Alumni Profiles

Anthony McLeod Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionMurray Darling Basin Authority
Host InstitutionUniversity of Colorado, Boulder
Award NameSenior Scholarship
DisciplineLaw (Water Management)
Award Year2014

“[This] work will draw on 130 years of exchanges on water management between the U.S. and Australia and will seek to inform future policy prescriptions in both countries.”

Tony McLeod is a General Manager at the Murray Darling Basin Authority in Canberra, having completed his PhD at the University of Melbourne, specialising in water resource management. He will study at the Getches- Wilkinson Centre for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment at the University of Colorado Boulder, in Boulder, from August to December 2014.

He will specifically focus on the shared water management challenges between the Colorado and Murray Darling river basins, including institutional form, climate change and the involvement of Indigenous people in water management.

“I see my project as usefully contributing to the issue of water management in large river basins in arid and semi-arid environments with complex governance arrangements and creating ongoing collaboration. My work will draw on 130 years of exchanges on water management between the U.S. and Australia and will seek to inform future policy prescriptions in both countries.”

Peter Dean Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionAustralian National University
Host InstitutionGeorgetown University
Award NameProfessional Scholarship in Australia-United States Alliance studies
DisciplineHistory (non-US), (Strategic History)
Award Year2014

“This is a critical time in the [ANZUS] alliance; one of the most important in the Asia-Pacific Region since the announcement of the Nixon Doctrine in 1969.”

Peter Dean is currently Fellow and Director of Studies at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University. He will study at Georgetown University, Washington from August to November 2014, focusing on Australia-United States strategic relations, and how that strategic relationship has evolved and changed over time.

He will also visit the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, the leading global think tank for security and strategic issues. His studies examine how the ANZUS Alliance, formed in the early days of the Cold War in Asia, has endured for over 60 years.

“I am keen to ascertain US perspectives on the ANZUS alliance as part of the US ‘rebalance’ to the Asia-Pacific region as announced by President Obama during his visit to Canberra in 2011. This is a critical time in the alliance; one of the most important in the Asia-Pacific Region since the announcement of the Nixon Doctrine in 1969.”

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.

Clare O’Neill Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionAustralian Army
Host InstitutionGeorgetown University
Award NameProfessional Scholarship in Australia-United States Alliance Studies (sponsored by the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
DisciplineInternational Relations – Security and Strategy
Award Year2013

“Effective civil-military decision making to meet human insecurity challenges during conflicts and disasters is paramount due to the complexity of the security environment regionally and globally. Militaries will continue to take on humanitarian roles as part of combat and non-combat operations. When military commanders and field practitioners are equipped with the knowledge to quickly understand an environment and the implications of multiagency responses, they will be able to make effective decisions to best achieve strategic intent.”

Major Clare O’Neill, 2013 Chief of Army Scholar, Australian Army has won this year’s Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Australia-US Alliance Studies sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She will go to Georgetown University for four months to carry out research that will propose developments to current military decision-making models for the execution of humanitarian action at the tactical level. The outcomes of the research will assist deployed forces make effective and strategically relevant decisions during the response phase of operations. Clare commences her research in Australia through the Land Warfare Studies Centre and University of Canberra’s National Security Institute.

“My research will present a civil-military decision making model for military commanders and field practitioners at the tactical level. The model will propose a set of organising principles intended to inform the development and improvement of processes already in use by United States and Australian government agencies. This will enhance civil-military cooperation and enable effective decisions to best achieve strategic intent,” Clare said.

“I will demonstrate where agencies’ decision making processes overlap, where external input is required and how they can apply identified best practices. It will include valuable analyses of methods decision makers can utilise when faced with human security considerations to address the needs of the individual whilst achieving strategic aims for regional and global security.”

Clare has a BEng from the University of New South Wales and an MA from Deakin University.  She is a Chartered Professional Engineer and has deployed with the Australian Army to Afghanistan and Padang, Indonesia after the 2009 earthquake. Clare has received prizes and awards including a Chief of Defence Force Commendation for her work in Afghanistan and the Australian Society for Defence Engineering Prize. Her interests include running and rowing.

