Fellowships

Program 1

Fellowships are awarded each year to PhD students and early-career researchers for field-intensive coral reef research. Fellows are selected through a competitive process by a team of Australian Museum scientists and members of the Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation (LIRRF) Science Committee.

Leading a project is an important part of research training. Our fellowships provide a rare and valuable opportunity to promising researchers to do that at an early stage. This can and does kick-start careers and it contributes to Australia’s international pre-eminence in coral reef research.

The young researchers who win our fellowships are intelligent, enthusiastic and hard-working. They seek to answer interesting and important questions and many go on to become leaders in their fields. They are at what is often the most productive stage of their career and their scientific output is outstanding.

Researchers in aquarium
Fellowships are funded by generous donations and bequests to our Foundation.

We are grateful to the following current supporters of our fellowships program.

The Ian Potter Foundation
Gough family
Hermon Slade Raiatea Foundation
Maple-Brown family
Raymond E. Purves Foundation
Ian and Min Darling
John and Laurine Proud bequest
Chris Joscelyne bequest
Zoltan Florian bequest
LIRRF members and friends

Doctoral Fellowships

The Doctoral Fellowships program has been running since 1984. There are currently four fellowships within the program. They are awarded annually (apart from a one-year pause in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic) and each may run for up to three years.

Lizard Island Doctoral Fellowship
is funded by the Members and Friends of our Foundation. This fellowship has been awarded annually since 1984.

Kelly Hannan completed field work for her PhD in late 2020: Physiological effects of elevated pCO2 on fishes employing different swimming modes.

2019 Lizard Island Doctoral Fellow

Kelly Hannan, James Cook University

The Ian Potter Doctoral Fellowship at Lizard Island
is funded by The Ian Potter Foundation. It has been awarded annually since 2006.

Sterling Tebbett‘s project is ongoing: Functioning of climate-transformed coral reefs.

Sterling Tebbett

2020 The Ian Potter Doctoral Fellow

Sterling Tebbett, James Cook University

Gough Family Doctoral Fellowship
is funded by family members of the late John Gough AO, OBE who was a governor of The Ian Potter Foundation and a wonderful supporter of LIRS. This fellowship was first awarded in 2020.

Makeely Blandford‘s project is ongoing: The influence of habitat degradation on olfactory-mediated behaviour of coral reef fishes.

Makeely Blandford

2020 Gough Family Doctoral Fellow

Makeely Blandford, James Cook University

Zoltan Florian Marine Biology Fellowship
is funded by a bequest from the late Zoltan Florian. The first award of this fellowship was in 2019.

Catheline Froehlich‘s project is ongoing: Investigating the advantages of sociality in challenging environments using coral-dwelling gobies.

2019 Zoltan Florian Marine Biology Fellow

Catheline Froehlich, University of Wollongong

Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Lizard Island Postdoctoral Fellowships program has operated since 2008. There are currently four fellowships within the program. They are awarded annually (apart from a one-year pause in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic) and each may run for up to two years.

Isobel Bennett Marine Biology Fellowship
is named in recognition of the late Dr Isobel Bennet who was one of Australia’s eminent marine biologists. The Hermon Slade Raiatea Foundation has provided funding to enable this fellowship. The first of these fellowships was awarded in 2008.

Based in Europe, Zegni Triki is looking forward to the easing of pandemic-related travel restrictions so she can begin work on her fellowship project: Does brain morphology explain the sex differences in the cognitive abilities of cleaner fish?

2019 Isobel Bennett Fellow

Dr Zegni Triki, Stockholm University

Maple-Brown Family Fellowship
is funded by the Maple-Brown family. The first of these fellowships was awarded in 2020.

Will Feeney has been in Europe since winning the fellowship and is looking forward to being able to return to Australia when travel restrictions ease. His project has progressed thanks to colleagues who have collected data on his behalf: Mutualisms in a changing world: does the presence of cleaner wrasses confer resilience to coral reef ecosystems?

2019 Maple-Brown Fellow

Dr Will Feeney, Griffith University

John and Laurine Proud Fellowship 
is named in recognition of the late Sir John Proud and his late wife, Lady Laurine Proud. Sir John was the founder of the Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation and was a long-term passionate supporter of the Research Station. Lady Proud continued her support after the death of her husband. Their estate now supports this fellowship. This fellowship was first awarded in 2008.

Field work for Chris Goatley and Simon Brandl‘s project is on hold due to COVID-19 because Simon is based in USA: Function, biodiversity, and distribution of Australia’s smallest vertebrates.

Sterling Tebbett

2020 John and Laurine Proud Fellow

Dr Christopher Goatley, University of New England

Sterling Tebbett

2020 John and Laurine Proud Fellow

Dr Simon Brandl, University of Texas Austin

Raymond E. Purves Foundation Fellowship
is supported by the eponymous Foundation which has been a long-term supporter of the LIRRF and LIRS. This fellowship was first awarded in 2019.

Field work for Steph Gardner‘s project was completed in April 2021: Rise of the turfs: Unlocking the secrets of our changing reefs.

Sterling Tebbett

2020 Raymond E. Purves Foundation Fellow

Dr Stephanie Gardner, University of New South Wales

Fellowship research stories

Our other programs

Program 2 - Research grants

We provide grants for critical research that is often time-sensitive and for which funds may not be readily available from another source.
Learn more >

Some of the new solar panels on the roof of the Kalkhoven Wing and the aquarium

Program 3 - Research facilities

We provide the facilities and equipment that underpin coral reef research and education at Lizard Island Research Station.
Learn more >

Program 4 - Education

We provide educational opportunities for future researchers and their mentors at Lizard Island Research Station.   
Learn more >

Contact

Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation
c/- Australian Museum
1 William Street, Sydney NSW 2010
admin@lirrf.org

Lizard Island Research Station
lizard@australian.museum
+61 (0)7 4060 3977

Weather & Ocean Observations

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