Dr Kate Brandis
Dr Kate Brandis is an applied ecologist with over 20 years experience researching the waterbirds, wetlands and rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin in eastern Australia.
Her team, the Waterbirds Aerial Survey Team, were the winners of the 2023 NSW Environment and Heritage Eureka Prize for Applied Environmental Research. They have conducted one of the largest and longest-running wildlife surveys in the world. As well as influencing the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and nomination and management of Ramsar-listed wetlands, their data has contributed to the gazettal of three new national parks, and conservation of waterbirds and freshwater ecosystems, including rivers.
Dr Iman Roohani
Dr Iman Roohani is a biomedical engineer who has developed several novel biomaterials for the treatment of bone defects and orthopaedic implants.
His team, the UNSW Bone Ink Printing Team, was a finalist for the 2023 ANSTO Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology for their use of 3D printing technology to construct living cell-laden structures that closely replicate real bones. With potential for directly repairing or replacing patients’ bones, this breakthrough offers substantial promise in the fields of regenerative medicine, orthopaedics and dentistry.
Dr Ricky Spencer
Western Sydney University
Dr Ricky Spencer is a zoologist and researcher of vertebrate pest control methodologies, working on the ‘Turtle Crisis” in the Murray River, as well as evaluating optimal fox management strategies for managing nest predation on turtles and water birds.
His team, 1 Million Turtles, were the winners of the 2023 Department of Industry, Science and Resources Eureka Prize for Innovation in Citizen Science. The 1 Million Turtle Team’s Community Conservation Program uses the TurtleSAT app to involve citizen scientists in hands-on activities such as habitat construction and restoration, nest protection and fox management. Emphasising STEM literacy and First Nations knowledge, the Australia-wide program has influenced policy, and saved over 1000 freshwater turtles and 200 nests in 2022 alone.