High-flying students receive Rotary scholarships - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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High-flying students receive Rotary scholarships

10 May 2016

A researcher investigating how habitat fragmentation affects native bees will be one of three outstanding students to be awarded Rotary Postgraduate Scholarships at an annual presentation dinner at the University of the Sunshine Coast tomorrow (Wednesday 11 May).

PhD candidate Rachele Wilson, Master of Science student Lara Meital (studying vascular health) and Master of International Development student Gail Loader (studying sustainable livelihoods in Fiji) will each receive $4,000 from the combined Rotary Clubs of the Sunshine Coast at USC’s Innovation Centre auditorium.

The three students will receive the awards from USC Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Roland De Marco in front of about 150 Rotary guests at the event, which runs from 6-9pm.

USC Senior Lecturer in Communication Dr Greg Nash, a former Rotary Scholarship winner, will be the guest speaker at the presentation.

The combined Rotary Clubs of the Sunshine Coast have been supporting the scholarship program since 2001, with a total of $110,000 awarded to postgraduate students in that time.

Rachele Wilson holds a first class Honours degree in land, parks and wildlife management from USC and is currently a USC research assistant and tutor. Rachele’s research focusses on how the processes of urbanisation and fragmentation influence socio-ecological systems. Her PhD project is a longitudinal study on Australian native bee foraging patterns, resource use and colony fitness in natural and disturbed habitats.

Lara Meital graduated from USC with Bachelor of Biomedical Science, majoring in anatomy and physiology. She is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and a recipient of the University Medal for Academic Excellence. Lara’s Master of Science research will investigate how omega-3 fatty acids might protect against inflammation and oxidative stress in people who have abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Gail Loader completed a Bachelor of Communication at USC and received a Distinctive Academic Record award at her graduation. After participating in a USC study tour to Fiji, Gail saw the possibilities for sustainable development in the country and enrolled in a Master of International Development. She plans to use the skills and knowledge gained in her degree to support education and sustainable livelihoods for Fijians living in remote communities.

— Gen Kennedy

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