Alumni Profiles

Scott Stephens Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionUniversity of California – Berkeley
Host InstitutionUniversity of Western Australia
Award NameSenior Scholarship
DisciplineEnvironmental Science
Award Year2013

“Wildfires continue to cause great destruction in the US and Australia and changing climates will make a very serious situation worse. Whether it is the 2009 Black Saturday Fire in Victoria or the 2012 Whitewater Fire in New Mexico, wildfires continue to challenge natural resource managers, politicians, and the public.”

Prof Scott Stephens, Professor with the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at University of California—Berkeley has won a Fulbright Senior Scholarship to come to the University of Western Australia for six months. He will work on the mitigation of large bush or wildfires.

“For over a century fire has been thought of as an arch-enemy with billions of dollars expended to eliminate it,” Scott said. “This policy has not worked because even though 96-99% of all ignitions can be suppressed when they are very small, the fires that get away burn huge areas and can damage natural resources, structures, and kill people.”

Scott says that instead of trying to eliminate fire from landscapes where it is ecologically critical a more appropriate goal would be to learn how humans can live with fire.

“One place in the world that has attempted to follow such a strategy is southwestern (SW) Western Australia. In contrast to SW Western Australia, the US continues to focus on the elimination of fire in most areas even though several recent US federal policies (National Fire Plan, Ten Year Comprehensive Strategy, Healthy Forest Restoration Act) have all attempted to diversify fire management to get away from only fire suppression,” Scott said.

This area has one largest fire management programs in the world and the largest in a Mediterranean climate. His project will analyze key characteristics of this novel program to take the knowledge back to the U.S. to see if it could be adopted there. In addition he will assist in the teacing of a gradute fire ecology class at the University of Western Australia.

Scott has a BS in electrical engineering and an MS in Biomedical Engineering from the California State University, Sacramento and a PhD in fire science from UC Berkeley. He has delivered testimony before the US House of Representatives on fires and forest and water protection. He has also been presented with an Undergraduate Teaching Excellence award from the ESPM Department. In his free time he enjoys hiking, backpacking and rebuilding old vehicles including a World War II military jeep.

Simon Jarman Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionAustralian Antarctic Division, Australian Government Department of the Environment
Host InstitutionCenter for Coastal Studies, Provincetown
Award NameProfessional Scholarship
DisciplineBiology (Genetics)
Award Year2015

Simon’s main current research interest is the development of genetic methods to study age in animals. The processes driving ageing at the molecular level have become far better understood in the last few years. The most significant change in the understanding of molecular ageing is the recognition that the process of ageing is not just the accumulation of damage, but also includes aspects that are part of a genetic program. The programmed aspects of ageing involve control of gene expression through epigenetic changes such as DNA methylation and expression of regulatory microRNAs. His research on whale age estimation has focused on changes in methylation of specific parts of whale DNA that can be measured in DNA purified from small skin samples to provide an estimate of the age of a whale.

Simon trained as a geneticist at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland where he first learnt about epigenetics and molecular ageing. He then moved back to Australia and pursued some short research projects at the Australian National University and the University of Adelaide on developmental genetics, the first part of the ageing process. He then moved to the University of Tasmania to research of the evolutionary genetics of Antarctic krill as a PhD project. After completing his PhD he worked for the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation’s (CSIRO) marine research division for a year on developing methods to study population genetics in a diverse range of marine animal species. During this time he developed ideas for studying animal diet from the DNA of animals and plants that survive digestion and can then be detected in stomach contents or scats of an animal. This approach allows the diet of animals like whales or penguins to be studied without harming them. He persuaded the Australian Antarctic Division to employ him to develop these methods for studying the diet of whales. This work was successful and Simon continues to work in this organisation with a team of fellow scientists using DNA-based methods to study the diet of many Antarctic animals such as penguins, Antarctic krill, seals and whales. The success of the application of DNA-based approaches to studying animal diet led to consideration of other features of animal ecology that could be studied with molecular methods such as genetic estimation of animal age.

Simon is lucky to live in the Australian island state of Tasmania, which has large wild areas of coast, rivers and small mountains. He enjoys exploring this island by sea kayak, packraft, bicycle, skis and on foot. Simon has built most of the house in which he lives and hopes to complete this project sometime in the middle of the century.

