Eureka for research fellows 


Professorial research fellows of the School of Environmental Research, Professor Barry Brook and Professor David Bowman, have been co-nominated as a finalist for the 2006 Botanic Gardens Trust Eureka Prize for biodiversity research.

The Botanic Gardens Trust Eureka Prize is part of the larger Australian Museum Eureka Prizes, and is awarded to an Australian individual, team or organisation for innovative scientific research that makes an outstanding contribution to the conservation of Australia's biodiversity.

Professor Brook and Professor Bowman were recognised for developing wildlife and landscape science, a new field of science which provides innovative, evidence-based management for the conservation of biodiversity; control of bushfires and feral animals; and the sustainable harvest of wildlife by Indigenous people.

David and Barry's research also provides fundamental insight into the cause of current and prehistoric extinctions and the drivers of landscape-wide habitat change.

Barry commented on the nomination: “David and I are delighted to be recognised in this way, because we see it as recognition that biodiversity research really can successfully inform real-world management, and assist in realising on-ground outcomes, even in the remote and challenging environments of tropical northern Australia.

“Decision making in environmental issues needs to be underpinned by good science to be effective, and equally, dealing with applied problems provides many opportunities and stimuli for innovations in research,” he said.

Professor Bowman added: “The achievement is significant given that the other two finalists from the University of Sydney are undisputed world leaders in their respective fields of desert wildlife and reptile evolution and ecology. There is no doubt that we are punching above weight with an outcome like this.”

The Eureka Prizes reward a comprehensive range of research activity, leadership and innovation, secondary school science, science journalism and science communication.

The annual Australian Museum Eureka Prizes culminate in a gala award dinner on 22 August. With guests including leaders from science, government, academia, business and the media, this dinner is the largest single event in Australia celebrating and rewarding Australian science and science communication.

For further information regarding the Eureka Prizes visit the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes website.