Bragg Fellow Biographies

Each year The Royal Institution of Australia celebrates this wonderful Bragg connection that links Australia and The Royal Institution of Great Britain (RiGB) and invites outstanding Australian scientists and science communicators to become Honorary Bragg Members.


This prestigious award recognises their distinguished contribution to science and their support as ambassadors for The Royal Institution of Australia.

William (Henry) Bragg and his son William Lawrence hold a unique place in Australian (and indeed international history) as the only father-and-son team to be awarded a Nobel Prize. They were awarded the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of X-ray crystallography. William (Henry) Bragg was the first Professor of Physics at the University of Adelaide and his son (William) Lawrence was born and educated in South Australia.

Both returned to the UK and were subsequently Directors of the The Royal Institution of Great Britain.

Bragg Members

Emeritus Professor Maree Smith
Emeritus Professor
Maree Smith

Emeritus Professor Smith is an international expert in pain research and current Director of the Centre for Integrated Preclinical Drug Development at the University of Queensland, which she established. Three of her patented novel analgesics technologies have been licensed to university spin-out companies for commercialisation. One of these, Spinifex Pharmaceuticals, was later acquired by Novartis in what was then the largest biotech deal in Australia. She also has a portfolio of innovative pain models that are unique in Australia and rare internationally.

Professor Michael Reade
Professor Michael Reade

Professor Reade is an intensive care physician and clinical academic in the Australian Defence Force, seconded to the University of Queensland as the inaugural Professor of Military Medicine and Surgery. He was the Clinical Director of the Regular Army’s only field hospital and has deployed nine times, including twice to Afghanistan and three times to Iraq. With the rank of Brigadier, as the Assistant Surgeon General – Army he now oversees clinical specialist personnel and capability development. He leads a program of research relevant to military trauma medicine and surgery, with primary themes of blood transfusion, trauma system design, and treatments for the acute cognitive dysfunction that accompany severe traumatic brain injury and critical illness.

Dr Megan Clark AC
Dr Megan Clark

Dr Clark was appointed the inaugural CEO of the Australian Space Agency in May 2018, having chaired a 2017 review into Australia’s space industry capability. She was Chief Executive of the CSIRO from 2009 to 2014. A former geologist, she has also held senior positions with NM Rothschild and Sons (Australia) and BHP Billiton.  She is a director of Rio Tinto, CSL Limited and CARE Australia and a member of the Australian advisory board of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch. In 2014 she was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia.

Alan Joyce AC
Alan Joyce AC

Mr Joyce has been CEO and Managing Director of the Qantas Group since November 2008, overseeing the biggest transformation of the airline since it was privatised in 1995. He was previously the founding CEO of Jetstar. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Applied Science (Physics and Mathematics) (Honours) and a Master of Science in Management Science, and is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2017.

Professor Adrienne Clarke

Professor Clarke is Chancellor of La Trobe University and Professor Emeritus of Botany at University of Melbourne. A world-renowned researcher, her scientific work has provided critical insight into the biochemistry and genetics of flowering plants, their reproduction and growth. Her team was the first to clone the gene that regulates self-compatibility in plants and the first to clone the DNA of an arabinogalactan protein (a class of plant proteoglycan). She is a former chair of the CSIRO and lieutenant-general of Victoria.

Dr Alan Finkel AO

Dr Finkel was appointed Australia’s Chief Scientist in 2016. He is also President of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ex-officio), Chancellor of Monash University and Patron of the Australian Science Media Centre, and he contributes to a number of research institutes. A neuroscientist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, he invented a commercially successful device which substantially speeds up drug research and founded the science magazines Cosmos and G: The Green Lifestyle Magazine.

Dr Andrew S W Thomas AO

Dr Thomas was the first Australian-born professional astronaut to go into space. An aerospace engineer with NASA for 22 years, he completed five space missions – a total of 177 days – including time on board the Space Shuttle and the Mir Space Station. He has since been involved with related projects, including the development of vehicle and transportation systems that will return humans to the moon. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2000 and awarded a Centenary Medal by the Australian Government in 2001.

Professor Barry Marshall AC

Professor Marshall is Professor of Clinical Microbiology at the University of Western Australia. With J. Robin Warren [also a Bragg Fellow], he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology in 2005 for their discovery that bacterium Helicobacter pylori is the cause of most peptic ulcers, reversing decades of medical doctrine holding that ulcers were caused by stress, spicy foods and too much acid. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1999, and in 2007 was named Western Australian of the Year and appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia.

