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29 September 2009
Deakin University marine scientist Dr Daniel Ierodiaconou has been honoured in this year’s Tall Poppy Science Awards for his research into the hidden treasures that lie on Victoria’s seafloor.
Dr Ierodiaconou leads a research team that is using sonar and laser technologies and remotely operated video systems to map 520,000 hectares of the State’s coastal waters. The findings will redefine conservation planning and improve fisheries management and infrastructure planning to limit impacts on the environment.
To date the research has revealed the first detailed images of The MV City of Rayville, the first US vessel sunk during World War II, as well as previously unknown ‘gardens’ of magnificently coloured sponges, seaweed forests and seagrass meadows, and submerged river systems that would have supported Aboriginal communities over 10,000 years ago.
“The significance of this work is immense. For some areas, this is the first information that has been obtained since Matthews Flinders took depth readings from his boat, the Investigator, in 1803,” Dr Ierodiaconou said.
“It is really exciting to be involved in a project that not only reveals historic treasures such as the City of Rayville, but also provides important information to inform how we manage our marine environments for future generations to enjoy.”
As a Tall Poppy Award recipient, Dr Ierodiaconou will be provided with opportunities to talk about his research with school students, teachers and communities across Australia as part of the Tall Poppy Campaign to inspire a new generation to get passionate about science.
“As university lecturers and researchers I think it is vital that we take every opportunity to talk to school kids about our work,” Dr Ierodiaconou.
“Science is a subject that is often overlooked by high school students and there is a shortfall of undergraduate students in universities. So we need to share our experiences to show that science is interesting and offers some fantastic career opportunities.”
The Tall Poppy Campaign was created in 1998 by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science to recognise and celebrate Australian intellectual and scientific excellence and to encourage younger Australians to follow in the footsteps of our outstanding achievers. The Young Tall Poppy Science Awards recognise scientific achievers who are in the early stage of their careers and already made discoveries and have demonstrated their leadership in communicating science and engaging the public.
Deakin Media Relations
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