2017 AMSA Awards Winners!!
AMSA Jubilee Award for Excellence 2017
First awarded in AMSA's Silver Jubilee Year (1988) our professional award recognises excellence in marine research and is presented to a scientist who has made an outstanding contribution to marine research in Australia.
Professor Peter Steinberg
Director - Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences (SIMS)
Co-Director - The Centre for Marine Bio-Innovation (CMB)
Professor - School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales
Professor Peter Steinberg is a renowned authority in the areas of marine chemical ecology and surface colonisation (including biofilms), as well as a leading proponent of the “macro-micro” approach to environmental microbiology. He received his Ph.D from the University of California, Santa Cruz and is currently a Professor in the School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of New South Wales as well as the Director and CEO of the Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences. Throughout his career he has blended traditional marine experimental ecology with natural products chemistry. Indeed, he is widely considered as one of the founders of marine chemical ecology. Moreover, Steinberg’s multidisciplinary approach to understanding the colonisation of surfaces integrated marine ecology with molecular microbiology, larval biology, biofilms and synthetic chemistry to fundamentally change the way we think about interactions of both prokaryotes and eukaryotes with surfaces in the sea. This work resulted in both the first natural inhibitor of bacterial cell-cell signalling (quorum sensing) as well as the first characterised and quantified natural chemical inducer of settlement for a marine invertebrate. Most recently, over the last 10 years Professor Steinberg has incorporated cutting-edge environmental sequencing and ‘omics into his work, becoming a leader in integrating ecological theory and concepts with environmental microbiology, or the “macro-micro” approach.
AMSA Technical Award 2017
This award recognises outstanding achievements in the field of technical support for marine sciences, to celebrate the valuable contribution logistical and support services make to enabling marine research.
Mr Brent Womersley, Fisheries Victoria
Brent Womersley has been a technical officer at Fisheries Victoria since 2001, and the chief technical officer in the fisheries research section for about the last decade. Brent has been an integral part of most field research at Fisheries Victoria over the last 13-14 years. He not only provides hands-on research assistance, but is also responsible for logistical support for at times up to 5 research vessels, tow vehicles, dive operations and equipment, including Nitrox compressor, and a warehouse of field equipment. Throughout his career Brent has proved extremely versatile, adapting and acquiring new skills as required to best support the programs he is involved in. Brent has consistently maintained a high level of support for all projects he’s involved in and is well respected amongst his colleagues for his unflappable nature and ability to always find a way to get the work done. He has been a reliable leader and/or member of numerous campaigns, spending 1000’s of hours at sea and 100s of hours underwater in the service of science.
AMSA Allen Award 2017
The Allen Award is to support an outstanding postgraduate student to attend an international conference each year, in any field of marine science, with the aim of providing the student with the opportunity to gain international experience and contacts. By attending the international conference the student will serve an important role as an ambassador for Australian marine science through improving awareness in the international scientific community of the work of Australian research students. This award will be changed in 2018.
Ms Paige Kelly
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania
Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC
Paige Kelly is a student at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania & Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC. Paige’s PhD research is examining the co-occurrence of salps and Antarctic krill in the Southern Ocean; she is applying a range of techniques from classic microscopy to chemical assays such as bomb calorimetry and stable isotope analysis, and finally incorporating modelling designed to understand energy flow to higher predators. In particular, Paige will examine two important energy pathways in the Southern Ocean: that which moves primary production through krill to top predators and the alternative and poorly understood HNAN-salps-higher predators pathway. If reduced duration and thickness of sea ice eventually reduce krill biomass in the Southern Ocean, then salps could become the biomass-dominant species; however, at present our understanding of salps in the ecosystem is very poor. Paige’s research is both timely and important for addressing this issue. With the award Paige will be attending two conferences, the 3rd International Symposium On Krill and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Biology Symposium 2017.