PhD Research Excellence

Congratulations to the 2019 PhD Research Excellence finalists.

Dr Jenna Crowe-Riddell

PhD in the evolution of cutaneous senses in marine snakes, University of Adelaide

Dr Jenna Crowe-Riddell is an influential scientist and science communicator who completed her thesis on the evolution of senses in sea snakes.

Dr Crowe-Riddell received the Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence and published papers in high-impact journals, all appearing in the top five per cent of all Altmetric papers. She received outstanding examiner’s comments on her thesis, with one examiner remarking, “Based on the quality of this thesis, it is clear that Crowe-Riddell will be a leader in their field and is already one of the leading lights in sensory biology”. 

In 2016, Dr Crowe-Riddell  was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship, which enabled her to establish productive collaborations with world-class researchers in America. 

She is passionate about increasing scientific literacy and communicating science in creative ways to diverse audiences. Dr Crowe-Riddell is a stand-up comedian, 2017 SA Fresh Scientist Finalist and science blogger. She is also an accomplished speaker, presenting at the University of Adelaide’s Open Day, Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Technology and Science, and other conferences worldwide. 

Dr Crowe-Riddell is continuing her fascinating research on the sensory evolution of snakes as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Michigan.


Dr Dorothea Dumuid

PhD in novel statistical models to explore how lifestyle behaviours affect health, University of South Australia

Dr Dorothea Dumuid worked in clinical practice as a physiotherapist before beginning her PhD at the University of South Australia in 2015. This year she commenced an Early Career Research Fellowship (NHMRC/Heart Foundation) at the University of South Australia. 

Her research seeks to identify the healthiest way to spend our time across daily activities such as sleeping, screen time and exercise. Dr Dumuid’s novel analytical models explore how to get the balance right, not only for one aspect of health (e.g. obesity), but for overall wellbeing. She explores innovative ways to meaningfully translate scientifically complex concepts to the public. 

Less than one year post PhD, Dr Dumuid has published many journal publications and given several conference presentations, and has won more than $2 million in research funding. She has also received several national and international research awards, including the 2018 Heart Foundation Paul Korner Innovation Award. 

Dr Dumuid is the Treasurer of the International Network of Time-Use Epidemiologists, an organisation aiming to draw together researchers and other stakeholders to strengthen collaborative time-use research and disseminate findings to the public.

Dr Tahnee Dening

PhD in design and characterising novel delivery systems that improve the oral absorption and effectiveness of poorly water-soluble drug molecules, University of South Australia

A registered pharmacist, Dr Tahnee Dening completed a Bachelor of Pharmacy/Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science with First Class Honours at the University of South Australia (UniSA) in 2012. 

She worked as an intern pharmacist at the Repatriation General Hospital before returning to UniSA in 2014 to undertake her PhD. 

Dr Dening’s PhD research focused on designing and characterising novel drug delivery systems that improve the oral absorption and effectiveness of poorly water-soluble drug molecules (which account for up to 90 per cent of all new drug candidates discovered by the pharmaceutical industry). 

Dr Dening has received several prestigious awards, including an Endeavour Scholarship in 2015, UniSA PhD Student of the Year in 2018 and the UniSA School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences Postgraduate Award and Postgraduate Publication Award in 2019, and has published several research papers in high quality journals. 

In October 2018, Dr Dening commenced a postdoctoral research position in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Kansas in the USA.

Contact us

SA Science Excellence and Innovation Awards

Department for Innovation and Skills
Ph: (08) 8226 3821

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