Alumni

The Fulbright Program has more than 370,000 alumni from over 160 countries worldwide. Fulbright alumni include 33 current or former heads of state or government, 54 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 29 MacArthur Foundation Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors. Five thousand of those alumni belong to the Australian-American program and received their Fulbright awards from the 1950s on. You are a part of this roll call of excellence.

We aspire to deepen and expand our connection with you. We want you to be committed and contributing partners in the fostering of mutual understanding through academic and cultural exchange between Australia and the U.S. that the Fulbright Program promotes.

Some of our alumni

Scott Cameron Chapman Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionCSIRO Agricultural Flagship and The University of Queensland
Host InstitutionKansas State University
Award NameKansas State University Senior Scholarship
DisciplineAgriculture (Crop Science)
Award Year2015

Agricultural research is a diverse area – from studying soils and microbes through to looking at the DNA of plants. As a crop physiologist, Scott enjoys trying to understand how plants ‘work’. This helps plant breeders to develop better varieties for farmers to grow. His focus is on dryland crops, especially those subject to drought and heat, so he tries to determine how to select crops with the best growth characteristics – how the patterns of growth of leaves, roots and grains are best ‘organised’ over the season to efficiently use light, water and nutrients. The work involves detailed experiments to measure crop growth using basic tools (rulers and knives), and developing and applying new remote sensing methods (cameras, lasers, heat sensors) mounted on ground or aerial robots. Processing these large datasets into useful information is a major activity for Scott, and he then uses this information to build computer models of how plants grow. Just as computer models are essential to the design of new cars and aero planes, they are also useful to describe biology of crops and how they respond to soil and climate conditions. Scott uses historical weather records to predict how plants would have grown over the last 50 years, and this information helps breeders and farmers to know how ’virtual’ crops should perform in any place where we would propose to grow them. These models also allow him to predict how crops should grow in ‘future’ climates.

During Scott’s PhD at The University of Queensland and a short term at the state research department, he developed a great interest in crop physiology and the adaptation of crops. With a four year post-doc at an international centre (CIMMYT) in Mexico, Scott learnt how these research areas could be used to design better crop varieties for farmers, especially in the developing world. Since then he has been based in Australia (for the last 17 years at CSIRO) and has been able to work with researchers and breeders around the world on multiple crops including sunflower, sorghum, sugarcane, maize (corn) and wheat. In that time, there have been great improvements in the opportunities to genetically characterise and manipulate crops. So now, the main limit to breeding better crops is the ability to more rapidly measure how they grow (their phenotype), especially in the field. In recent years, Scott’s work has focused more on using wireless sensors and aerial robots in high-throughput applications to measure these plants and to try to integrate this information into crop models.

Scotts’ Fulbright Scholarship will allow him to undertake new research into how best to characterize wheat plant growth in response to field stress conditions. KSU is located in a low rainfall zone with some of the largest areas of wheat and sorghum production in the USA, the two crops that Scott works on in Australia. Although he has frequently worked with scientists in the region, this study period will help build new collaborations with KSU and other agricultural centres in the US into the future. It will also provide the opportunity to better understand how plant breeding can be used to improve adaptation to drought and heat conditions.

Mike Webster Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionCornell University
Host InstitutionThe University of Melbourne
Award NameFulbright Senior Scholarship
DisciplineOrnithology
Award Year2015

Professor Webster’s research focuses on the social behavior of birds from an evolutionary perspective, particularly focusing on the evolutionary factors that shape sexual signals, like plumage color and song in birds, and how those signals in turn affect the process of speciation. Research in Webster’s lab is integrative and combines intensive fieldwork with genetic and hormonal analyses in the lab, all aimed at unlocking the secret lives of birds and other taxa. Most of this work focuses on New World Warblers and Australian Fairy-wrens, but also includes work on other species as well.

Webster received his B.S. degree from the University of California at San Diego, and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. After a Postdoctoral Position at the University of Chicago, Webster moved to academic appointments at SUNY Buffalo and Washington State University. Currently, he is the Robert G. Engel Professor of Ornithology in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University. Webster is also Director of the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which is the world’s oldest and largest collection of “biodiversity media” (i.e., audio and video recordings of animals in the wild).