Simon’s Fulbright scholarship will allow him to work with whale ecologist Dr Jooke Robbins on the applications of population age structure information in whale ecology. Dr Robbins works on the population of humpback whales in the Gulf of Maine. This population has been studied for many years and contains the largest number of whales that have a known age from being recognised visually when less than one year old, and re-sighted in subsequent years. Samples from these known-age whales were essential for calibrating DNA-based methods for age estimation. Commercial harvesting of the Gulf of Maine humpback whales ceased in the early 1900s, whereas the east coast Australian whale fishery was still operating until 1962, which is within the 95 year lifespan of humpback whales. The reearch will compare the population age structures found in both areas and relate the modern day age structures to differences in past whaling history.

This work will also provide a foundation for application of genetic methods for age estimation in other animal species. Simon intends to develop similar genetic age estimation methods for other long-lived wild animals such as albatross and penguins and to use the age information for population status monitoring.

Rod Kennett Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionNorth Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance at Charles Darwin University
Host InstitutionThe Nature Conservancy
Award NameNorthern Territory State Professional Scholarship
DisciplineEnvironmental Sciences – Wildlife Management
Award Year2013

“The growing empowerment of Indigenous peoples to create livelihoods based on the management of traditional estates is a game changer in biodiversity conservation.”

Dr Rod Kennett, a Program Manager with the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance at Charles Darwin University, has won this year’s Fulbright Northern Territory Scholarship. Through his Fulbright, Rod will go to the Nature Conservancy for six months to further his research into developing new tools and strategies to support Indigenous livelihoods in conservation.

“Intact ecosystems on Indigenous-held lands in north Australia and the Pacific United States are critical to the conservation of the world’s biodiversity,” Rod said.

“Effective conservation programs for Indigenous lands must bring together Indigenous knowledge and practice with the best scientific conservation methods to create Indigenous conservation-based livelihoods.”

Rod will collaborate with experts in the United States to identify tools and strategies that will inform new approaches to conservation in north Australia.

Rod has a BSc in biological sciences from Macquarie University, an Honours degree from The Australian National University and a PhD from the University of Queensland. He has won awards and prizes including an Australian Research Council Fellowship; a Kinship Conservation Fellowship; three National Banksia Environment Awards; and was a finalist in the National Landcare Awards. His interests include bushwalking, sailing, scuba, travel, mosaics, creative writing and singing in a community choir.

Dr Kathryn Crowe Postdoctoral Scholars

Home InstitutionResearch Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education, Charles Sturt University
Host InstitutionCentre for Education Research Partnerships, Rochester Institute of Technology
Award NameFulbright Postdoctoral Scholarship
DisciplineEducation (Special Education)
Award Year2016

Kathryn is a postdoctoral researcher at Charles Sturt University and a project officer on an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant addressing children’s speech and literacy development. Previously Kathryn has worked as part of the Longitudinal Outcomes of Children with Hearing Impairment (LOCHI) study, and as a speech pathologist at the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children. Kathryn is a university medalist and holds a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts, majoring in linguistics, and a Master of Special Education (Sensory Disability) from the University of Newcastle. In her PhD studies at Charles Sturt University she examined cultural and linguistic diversity in children with hearing loss in Australia and their families, and how caregivers made decisions about which language/s and communication modalities their children with hearing loss would use. Kathryn also holds a Diploma in Interpreting Auslan (Australian Sign Language) and English. As a speech pathologist, educator, and researcher Kathryn is working towards a world in which Deaf and Hard of Hearing learners will have equitable access to education, and show language and academic outcomes on par with those of their hearing peers.

Outside of her work Kathryn is a passionate figure skater having skated in national and international competitions in the discipline of synchronized skating. She is an accredited coach teaching beginner skaters at her home rink and with her home team Fire On Ice. Kathryn also enjoys travelling and is always on the lookout for something tall to conquer. Her latest adventures were hiking to Upper Yosemite Falls in California and trekking over the icy Fimmvörðuháls pass in Iceland, including over the new craters and lava from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities calls for inclusive education for learners with disabilities. Inclusion cannot mean merely placing Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) learners in hearing classrooms, but understanding differences in the learning needs of DHH and hearing students. For her Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship, Kathryn aspires to develop pedagogies that take these differences into account so that DHH learners can achieve greater levels of language and literacy skills. Kathryn will work with Professor Marc Marschark to examine how DHH university students process, store, and retrieve words/signs in memory. Kathryn will conduct projects which will investigate the relationships between words/signs in memory (semantic networks) and how networks vary between DHH and hearing students, and students who use English and/or American Sign Language.

