Two researchers from The University of Western Australia - one who co-developed the world's most precise clock and the other, dedicated to finding ways of repairing ecosystems - have been awarded Australia's most prestigious research fellowships.
Professor Mike Tobar, internationally-renowned for his studies of measurement, and Professor Richard Hobbs, a world leader in restoration ecology, are two of 15 national Australian Laureate Fellowships winners, announced today by Federal Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson said: "Our researchers were selected from a highly competitive field of 148 national and international researchers at the peak of their careers."
"The Fellowships are a fitting reward for the research work of Professors Hobbs and Tobar. We congratulate these outstanding academics whose careers at this University continue to strengthen our claim of achieving international excellence."
Professor Hobbs' research is focused on the crucial issues that impact upon the world's ecosystems. His work on the impacts of land-use and climate change, invasive species, changed nutrient regimes and other factors that lead to increasingly rapid and unpredictable change in the world's ecosystems, is essential to the analysis and management of ecosystems in a rapidly changing world.
Professor Tobar's work on precision measurement has lead to the development of an array of measurement instruments including the sapphire oscillator, which gives the most exact measurement of time developed to date, and commercial and space applications for the atomic clock. The work being undertaken by Professor Tobar and his colleagues is testing the very fundamentals that underpin physics and is world-leading.
Australian Laureate Fellowships, administered by the Australian Research Council, support excellence in research by attracting world-class researchers and research leaders to key positions, and creating new rewards and incentives for the application of their talents in Australia. The Fellowships provide project and other funding support.
These latest fellowships bring to seven the number of similar awards made to UWA since 2002 (under the previous Federation Fellowship program) in areas which reflect the strategic research strength of UWA internationally. Current Fellowship holders are Professor Steven Smith (Plant Energy Biology), Professor Leigh Simmons (Animal Biology) and Professor Mark Randolph (Offshore Foundation Systems); Professor Cheryl Praeger (Mathematics) and Professor David Pannell (Economics).
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716