For innovative work in the fields of medicine, science and engineering, UNSW researchers have won six of this year’s nine NSW Young Tall Poppy Science Awards.

The prestigious awards, presented by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science, recognise early career researchers who excel in their field and are actively engaged in community outreach and education.

“We have again had a very strong showing at these awards. It speaks volumes about the quality of research at UNSW across a spectrum of disciplines, and recognizes the great depth of talent amongst our up and coming researchers at UNSW, ” says Professor Les Field, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at UNSW.

This year’s winners are Alexandra Campbell and Thomas Denson (Faculty of Science), Rita Henderson and Stephen Redmond (Engineering), and Lee-Fay Low and Katherine Mills (Medicine). 

Dr Campbell, a researcher at the Centre for Marine Bio-Innovation, is investigating how diseases resulting from climate change are altering marine ecosystems and leading to global declines in seaweeds and other integral organisms.

Associate Professor Denson from the School of Psychology is interested in the hormonal mechanisms that regulate anger and aggression, and how these behaviours can be more effectively self-controlled by the individual.

An environmental engineer at the Water Research Centre, Dr Henderson focuses on water quality and treatment, ensuring contaminants such as algae and organic matter are safely removed from our drinking water supply.

Dr Redmond from the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering has helped develop a wearable monitoring device that enables healthcare professionals to remotely monitor patients over the Internet, specifically the elderly, who might be at risk of suffering fall-related injuries.

From the Faculty of Medicine, Dr Low’s research suggests that laughter can indeed be a powerful medicine for people with dementia, reducing agitation and agression in nursing homes.  Her focus is on the entire journey of persons living with dementia, from prevention and diagnosis to improved treatment.

And finally, Dr Mills, a senior lecturer at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, is  investigating the co-occurrence of substance abuse and mental health disorders and working on developing more effective treatments.

Earlier this year, Dr John Young from UNSW Canberra was awarded the ACT Tall Poppy of the Year for 2012 for his research exploring the aeordynamics of insect wings for applications in micro-air vehicles and energy generation.

Media contact: Myles Gough, UNSW Media Office | 02 9385 1933