10 October 2013
Two University of the Sunshine Coast researchers working on improving our aquaculture industry and community planning were honoured at the USC Graduation Ceremony last week (3 October).
Dr Scott Cummins of Maroochydore and Dr Claudia Baldwin of Peregian Beach each received the Vice-Chancellor and President’s Award for Excellence in Research.
Dr Cummins, who has worked at USC for three years, is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow in molecular and cellular biology. His research focuses on decoding the molecular “toolkit” that underlies animal chemical communication systems.
His career has included gaining large ARC grants for new research and making major discoveries that led to publication in the journal ‘Nature’, the pinnacle of scientific publishing.
These included insights into the aquatic pheromones that influence animal behaviours such as attraction, aggression and mating.
“My priority now is to achieve breakthrough discoveries in the fields of molecular biotechnology that will enhance our understanding of genes and proteins in aquaculture important animals, so that we ensure the industry will meet future demands due to population increases,” he said.
Dr Baldwin, a Senior Lecturer in Environmental and Planning Studies, was awarded as an Early Career Researcher for her achievements in regional and urban planning and sustainability.
She joined USC in 2006 after 25 years working in environmental policy and planning across government and consulting in Australia and internationally.
“This award is recognition for the type of applied research I conduct, which has practical outcomes that contribute to the region,” she said.
“I’ve done a lot of research in water planning and also in developing age-friendly communities, particularly getting seniors involved in designing the types of communities they want in south-east Queensland.
“My passion comes from social justice and I’d like to think we can keep people integrated in their neighbourhoods as they age, rather than feel socially isolated, and that includes providing affordable housing choices.
“One of my priorities is to work with researchers around the world to refine and apply my participatory research methods to understand how to design age-friendly neighbourhoods in different cultures and climates.”
— Julie Schomberg