Dr Basil Hetzel

Dr Hetzel was a pioneer of research into iodine deficiencies and thyroid disease and an advocate for iodine supplementation, which aided the creation of the International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders. Its work is credited with saving 80 million lives. In 2001 the long-standing research activities of Adelaide’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital were renamed the Basil Hetzel Institute, in honour of his work. He also was Chancellor of the University of South Australia from 1992 to 1998. He passed away in 2017.

Professor Brian Cox OBE

Professor Cox is one of the world’s foremost scientists and science communicators, well known to the public as the presenter of numerous science programs for the BBC. A particle physicist at the University of Manchester and Royal Society Professor for Public Engagement in Science, he has carried out research at the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Switzerland, and the H1 experiment at DESY in Hamburg. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2010.

Professor Brian Schmidt AC

Professor Schmidt’s joint discovery of an accelerating universe was named Science magazine’s Breakthrough of the Year for 1998 and saw him share the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics with Adam Riess and Saul Perlmutter. Then a Distinguished Professor, Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and astrophysicist at the Australian National University’s Mount Stromlo Observatory and Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, he is now the ANU’s Vice Chancellor. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2013.

Professor Carola Garcia de Vinuesa

Professor Vinuesa is Professor of Immunology at the Australian National University and Director of the Centre for Personalised Immunology (CPI), an NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence. She also co-directs the China Australia Centre for Personalised Immunology based in Shanghai. Her research has led to the discovery of genes important for immune regulation and memory and the identification of a novel pathway of post-transcriptional control of gene expression to prevent autoimmunity.

Professor Caroline McMillen

Professor McMillen was appointed South Australia’s Chief Scientist in 2018. A biomedical researcher, she is recognised internationally for her work into the impact of the nutritional environment before birth on the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and obesity in adult life. She also has held national and international roles in medical and health research, industry engagement, innovation strategy and policy development. She was most recently Vice Chancellor of the University of Newcastle.

Emeritus Professor
Christopher Burrell AO

Emeritus Professor Burrell is Head of Virology at the University of Adelaide and Head of the Infectious Disease Laboratories at the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science. His research has contributed greatly to our understanding of, and ability to control, viral diseases; it has led to the first diagnostic tools and vaccines for Hepatitis B and to a new understanding of the mechanisms of HIV/AIDS infection. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2008.

Elizabeth Blackburn AC

Professor Blackburn’s identification of an enzyme crucial to the successful replication of chromosomes in cell division is hailed as one of the most important discoveries in the field of molecular genetics. She shared the 2009 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for her work, having previously been awarded the 1998 Australia Prize for Molecular Science.  In 2007, she was listed among Time magazine’s Top 100 most influential people in the world. In 2010, she was made a Companion of the Order of Australia.

Professor Fiona Stanley AC

Professor Stanley is an epidemiologist who has spent her career researching the causes of major childhood illnesses and birth defects, such as cerebral palsy. She is the Founding Director and Patron of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research and Distinguished Professional Fellow in the School of Paediatrics & Child Health at the University of Western Australia. She was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1996, awarded a Centenary Medal in 2001 and named Australian of the Year in 2003.

Professor Fiona Wood

Professor Wood is a plastic surgeon best known for her patented invention of spray-on skin for burns victims and for her work with victims of the Bali bombings in 2002. She was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2003, received the Australian Medical Association’s 2003 Contribution to Medicine award, and was named Australian of the Year in 2005. She is Director of the Royal Perth Hospital Burns Unit and the WA Burns Service, a clinical professor at the University of WA and Director of the McComb Research Foundation.

Professor Graeme Clark

Professor Clark pioneered the multi-channel Cochlear Implant for severe-to-profound deafness, the first clinically successful sensory interface between the world and human consciousness and the first major advance in helping deaf children and adults to communicate in a world of sound. His “Bionic Ear” was developed industrially by the company Cochlear Limited, which has had the major share of the world markets for the last 25 years. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1997 and a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1999.

Professor Ian Chubb AC

Professor Chubb is a neuroscientist and academic who has made a significant contribution to improving the infrastructure for scientific research and training in Australia and been conspicuous in raising the public profile of science in the media. He was the Chief Scientist of Australia from 2011 to 2016, having previously served as Vice Chancellor of the Australian National University and Flinders University in Adelaide. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1999 and a Companion in the Order of Australia in 2006.