William Feeney Postdoctoral Scholars

Home InstitutionThe University of Queensland
Host InstitutionUniversity of Delaware and University of California, Berkeley
Award NamePostdoctoral Scholarship
DisciplineEnvironmental Sciences (Evolutionary Biology)
Award Year2015

William Feeney is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland. He completed his PhD at the Australian National University, and held an Endeavour Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Cambridge. His research focuses on the ecology and evolution of competitive interactions between species, and how these interactions affect biological diversity. He will work with Dr Danielle Dixson at the School of Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology, from January 2016 to October 2016.

His research will focus on mutualistic interactions between coral reef fishes. In particular, he will investigate whether interspecies mutualisms predict resilience to a changing environment.

“While competitive interactions are relatively well studied, and tend to generate biological diversity, mutualistic interactions are generally less well studied, but seem to conserve diversity. Coral reefs are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and this project will investigate whether mutualistic interactions will help the involved species cope with their changing environment.”

Whilst at the Georgia Institute of Technology William will study if mutualistic interactions between species confer resilience or vulnerability in a changing environment, which continues on from his work at the University of Queensland.

Mark McHenry Postdoctoral Scholars

Home InstitutionMurdoch University
Host InstitutionSandia National Laboratories
Award NameSandia National Laboratories
DisciplineClimate Change Mitigation Technologies
Award Year2012

“Increasing freshwater and energy demands and corresponding decreases in supply quantity and quality is stimulating cross-disciplinary investment in the energy-water nexus.”

Dr Mark McHenry, researching climate change mitigation technologies at Murdoch University, is the winner of the 2012 Fulbright WA Scholarship. The W.A. scholarship is supported through a fund established by donations from the W.A. government, W.A. based universities, companies, foundations and individuals.

Through his Fulbright Mark will carry out a project on waste energy, carbon, and water systems for inland industrial process mitigation with Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for six months.

“My project seeks to critically review and model new waste energy, carbon and water intensive technologies that can be retrofitted to inland industrial facilities,” Mark said.

The project scope is narrowed to three new technologies that have a high potential to co-produce agricultural/aquacultural production inputs for inland regions: microalgal biofuels, thermal desalination, and solution mining. This work quantifies physical ‘energy and material flow’ data for ‘retrofitting’ new technologies for reduced net emissions, fresh water consumption, and energy waste from inland industrial processes, including electricity generators.

Mark has a BSc and PhD in physics from Murdoch University. He has won various awards and prizes including a Postdoctoral Endeavour Award Fellowship from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, and a Science and Innovation Award for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in 2007. He is also a founding member of the Rural Research and Development Council, and has published extensively. He is involved with various non-governmental organisations, and undertakes specialist research regarding renewable energy, carbon sequestration, and rural activities, technologies, and policies.

 

Tiago Tomaz Postdoctoral Scholars

Home InstitutionUniversity of Western Australia
Host InstitutionUniversity of Illinois
Award NameWestern Australia State Postdoctoral Scholarship
DisciplineBiological Sciences – Plant Biology
Award Year2013

“The development of crops that are able to grow under changing climactic conditions is essential to guarantee a food supply for humans in the future.”

Dr Tiago Tomaz, a recent graduate from the University of Western Australia (UWA) has won one of two Fulbright Western Australia Scholarships, sponsored by the WA Government and WA universities. Through his Fulbright, Tiago will go to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) for a year to further his research in crop improvement through the application of genomic and post-genomic techniques, which involve analyses of plants at both the molecular (gene) and physiological (whole plant) level.

“Genomic and post genomic tools are major drivers for development of agriculturally beneficial traits in crop plants” Tiago said. “A priority area for further development is to look for ways to enhance plant tolerance to increased concentrations of ground level (tropospheric) ozone. Currently, few efforts have used these tools to uncover mechanisms for enhancing ozone tolerance in one of the worlds’ most valuable crop plants, maize”.

