No new fellowships or grants were awarded for 2021 due to severe limitations on travel caused by COVID-19. We’re pleased that this important program has now resumed. Four new postdoctoral fellows and three new postdoctoral fellowships have now been selected to start in 2022. We are also in discussion with a researcher about a new critical research grant and hope to share some details a little down the track.

Progress on many of the 2019 and 2020 awards has been delayed and here we share some updates on these recipients:

  • 2019 Lizard Island Doctoral Fellow Kelly Hannan (James Cook University) completed her much-delayed final field trip in early 2021. She has since completed her PhD and taken up a postdoctoral position in California.
  • 2019 Zoltan Florian Fellow Catheline Froehlich (University of Wollongong) will complete her third and final field season with a 2-month trip to Lizard Island in early 2022. She had an ‘interesting’ time with border closures for her early 2021 trip but eventually made it.
  • 2019 John and Laurine Proud Postdoctoral Fellow Bridie Allen (University of Otago) was not able to get into Australia in 2020 or 2021 due to her university’s travel restrictions even when the border was open to New Zealanders. She hopes that she will be able to make it with her team in 2022.
  • 2019 Lizard Island Postdoctoral Fellows Chiara Pisapia and Steve Doo (California State University Northridge) had begun field work at Lizard Island in March 2020 when covid struck. Steve, already on the island, had to leave prematurely. Chiara was just about to arrive but had to reverse her travel plans. Both have since left their positions at CSU and taken up others elsewhere. They will continue the project as soon as travel restrictions and their new situations allow.
  • 2020 Ian Potter Doctoral Fellow Sterling Tebbett (James Cook University) is progressing as planned. He will make the last field trip for his PhD in January 2022. A recent post about Sterling and his research at LIRS is here.
  • 2020 Gough Family Doctoral Fellow Makeely Blandford (James Cook University) is also proceeding as planned. She is currently at LIRS towards the end of a 2-month field trip. She has one more year of funding in 2022.
  • 2020 Maple-Brown Family Postdoctoral Fellow Will Feeney (Griffith University) has been in Europe since covid struck and unable to conduct the field work himself. However, he has been able to engage colleagues and students to do the required field work in his absence and the project is on track.
  • 2020 Raymond E. Purves Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow Stephanie Gardner (University of NSW) completed her field work in 2021.
  • 2020 John and Laurine Proud Postdoctoral Fellows Chris Goatley (University of New England) and Simon Brandl (University of Texas Austin) intend to begin field work for their project in mid-2022. They have been waiting for the international border to open to allow Simon and his US colleagues to take part.
  • 2020 Isobel Bennett Marine Biology Fellow Zegni Triki (Stockholm University) has not yet been able to begin her project due to international travel restrictions. She will soon leave Sweden to take up another position in Switzerland and intends to start work at Lizard Island as soon as possible.

A 3-year 2020 grant for coral communities research (supported by the Warman Foundation) to Maria Dornelas (University of St Andrews) and Joshua Madin (University of Hawaii) 2019 is progressing despite the principals’ inability to get to Australia, thanks to colleagues within the country stepping into the breach.

A 2-year 2020 grant for plastic pollution research (supported by the Banyer family and the Rossi Foundation) to Fredereike Kroon and Mark Meekan (both Australian Institute of Marine Science) is progressing as planned. The final field trip at Lizard Island concluded this week.

Kelly Hannan at work in the Sir John Proud Aquarium in 2021. Photo: Lyle Vail.

By Anne Hoggett | LIRS Director