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PhD Research Excellence

Congratulations to the 2020 PhD Research Excellence finalists.

Dr Samuel Costello

The University of Adelaide

Dr Costello is a consultant gastroenterologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and clinical lecturer at the University of Adelaide. The focus of his PhD was investigating faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) as a treatment for Ulcerative Colitis. During his PhD, Dr Costello established a stool bank that supplied life-saving FMT treatments to patients with C. Difficile infection throughout South Australia.

Dr Costello co-founded the Australian stool bank BiomeBank with Dr Rob Bryant with the aim of supplying patients in Australia and Asia with safe and reliable access to FMT and to catalyse research and development of microbial therapies.


Dr Erinn Fagan-Jeffries

The University of Adelaide

Dr Fagan-Jeffries completed her PhD at the University of Adelaide in 2019 and is dedicated to discovering and describing new species of parasitoid wasps to better document and understand our biodiversity.


Dr Fagan-Jeffries has won multiple awards for her PhD research. A passionate communicator, she holds a Master of Science Communication Outreach and a Graduate Certificate of Museum Studies and gives numerous public lectures and workshops, and currently runs a school-based citizen science project for students to become involved in entomology.

She is now an Australian Biological Resources Study Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Adelaide, and an emerging leader in the field of invertebrate taxonomy.

Dr Melissa Middeldorp  

The University of Adelaide

Dr Middeldorp completed her PhD in 2019 and has established and implemented a risk factor modification program for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). This work helped create changes to the AF guidelines for patient management.


She has been internationally recognised for her outstanding contributions to research and is currently set to undertake postdoctoral training in the United States together with a Masters at Harvard to further her understanding in epidemiology and atrial fibrillation.

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