“This research is important due to elevated concentrations of air pollutants posing a significant threat to the productivity of global maize (and other major cereal) crops. The most damaging of these pollutants is tropospheric ozone”.

Tiago’s project will involve the transfer of valuable tools developed at both UWA and UIUC. UIUC is a pioneer in analysing the impact of global change factors on crop plants, and Tiago will assist in efforts to screen over 200 candidate maize lines for ozone tolerance using innovative free air concentration enrichment (FACE) experimental field plots.This research will provide target maize lines from which to selectively breed ozone tolerant hybrids.

Tiago has a BSc and a PhD in biological sciences from the University of Western Australia. He currently works as part of a Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) funded team at the Department of Agriculture of and Food Western Australia (DAFWA), who are looking to improve drought and cold tolerance of Australian wheat varieties in pre-breeding field trials. In his free time, Tiago enjoys participating in a variety of ocean sports, improving his Portuguese and travelling.

Shelby Bieritz Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionRice University, Texas Heart Institute
Host InstitutionGriffith University
Award NamePostgraduate Scholarship
DisciplineEngineering
Award Year2014

Cardiovascular disease, which leads to heart failure, is the most deadly condition in both Australia and the U.S. The disease killed 45,600 Australians in 2011, which accounted for 31% of all deaths in the country. In the United States, 24% of deaths were attributed to the disease, amounting to 597,689 people in total. Shelby’s current research efforts focus on the development of a minimally invasive cardiac assist device for heart failure patients. The goal of the cardiac assist device is to unload a diseased heart, or to assume a fraction of the pumping capability, in order to allow a patient’s native heart to recover or to provide a bridge to transplant without performing a traumatic open heart surgery. Due to the small size of the assist device, it may also be used to provide total cardiac support for infants and small children in need of a heart transplant. Shelby is collaborating with Rice University and the Texas Heart Institute to design and implement the pump in a pre-clinical model during my doctoral studies, and will use the Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship to design a bearing system for the device. Shelby received her Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering at Texas A&M University, where she worked on a wide range of research projects, including a blood pressure cuff for orangutans and a pneumatic cardiac assist device for adult use. The culmination of Shelby’s undergraduate research and study abroad experience in Germany led her to explore a troublesome question: why have engineers devoted over four decades to developing a wide range of cardiac assist devices for adults, while very few circulatory support options have been made available for pediatric use? Improvements are needed in both the longevity of survival and the quality of life of children who need cardiac support. This is a neglected patient group due to its small size and lack of capital interest, but congenital heart conditions remain the most common birth defect worldwide. The lack of a fully implantable, long-term assist for young children was and still is astounding, thus Shelby’s dream of creating pediatric cardiac assist devices was born. In addition to Shelby’s academic studies, Shelby works as a cardiovascular pathology technician at the Texas Heart Institute, where she uses various imaging modalities to aid in the pre-clinical analysis of mechanical cardiac interventions, from stents to total artificial hearts. Apart from Shelby’s academic pursuits, she enjoys sand volleyball, slam poetry, and camping.

While at Griffith University in Australia, Shelby aims to use the Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship to optimize a spiral groove bearing for rotary blood pumps that will reduce hemolysis while generating substantive force to suspend a rotor. Additionally, Shelby wants to apply this bearing type to a minimally invasive cardiac support device when she returns to the U.S. Through this project, Shelby hopes to generate a collaborative effort between Australian and U.S. biomedical innovators to combat the devastating effects of heart disease, while familiarizing herself with differences in the clinical management of heart failure patients between U.S. and Australian healthcare providers. With its Smart State Initiative, Queensland is advancing its post-coal economy into an era of knowledge economics, focused on innovation and translational research efforts. This provides the perfect environment to broaden the impact of Shelby’s research by establishing international collaborations between institutes in Queensland and the United States. With the common struggle of heart disease, joint developments in assist technology are absolutely necessary to improve patient outcomes. Collaborations between teams will remove the hindrance of unshared knowledge, increase engineers’ capabilities, and provide a diverse array of design approaches.

