovian Society is a US-based society dedicated to the scientific study of behavior and promotion of interdisciplinary scientific communication. The Gantt Medal is awarded to individuals who have made distinguished contributions to the fields of psychology, physiology, behavioral neuroscience, psychophysiology, mental health or medicine within the confines of  Pavlovian conceptual models, or who have contributed significantly to the functioning of the Society.

ARC College of Experts

Professor Graciela Metternicht, Director of the Institute of Environmental Studies, has been appointed a member of the Australian Research Council’s College of Experts for 2014.

This select group helps identify research excellence in the ARC National Competitive Grants Program, by moderating external assessments and recommending fundable proposals. The College of Experts also assists the ARC in recruiting and assigning assessors and in implementing peer review reforms in established and emerging disciplines, as well as in interdisciplinary areas.

Ramaciotti grant

Dr Irina Voineagu, in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, has been awarded a $74,000 Establishment Grant from the Ramaciotti Foundation.

Dr Voineagu, who joined UNSW Science earlier this year from the Riken Institute in Japan, carries out research on molecular genetic mechanism that underly human brain disorders.

New species name

Associate Professor Alistair Poore, in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Studies, has had a new species named after him.

Paragrubia apoorei is an amphipod crustacean from the seagrass beds of Western Australia and was one of 18 new species from this group described by Lauren Hughes and Rachael Peart from the Australian Museum.

Maths prize

Associate Professor Josef Dick, in the School of Mathematics and Statistics, was awarded the 2013 Prize for Achievement in Information Based Complexity at a recent workshop in Austria.

He was co-winner with Friedrich Pillichshammer, of the Johannes Kepler University in Linz.. They are authors of a 600-page monograph published by Cambridge University Press which was in the top 100 most cited publications of  2010, according to MathSciNet.

Top innovator

Associate Professor Sri Bandyopadhyay, in the School of Materials Science and Engineering, has been recognised by Campus Review as one of the Top 5 Australian Innovators for 2013.

He has promoted the use of fly ash – a freely available by-product from coal-fired power stations – as a cost-effective alternative to calcium carbonate for use as a filler in plastics and to strengthen commercial polymers, such as plastics, ceramics, cement, potteries and even white paints.