Mike has two goals for his period as a Fulbright Scholar in Australia. The first is to establish collaborative research relationships with several Australian researchers to develop a large, multi-investigator comparative study of Australian fairy-wrens. The second is to establish a strong and mutually beneficial working relationship between the Macaulay Library and the Australian National Wildlife Collection, aimed primarily at building a comprehensive collection of audio/video recordings capturing the behavior of Australian animals.

Allan Young Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionNSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure
Host InstitutionNew York City Mayor’s Office and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Award NameProfessional Scholarship in Climate Change and Clean Energy (sponsored by the U.S. and Australian Governments)
DisciplineUrban Planning – Coastal Planning
Award Year2013

“Adaptation to sea level rise is a significant global issue and requires concerted action in both Australia and the U.S. There is a groundswell of government and community interest in sea level rise and this is the opportune time to respond in a positive and pragmatic way.”

Mr Allan Young, Manager, Coastal Policy, NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure has won one of two of the Fulbright Professional Scholarships in Climate Change and Clean Energy for 2013, sponsored by the U.S. and Australian governments. Through his Fulbright, Allan will go to the New York City Mayor’s Office and MIT in Boston for four months to work on urban planning issues around adapting to climate change.

“Sea level rise due to climate change will affect almost every aspect of coastal life for communities in Australia and the U.S. How we plan and adapt is a vitally important global issue but it is still a relatively young field of inquiry,” Allan said.

“I will study how the shared knowledge and experience of Australia and the U.S. can be used to improve our land use planning systems and to better engage the community to generate workable solutions,” Allan said.

“My program will build essential skills and networks between Australia and the United States in this crucial and complex field.”

Allan has a BA and DipEd, University of New South Wales; DipLib, University of Technology, Sydney; Master of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Sydney. In his professional career, he has played a major role in the creation of the first Aboriginal owned and managed national parks in NSW; and led the policy and planning reforms in East Timor to enable the new nation to create their first conservation reserve. He has also delivered major reforms of the planning systems and regulations pertaining to Sydney Harbour. His interests include public policy, behavioural economics and all things coastal.

Kathryn Field Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionRoyal Melbourne Hospital
Host InstitutionRoyal Melbourne Hospital
Award NameHarvard University
DisciplineClinical Research
Award Year2012

“To truly effectively understand cancer research necessitates a sound scientific background – how to marry the clinical rationale with scientific rigor.”

Dr Kathryn Field, a medical oncologist with the Royal Melbourne Hospital and a clinical research fellow at the Ludwig Institute Cancer Research in Melbourne is the 2012 winner of the Fulbright Postgraduate Alumni (WG Walker) Scholarship, which is funded through donations by Fulbright Alumni and awarded to the highest ranked Postgraduate Scholar.

Through her Fulbright, Kathryn will go to the U.S. for a year to enrol in a Masters of Science in Clinical Research or Masters of Public Health focusing on biostatistics, clinical epidemiology, health services research, research design and data analysis.

“These are the exact skills in which I need gain in order to further my expertise in this field. By studying in the U.S. I will be trained by world-renowned professionals in these areas and will obtain a global view of the issues facing clinical researchers around the world,” Kathryn said.

These skills will also significantly benefit the researchers, clinicians and cancer patients that Kathryn works with in Australia.

“Rigorous training in epidemiology and biostatistics will give me the tools to better formulate and apply research questions and to personally analyse data arising from research projects – not only my own but the many projects being generated through the team I work with,” Kathryn said.

Kathryn said that expertise in this area would result in significant gains for the young researchers who are currently completing research projects with the BioGrid data repository (an Australian-developed data repository for cancer research databases).

Kathryn is currently completing a Doctor of Medical Science through the University of Melbourne, and has a MBBS (with honours) from the University of Melbourne. She has won many awards and prizes including top medical student and Australian Medical Association Prize 1999; top student in medicine, orthopaedics, obstetrics/gynaecology, pathology, pharmacology, anatomy, biochemistry and biology in her undergraduate years. In more recent years she has been awarded three American Society of Clinical Oncology Merit Awards, the Cancer Trials Australia Award in 2010 for being the top student in the University of Melbourne’s Certificate in Clinical Research course, and the Cleveland Young Investigator Award in 2011 for the top abstract presented at Melbourne Health Research Week. In her spare time she is interested in travel, photography, long-distance running (half-marathon), cooking, music and languages.

 

 

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