Molly Jones Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionGeorgetown University
Host InstitutionAustralian National University
Award NameFulbright-Anne Wexler Masters in Public Policy Scholarship
DisciplinePublic Policy
Award Year2014

Molly Jones is the 2014 American Anne Wexler Scholar. She received her undergraduate degree in Science, Technology, and International Affairs from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. In 2014, she will complete a Master of Public Policy at the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy. She will focus on shared political interests and cooperation between the US and Australia in trade, security, and development; with a particular focus on environmental security as a priority issue in the Asia Pacific.

Both the US and Australia are pursuing increased involvement and leadership in the Asia Pacific. Within the Obama administration, the US has pivoted, or rebalanced, its foreign policy to the Asia Pacific. To date, this effort has been primarily through the sectors of security and trade. Despite these efforts, US policymakers agree that the rebalance needs to include a greater number of Asia Pacific nations and address a greater breadth of policies beyond security and trade. Complementary to this, Australia is also shifting its foreign policy to be more focused on the Asia Pacific.

A critical factor for stability and continued growth in the Asia Pacific is its environmental security. Finite natural resources, energy supply and geopolitics, climate change, and environmental degradation all pose a serious threat to the growth and stability of the region. Many of these environmental conditions are considered threat multipliers, which are conditions that lead to instability and make conflict over other issues more likely to erupt. Other environmental conditions prevent growth and prosperity. Policymakers and the business community can work together to improve the environmental outlook of the region, promote growth, and ensure stability and prosperity.

“One of my primary goals is to promote natural resource security in the Asia Pacific. The US and Australia have the potential to be great partners in this endeavor – strengthening both the Asia Pacific region as well as their diplomatic and economic ties. Through the Anne Wexler Scholarship, I will develop the skills to make a meaningful contribution to the US-Australian collaboration in this area.”

Abby Kelly Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionUniversity of Washington
Host InstitutionCSIRO, Manufacturing Flagship
Award NameFulbright-CSIRO Postgraduate Scholarship
DisciplineEngineering
Award Year2015

Abby began her professional career as a residential interior designer after completing a Bachelor of Science in Design at the University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL) in 2005. After working as a designer for three years in Lansing, Michigan, she decided to return to school to pursue a degree in engineering in order to make a more significant contribution to society. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Biological Systems Engineering from UNL in 2012. At the end of her bachelors, she was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship due to her undergraduate research on the use of Raman spectroscopy to characterize and diagnose muscle degradation associated with Peripheral Arterial Disease and for her work in engineering education on the accreditation and assessment of undergraduate engineering curricula. Abby conducted her Masters research in the field of gene delivery, developing a method to improve the delivery of foreign DNA to human mesenchymal stem cells through nonviral means for improved genetic reprogramming. She was awarded a Master’s degree in Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering from UNL in 2014. Abby is currently pursuing a PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Washington, where her research focuses on the development and evaluation of more effective drug delivery systems to combat pulmonary infections caused by tier 1 agents Burkholderia pseudomallei and Francisella tularensis. Abby has coauthored multiple publications on her undergraduate and graduate research as well as on her work in engineering education, and is a co-inventor on a patent for a device to more accurately quantify air-leaks from the pleural space following a traumatic lung injury.

Abby will conduct her Fulbright research at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in the manufacturing flagship where she will characterize the effects of polymer architecture on the efficacy and toxicity of peptide delivery. She is most excited to improve her polymer synthesis skills while working with the inventors of one of the most-used polymerization techniques in the world, reversible addition fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) polymerization. Abby will be joined in Australia by her husband, an aspiring filmmaker who is excited to document their once-in-a-lifetime Australian Fulbright adventure.

Kristen Lear Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionOhio Wesleyan University
Host InstitutionUniversity of Melbourne
Award Name2011 Fulbright Postgraduate Scholar
DisciplineZoology
Award Year2011

“The population size of the Southern Bent-wing Bat has declined dramatically in the last 50 years. Numerous threats have been proposed as potential factors in this decline. It is not known whether the breeding caves in Naracoorte have a role in the decline.”