Mark Putland Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionBendigo Health Care Group and Monash University
Host InstitutionThe Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Trauma Ward
Award NameProfessional Scholarship
DisciplinePublic Health (Regional Systems of Trauma Care)
Award Year2015

Mark graduated from Melbourne University Medical School in 1998 and became a Fellow of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine in 2007. His emergency medicine training was predominantly completed at The Western Hospital Footscray, in Melbourne’s western suburbs. He also spent time at The Royal Children’s Hospital, The Alfred Hospital and with Careflight Queensland. For the past seven years he has been an emergency physician at Bendigo Health in central Victoria and has shared the role of Co-Director of Emergency Medicine Training there for the past four years. In that time he has also worked part-time for the state critical care retrieval service coordinating and carrying out the retrieval of critically ill patients from rural areas to the city and in private and public urban emergency departments.

Mark is interested in the way well constructed systems allow talented people to do extraordinary things. Working as a director of training he has been passionate about building an educational environment at Bendigo to best bring out the talents of his trainees. Working in public and private, rural and urban EDs and for the state retrieval coordination service he has developed a broader interest in health care systems and the way they can be structured to make the most of the talents and resources available. He is particularly passionate about building capacity in rural and regional areas, having been part of a team that has built a successful and highly functioning emergency department and sought-after medical training hub in a hospital that only recently struggled to find medical staff year by year.

Mark will travel to several US states to examine the ways in which the concept of a “model trauma system” has been implemented to suit local needs. He will focus on identifying the features which are successful in some jurisdictions but absent in others.  In this way he will gain a perspective that can inform the further evolution of Victoria’s very successful trauma system. He hopes to bring back knowledge that could be applied in other Australian states and in other countries that are looking to develop their emergency care systems. Following his research term in the US, Mark will take up a sabbatical position at the National Trauma Research Institute at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne where he aims to consolidate his work on the project.

Dr Marcel David Zimmet Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionSydney Children Hospital’s Network and University of Sydney
Host InstitutionUniversity of California and University of Washington
Award NameFulbright Professional Scholarship
DisciplineMedical Science (Pediatrics)
Award Year2016

Dr Marcel Zimmet is a paediatrician specialising in developmental and behavioural disorders including Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).

Marcel works at the FASD Diagnostic and Assessment Clinic at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney. This will soon become part of the new Centre for the Prevention of Harm to Children and Adolescents from Drugs and Alcohol, with a remit for clinical care, training, research, advocacy and capacity building across New South Wales.

Marcel is a member of the Expert Panel that has developed the Australian FASD Diagnostic Instrument, including the national diagnostic guidelines and online training modules for health professionals. He is currently a chief investigator for national FASD case surveillance through the Australian Paediatric Surveillance, and for research into the impact of FASD on Australian children and families.

Marcel also works at Royal Far West in Manly providing developmental-behavioural paediatric care and parent therapy for children in rural and remote NSW, both face-to-face and via Telehealth. Marcel commenced his paediatric training at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, where he was a Fellow at the Centre for Community Child Health. He became a consultant paediatrician in Darwin, where he established a successful practice.

Marcel’s interest in FASD arose during his five years in the Northern Territory, where he saw the impact alcohol had on children and communities both non-Indigenous and Indigenous. It was not until he returned ‘down south’ that he became aware of the widespread misunderstanding and under-detection of FASD – one of the only preventable developmental disabilities – even within the health professions.

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.

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.

Laura Crommelin Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionUniversity of New South Wales
Host InstitutionUniversity of New South Wales
Award NameUniversity of Michigan
DisciplineImage, identity & urban change
Award Year2012

“With three quarters of all Australians living in major urban areas, the health of our cities is imperative to our nation’s future well-being. As a result, cities are the context in which a growing range of political and social issues are being debated.”

Ms Laura Crommelin, a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Built Environment at UNSW, is this year’s winner of the Fulbright NSW Scholarship, which is sponsored by the NSW Government and NSW universities.

Through her Fulbright Scholarship Laura will research the relationship between image, identity and urban change in Detroit, Michigan at the University of Michigan. Through this work she will examine how a city’s image and identity are linked to its physical, economic and social form; why our perceptions of cities change; and whether different regeneration practices can help to shift such perceptions. Her research will focus on these issues in ‘post-industrial’ cities, where practices like urban branding and grassroots urbanism are becoming increasingly popular.

