Scientist of the Year

Congratulations to the 2022 South Australian Scientist of the Year finalists.

Professor Corey Bradshaw

Flinders University

As the Matthew Flinders Professor of Global Ecology at Flinders University, Professor Corey Bradshaw designs models and applies mathematics to combine different knowledge systems in order to find the best solutions to South Australia’s, the nation’s — and indeed the world’s — biodiversity extinction crisis.

 

Recognised as one of the world’s top ecologists and climate scientists, Professor Bradshaw’s unique skills cut across multiple disciplines to enable better environmental decision-making to maintain and improve the wellbeing and health of people and the ecosystems on which we depend. Collaborating with a wide range of government departments and environmental organisations, Professor Bradshaw’s research has shown that invasive species are costing the Australian economy at least $24 billion per year.

 

He has designed the most cost-effective means to reduce the impacts of invasive rabbits, pigs, and cats; improved the management of koala populations; identified how to improve laws protecting our environment; provided approaches for marine spatial planning that identify trade-offs between energy generation and environmental needs; designed water management programs to save frogs in the Murray River; established limits to avoid the over-exploiting fish stocks; identified ways to improve climate mitigation policies and carbon accounting; and identified the most effective ways to preserve and restore South Australia’s wetlands.

Professor Maria Makrides

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI)

Professor Maria Makrides (FAA, FAHMS) heads up one of the premier research centres at the forefront of mother-infant nutrition research in the world, leading a large, multidisciplinary team of more than 70 staff and students. Her vision is to give children the best start in life by embedding evidence-based nutrition approaches to prevent babies being born too early and achieve better infant health outcomes.


Professor Makrides is an internationally recognised researcher and Deputy Director at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute located at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Her high-quality nutrition research program bridges the gap between research and clinical practice for children and their families to directly benefit from her work. She and her team led the clinical studies that have changed the composition of infant formulae, changed international food laws, updated infant feeding guidelines to introduce allergenic foods (such as eggs and peanuts), and established specific nutrient recommendations for pregnancy and infancy worldwide. Antenatal care guidelines and clinical practice have also changed to prevent preterm birth and its consequences. Her research has had a significant health, social and economic impact on the care of mothers and babies for a better start in life, both in SA and worldwide.

 

Professor Peter Veitch

The University of Adelaide

Professor Peter Veitch (FOSA, FAIP) is an internationally recognised scientist and educator, and a recipient of the 2020 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science. He leads the University of Adelaide node of the Australian Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Detection (OzGrav) and until recently was Head of School of Physical Sciences at the University.
 
Professor Veitch’s research focuses on the development and application of novel high-power lasers and photonic systems for a range of paradigm-shifting projects, including the detection of gravitational waves, LiDAR systems for the measurement of atmospheric wind fields for the wind-energy industry and airborne measurement of fugitive methane emissions, and high-power infra-red lasers for a range of remote sensing, industrial and biomedical applications.
 
Professor Veitch lead the development of photonic sensors and adaptive optics critical for the operation of the iconic LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave detectors, which resulted in the revolutionary observation of gravitational waves in the 2015 and the birth of multi-messenger gravitational wave astrophysics. His key contributions resulted in his election to a Fellowship of Optica by his international peers, and the receipt of the 2020 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science.