Professor Ian Frazer AC

Professor Frazer is a co-creator of the technology for the cervical cancer vaccines and was founding CEO and Director of Research of the Translational Research Institute, which is dedicated to translating scientific discoveries into applications for medical practice. He was awarded the 2005 CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science, named Australian of the Year in 2006 and presented with the 2008 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 2011 then appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2012.

Professor Ian Lowe

An Emeritus Professor of Science, Technology and Society at Queensland’s Griffith University and a past President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, Professor Lowe has helped bring scientific credibility to environmental debate and chaired the advisory council that produced the first national report on the state of Australia’s environment. He has been awarded both a Centenary Medal and a Eureka Prize, and in 2001 was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for services to science, technology, and the environment.

Dr Robin Warren AC

Dr Warren, a respected pathologist, shared the 2005 Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology with University of WA colleague Professor Barry Marshall [also a Bragg Fellow] for their discovery that bacterium Helicobacter pylori is the cause of most peptic ulcers. This reversed decades of medical doctrine holding that ulcers were caused by stress, spicy foods and too much acid. He was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2007 and in 2012 his alma mater, the University of Adelaide, opened the Robin Warren Clinical Skills Laboratory in his honour.

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Professor Jennifer Martin AC

Professor Martin is an internationally respected researcher in areas of structural biology, protein crystallography, protein interactions and their applications in drug design and discovery, but equally well known for her commitment to addressing gender imbalance in academia and encouraging more young women to follow STEM career paths. The Director of Queensland’s Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery, in 2018 she was made a Companion of the Order of Australia for her services to science and as a role model and advocate.

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Professor John Long

Professor Long is a palaeontologist whose 30 years of research, particularly at the Gogo Formation in WA’s Kimberley region, have been crucial to our understanding of the origins of vertebrate reproduction. Currently the Strategic Professor of Palaeontology at Flinders University in Adelaide, he was awarded a Eureka Prize in 2001 for the Promotion of Science and again in 2016 for Interdisciplinary Scientific Research as part of the Trace Elements in Past Oceans project. He also has written 26 popular science books for adults and children.

Dr John O’Sullivan

Dr O’Sullivan is an Australian electrical engineer who is credited with inventing wi-fi. His work in the application of Fourier transforms to radio astronomy led to his invention, with colleagues, of a core technology that made wireless LAN fast and reliable and was later patented by CSIRO. He is currently involved with the Square Kilometre Array, a global next-generation radio telescope project involving institutions from over 20 countries. In 2009, he was awarded the CSIRO Chairman’s Medal and the Australian Prime Minister’s Prize for Science.

Professor John Shine AC

Professor Shine was Director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney from 1990 to 2011. As a biochemist, he is known for his role in defining the Shine-Dalgarno gene sequence, as well as a number of other significant scientific “firsts”, including being the first to clone a human hormone gene and determining the first sequence responsible for replication of a cancer-causing virus. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1996 and a Companion in 2017. He won the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science in 2010.

Professor Lyn Beazley AO

Professor Beazley was Western Australia’s Chief Scientist from 2006 to 2013 and the State’s Australian of the Year in 2015. A neuroscientist, her research at the University of WA focused on recovery from brain damage, emphasising the role of appropriate training regimens for recovery from neurotrauma and helping change clinical practice in the treatment of preterm babies. She is currently Sir Walter Murdoch Distinguished Professor of Science at Murdoch University. She was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2009.

Professor Marcello Costa

Professor Costa has devoted his academic life to investigating how the nervous system works and to public education about neuroscience and its place in modern society.  He was given a personal chair in Neurophysiology at Adelaide’s Flinders University and was the founder of the South Australian Neuroscience Institute. He is often involved in public events linking neuroscience with the arts and was a co-founder of the Friends of Science in Medicine group, which was established in 2011 to foster good science in medicine.

Professor Martin Green

Professor Green is Scientia Professor at the University of NSW and Director of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics. His group’s major contributions to photovoltaics include holding the record for silicon solar cell efficiency for 30 of the last 34 years, described as one of the Top Ten milestones in the history of solar photovoltaics. Major international awards include the 1999 Australia Prize, the 2002 Right Livelihood Award (also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize), and the 2016 Ian Wark Medal from the Australian Academy of Science.

Professor Maxwell Brennan

Emeritus Professor Brennan has made a significant contribution to physics during a distinguished academic career in Australia and the US, conducting research into cosmic ray air showers, nuclear physics and plasma physics. He spent several years as Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Flinders University then the University of Sydney, and served a five-year term as Chair of the Australian Research Council. He was made an Officer in the Order of Australia in 1985, and elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 1988.

