TWO University of Tasmania researchers will share almost $11 million of funding after being honoured with prestigious Laureate Fellowships.
Chairman of Environmental Sustainability Barry Brook and Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies Professor of Marine Biochemistry Philip Boyd were two of 16 recipients recognised by the Australian Research Council.
The two professors will both use their funding to investigate ways to combat climate change and balance the need for human development with environmental conservation.
Professor Brook will look into the trade-offs between human development and the competing need to conserve habitats, ecosystems and species.
Professor Boyd will evaluate the feasibility of boosting carbon dioxide removal by Southern Ocean microbes to offset climate change.
This is the first time any Tasmanian-based researcher has received the honour.
Professor Brook said when he first found out he had been awarded the fellowship, it felt both exciting and daunting.
“It unlocks the ability to do a whole range of things that otherwise would not be possible,” he said.
“I really want to grow a centre of sustainability and research into trying to balance the pressures of economic development with the need to conserve the natural systems.
“It certainly would have been a much slower route whereas the fellowship gives me a lot more momentum.”
Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen said the inclusion of both professors in the list of recipients demonstrated the quality of the university’s academic staff.
“The awarding of these Australian Laureate Fellowships to our academics is an outstanding achievement and a well-deserved accolade for their endeavours,” Professor Rathjen said.
“It demonstrates our strategic intent to focus on our strengths and attract outstanding researchers from around the globe to the University of Tasmania, which is recognised internationally as producing world-class research in areas of priority.”