Ms Kristen Lear, a recent graduate from Ohio Wesleyan University, has won a Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship to come to Naracoorte Caves National Park for a year to study population trends and breeding success of the Southern Bent-wing Bat. Kristen will work with the University of Melbourne, South Australian Museum, the South Australian Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment on her project.

Through her Fulbright, Kristen aims to help fill in some of the knowledge gaps in the population trends of the Southern Bent-wing Bat through the development of an automated counting system to monitor the population.

“The Southern Bent-wing Bat is listed as Critically Endangered due to severe population declines and its dependence on only two breeding sites,” Kristen said.

“We need to know what is causing the decline, in order to recommend the most effective management actions.”

The new monitoring technique will use an innovative missile tracking system to provide invaluable information about the population trends and breeding success of the bat.

With Lindy Lumsden of the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment, Cath Dickson of the SA Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Terry Reardon of the South Australian Museum and Steve Bourne of the Friends of Naracoorte Caves, Kristen will examine two key factors using the new technology. The first aims to accurately estimate the population size and population trends at the breeding site. The second is developing techniques to accurately estimate breeding success and survival rates.

While she is in Australia Kristen will also work with the community to help bring awareness and understanding of this bat species to members of the public, so that they develop a vested interest in its conservation.

Kristen has a BA in Pre-Professional Zoology from Ohio Wesleyan University. She has won awards and prizes including the Soroptimist International Virginia M. Wagner Educational Grant and the Ohio Wesleyan John N. Chase Scholarship for academic promise in the field of zoology. In her spare time she takes part in Campus Girl Scouts and volunteers to educate the community about bats.

Kelly Tsang Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionMonash University
Host InstitutionMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Award Name2011 Fulbright Postgraduate Scholar in Science and Engineering sponsored by BHP Billiton
DisciplineEngineering
Award Year2011

“Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine hold the key to revolutionising treatments of injuries and disabling illnesses.”

Kelly Tsang, a PhD candidate supported by the CRC for Polymers and working across Monash University and CSIRO has won the 2011 Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship in Science and Engineering sponsored by BHP Billiton. The Fulbright Scholarship in Science and Engineering was established with BHP Billiton in 2000.

Through his Fulbright, Kelly will spend twelve months at leading US institutes including Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Wellman Centre for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.  He aims to extend his PhD research in the area of tissue engineering, which combines materials science and engineering with stem cell technology with the aim of reconstructing biological tissue.

“In this field I am developing a three dimensional, synthetic platform that can be used to build up complex tissues from individual cells,” Kelly said. His work will use a special material that he has devised, a gel like substance that is able to be broken down by light (photo-degradable). “Recent studies have demonstrated that a number of de-cellularised tissues can be re-seeded with stem cells, which then grow into functional tissue again after re-transplantation. These studies suggest that it is also possible to construct synthetic scaffold materials which display appropriate signals and which, after seeding with suitable cells, can yield functional tissues.”

The use of photodegradable polymers is expected in particular to address the need for materials that allow the precise spatial and temporal direction of cells in three dimensions. “The Fulbright scholarship will grant me access to top tier laboratories, expertise and facilities to help demonstrate that these sophisticated photo-degradable hydrogel systems can be used to guide and control cells.”  He hopes to return to Australia with increased knowledge, contacts and to build long term collaboration in the area.

Kelly has a BSc/BEng (First Class Honours) from Monash University. He has been awarded 1st Prize and People’s choice award, 3 Minute Thesis Speaking Competition, Faculty of Engineering, Monash University; CRC for Polymers Prize, for best Australian final year Engineering Research Thesis in the field of polymers; Dean’s List Fellowship, Faculty of Science for three years, the Rotary Youth Leadership Award and the Doug Smith Memorial Award.  In his spare time he enjoys music/choral/song composition and performance, and looks forward to Broadway visits which will help inspire new compositions in his own musical.

The prestigious Fulbright program is the largest educational scholarship of its kind, created by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright and the U.S. Government in 1946. Aimed at promoting mutual understanding through educational exchange, it operates between the U.S. and 155 countries. In Australia, the scholarships are funded by the Australian and U.S. Governments and corporate partners and administered by the Australian-American Fulbright Commission in Canberra. Kelly is one of 26 talented Australians to be recognised as a Fulbright Scholar in 2011.

 

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