Professor Michael Archer AM

Professor Archer has been Curator of Mammals at the Queensland Museum, Director of the Australian Museum and Dean of Science at the University of NSW, where he is now Professor in the PANGEA Research Group. His research includes the World Heritage fossil deposits at Riversleigh, conservation through sustainable use of native resources and efforts to revive extinct species. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Science and the Royal Society of NSW, a Member of the Order of Australia and a winner of the Eureka Prize for the Promotion of Science.

Professor Michelle Simmons

Professor Simmons is Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, a Laureate Fellow and a Scientia Professor of Physics at the University of NSW. She has pioneered a radical new technology for creating atomic-scale devices and her research has produced the first electronic devices in silicon and germanium, opening a new frontier of research in electronics. In 2005 she became one of the youngest elected Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science. In 2012 she was named the NSW Scientist of the Year.

Professor Patricia Vickers-Rich AO

Emerita Professor Vickers-Rich is a geoscientist in the Monash Science Centre at Monash University, with research interests in Ediacaran palaeobiology and polar biotas (dinosaurs and mammals) of the Cretaceous period. She co-ordinates large research teams, including the UNESCO International Geosciences Program investigating the origin of Animalia, the Ediacarans. She is also a Research Associate at the Museum of Victoria and Director of PrimeSCI, which provides science education, training and curriculum development.

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Assoc. Professor Paul Willis

Associate Professor Paul Willis is a palaeontological researcher, science communicator and former Director of The Royal Institution of Australia. He told science stories on the ABC’s flagship television programs Catalyst and Quantum for many years, as well as on radio and online. He has also written books and articles on dinosaurs, fossils and rocks, and now runs a business helping scientists to communicate. His background is vertebrate palaeontology, and he an Adjunct Associate Professor in Palaeontology at Flinders University in Adelaide.

Professor Peter Doherty AC

Professor Doherty is a veterinary surgeon and researcher whose work focuses on the immune system, particularly how the body’s immune cells protect against viruses. He shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Swiss colleague Rolf Zinkernagel for their discoveries about transplantation and “killer” T cell-mediated immunity, which are currently translating into new cancer treatments.  In 1997 he was named Australian of the Year and made a Companion of the Order of Australia.

Peter Gago AC

Mr Gago has been Chief Winemaker for Australian wine company Penfolds since 2002. A science graduate of both the University of Melbourne and the University of Adelaide, he has leveraged and optimised his studies of oenology to produce and promote Australian wines around the world. Among many awards, in 2012 he was presented with the second ever international Winemaker’s Winemaker Award by The Institute of Masters of Wine and his global winemaking peers. He was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2017.

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Professor Robin Batterham AO

Professor Batterham was appointed Kernot Professor of Engineering at the University of Melbourne in 2010, having spent the previous six years as Australia’s Chief Scientist. During a long and distinguished career in industry and government, he has filled many key roles, including as President of the Academy of Technology and Engineering and President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers. He has been several times in Engineers Australia’s list of the 100 Most Influential Engineers and is a Fellow of seven Academies.

Professor Robyn Williams

Professor Williams was the first journalist to be elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and was named a National Living Treasure in 1997. He has hosted the ABC’s Science Show since 1975, making it one of the longest-running programs on Australian radio, and has served as president of the Australian Museum Trust, chairman of the Commission for the Future and president of Australian Science Communicators. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the University of London and has been awarded honorary degrees by a number of universities.

Sir Gustav Nossal AC, CBE

Sir Gustav is one of Australia’s most celebrated researchers and has helped shape the nation’s scientific affairs for decades. As director of The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research from 1965 to 1996 he helped build the foundations of modern immunology and define the field. He has been directly involved with the World Health Organisation since 1967, and as president of the Australian Academy of Science provided valuable input to government policy-making. He also has been an influential public commentator on scientific and medical issues.

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Professor Steve Hopper AC

Professor Hopper is an eminent conservation biologist who has published widely on evolution, ecology and taxonomy. He currently leads a program on sustainable living with biodiversity at the University of Western Australia’s Albany campus, with a focus on old, climatically-buffered, infertile landscapes. He was previously WA’s first State government flora conservation researcher, Director of Kings Park and Botanic Garden in Perth, and Director, CEO and Chief Scientist of London’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Professor Suzanne Cory AC

Professor Cory is one of Australia’s most distinguished molecular biologists, who shared the Australia Prize with her husband, Professor Jerry Adams, and colleagues at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for their ground-breaking research into the immune system. Among other awards she has received the Burnet Medal of the Australian Academy of Science and a L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science Award. She was appointed a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 1999 and awarded the French decoration of Chevalier de I’Ordre de Ia Legion d’Honneur in 2009.