Detroit is a case study for Laura’s Ph.D., along with Newcastle, Australia, as both cities are looking to reshape their image following industrial decline.

“While Newcastle’s economic challenges have not been as severe as Detroit’s, both cities have had to grapple with the shifting relationship between their economy, their identity and their image. Newcastle has experienced significant economic restructuring since the BHP steelworks closed, and recently launched a branding campaign in the hopes of promoting a new image for the city. Lessons from the U.S. about innovative and effective ways to reshape urban image and identity are therefore highly pertinent to Newcastle,” Laura said.

“My comparative research considers the role and effectiveness of place marketing and branding in this recovery process, addressing current debates around whether top-down regeneration practices like urban branding can truly help to reshape image and identity; whether urban branding is incompatible with local, grassroots responses to decline; and how different urban populations are involved in the creation of a more image-conscious ‘branded’ post-industrial city,” Laura said.

Laura has a M. Litt, US Studies Centre, University of Sydney and a BA/LLB (Hons), University of Melbourne. She has won awards and prizes including the Sir George Turner Exhibition for Constitutional and Administrative Law, at the University of Melbourne Law School, 2002; and a Universitas 21 Language Exchange Scholarship for study at McGill University, Montreal. In her spare time she enjoys netball, travel, long distance running, attending the theatre.



Kristen Lear Postgraduate Students

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

Matthew Lee Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionUniversity of Pennsylvania
Host InstitutionQueensland University of Technology
Award NameFulbright Postgraduate Scholarship
Award Year2015

As a game designer, health professional, and chair of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA)’s Serious Games SIG, Matthew is passionate about the potential for digital entertainment software to enhance people’s lives and improve society. His research focuses on developing a framework for the design of therapeutic games outside the confines of the clinical environment, and his publications examining how entertainment-focused games and other media engage audiences through narrative, gameplay, and social cues.

His previous work explores how virtual worlds could be used for the public good, and he has collaborated with the University of Southern California and the MacArthur Foundation. Matthew designed the simulation and assessment tools of the “PTSD Toolkit for Nurses” – an e-learning program designed to train registered nurses in recognizing the symptoms of PTSD in patients and how to respond effectively, and Quarantine – a public health game best described as “Sherlock Holmes meets SimCity.”

After graduating from the University of Southern California in 2009, he went on to obtain certifications as an EMT and a registered nurse to better understand community health and how games could be useful both in a clinical setting, and in a broader public context.

In 2014, he founded AFK Studios, a company dedicated to tackling real-world problems through the power of games as virtual experiences. Their early work with Tethys, a game tackling the issue of global water management, brought them to the finals of the G20 Global Business Challenge.

Among other awards, Matthew has been chosen as a two-time IGDA Scholar (honoring the most promising students in game development) and one of “15 to Watch in 2015” by The Feast, an international network of social innovators.

While in Australia, Matthew will be studying the relationship between peer aggression in online games and the design of underlying systems that promote or inhibit communication, cooperation, and other forms of social interaction, in an effort to learn how online communities – just as communities in the offline world – are shaped by the context of their interactions.  Through an understanding of this relationship, Matthew seeks to minimize online ‘toxicity’ through better design, ultimately helping online communities foster a culture of tolerance and transparency while remaining true to their community’s character and guiding principles.

Alison Witchard Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionAustralian National University
Host InstitutionHarvard University
Award NamePostgraduate Scholarship
Award Year2014

“Through my research, I hope to foster greater understanding and awareness of the challenging experiences faced by women.”

Alison Witchard completed a Bachelor of Philosophy (PhB) in Arts in Anthropology at the Australian National University in 2012 (winning the University medal) before beginning a PhD in Anthropology. She will investigate, using anthropological theories and methodologies, the experiences of “previvors” – those who carry the genetic mutation linked to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, BRCA1 or 2. Specifically, she will investigate the nuance and complexity of the decision to forgo a significant part of the body; (such as a breast or uterus).

“My own experiences within the biomedical system have spurned my desire to undertake medical anthropology and focus on the embodied and lived experiences of those who face their own mortality, but are often overlooked and misunderstood during such processes. Through my research, I hope to foster greater understanding and awareness of the challenging experiences faced by women with BRCA1/2 and the difficult decisions with which they are confronted.”

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