Deakin ecologist's day to shine

Deakin news
24 July 2019

Deakin University ecologist Dr Tim Doherty travelled to Canberra in late May for the official presentation of his Australian Academy of Science Max Day Environmental Science Fellowship Award.

Dr Doherty is an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Deakin’s Centre for Integrative Ecology in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences. In December last year he was announced as one of two recipients of the award in 2019, with University of Adelaide PhD student Nicole Foster the other.

Named in honour of Academy Fellow, the late Dr Maxwell Frank Cooper Day AO FAA, the award provides up to $20,000 for early-career researchers working on the conservation of Australia’s flora and fauna, the ecologically sustainable use of resources and the protection of the environment and ecosystem services.

The presentation to Dr Doherty was held during the Academy’s three-day annual event, Science at the Shine Dome. As part of his visit, Dr Doherty swapped his field clothes for black tie to celebrate at the event’s gala dinner.

Dr Doherty says he was incredibly humbled to win this award and attend Science at the Shine Dome.

‘Opportunities such as this are so important for early career researchers,’ Dr Doherty explains.

‘In addition to research support, I had the chance to network with scientists from a range of disciplines and career stages, which was really valuable.’

Dr Doherty will use the award to study how non-native predators affect the behaviour and movements of the large native monitor lizard Varanus gouldii. Also known as the racehorse or sand goanna, it can cover up to 20 km/hour. The research will be conducted at Wild Deserts – a fauna reconstruction project at Sturt National Park in north-west New South Wales.

Last year Dr Doherty was also recognised in the 2018 Victorian Young Tall Poppy Science Awards and received a grant from the Hermon Slade Foundation for a research project he is co-leading to help minimise the impacts of introduced predators on small mammals after bushfires.

Photo credit: Bradley Cummings photography.

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