Professor Tanya Monro

Professor Monro is currently Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist, having previously served in senior research and leadership roles at the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia, where she was Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research and Innovation. An eminent physicist, she was the inaugural director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale Biophotonics. She was named South Australian Scientist of the Year in 2010 and South Australia’s Australian of the Year in 2011, and won the Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research in 2015.

Professor Terry Hughes

Professor Hughes is the Director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, headquartered at James Cook University. His research focuses on the linkages between the ecology of reefs and their importance for societies and economies. He has worked extensively in Australia, the Coral Triangle Region, and the Caribbean. An important aspect of his research is understanding the dynamics and resilience of coral reefs and translating this knowledge into innovative and practical solutions for improved reef management.

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Tim Jarvis AM

Mr Jarvis is an international leader in the field of environmental sustainability. An explorer, scientist, author, filmmaker and inspiring public speaker, he has Masters qualifications in the sciences and environmental law, and is committed to finding pragmatic solutions to major issues related to climate change and biodiversity loss. Voted 2016 Conservationist of the Year by the Australian Geographic Society, he has led expeditions that retraced the Antarctic expeditions of Sir Douglas Mawson – using the now 100-year-old equipment of the time – and Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Professor Veena Sahajwalla, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Faculty of Science, UNSW
Professor Veena Sahajwalla

Professor Sahajwalla is an internationally recognised materials scientist, engineer and innovator who is revolutionising recycling science by producing a new generation of green materials made entirely, or primarily, from waste that are low-cost alternatives to virgin raw materials and fossil fuels. She is the founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) at the University of NSW and heads the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for green manufacturing. She was elected to the Australian Academy of Science in 2018.

Professor Zee Upton

Professor Upton is a biochemist, tissue engineer, inventor and entrepreneur whose research led to the establishment of the Wound Management Innovation Cooperative Research Centre and the listing of biotechnology company Tissue Therapies Ltd on the Australian Stock Exchange. Currently Research Director of the Institute for Medical Biology in A*STAR in Singapore and an Adjunct Professor at the Queensland University of Technology, she is passionate about ensuring research delivers benefits and champions inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches.

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Professor Nalini Joshi AO

Professor Nalini Joshi AO currently holds a Payne-Scott Professorship in Mathematics at the University of Sydney and is Vice-President of the International Mathematical Union. Her research focuses on mathematical methods to study systems that arise as universal models in modern physics. In 2016, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to mathematical science and tertiary education as an academic, author and researcher, to professional societies, and as a role model and mentor of young mathematicians. She holds a PhD and MA from Princeton University in Applied Mathematics and a BSc (Hons) from the University of Sydney.

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Professor Alex Zelinsky

Professor Alex Zelinsky AO is the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Newcastle. His scientific career includes working as a computer scientist, systems engineer and roboticist and spans innovation, science and technology, research, commercial start-ups and education. Previously, Zelinsky was Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist and leader of Defence Science and Technology within the Department of Defence. In 2017, he was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in recognition of “distinguished service to defence science and technology, to systems engineering, and to education as an academic and researcher”.

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Dr Catriona Wallace

Dr Catriona Wallace, an Adjunct Professor at the Australian Graduate School of Management, is based between the US and Australia and is the Founder & Executive Director of Artificial Intelligence company Flamingo Ai, provider of Machine Learning technologies. Flamingo Ai is the second only woman led business ever to list on the Australian Stock Exchange. Catriona is one of the world’s most cited experts and speakers on Artificial Intelligence, Ethics and Human Rights in Technology and Women in Leadership. Catriona has also been recognised as the Most Influential Woman in Business & Entrepreneurship (AFR) and is a philanthropist, human rights activist and mother of five.

Prof Helene Marsh JCU Townsville
Emeritus Professor Helene Marsh

Emeritus Professor Helene Marsh is Vice-President and Secretary (Biological Sciences) of the Australian Academy of Science. She chairs the national Threatened Species Scientific Committee and is the Australian Natural Heritage Expert on the World Heritage Committee. She is an expert on the conservation of threatened species, particularly tropical coastal marine mammals. The research of her team has informed the conservation management of the dugong (sea cow) in fourteen countries. Professor Marsh was the former Dean of Graduate Research and Professor of Environmental Science and at James Cook University.