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.
We are grateful to the following current supporters of our fellowships program.
The Ian Potter Foundation
Hermon Slade Raiatea Foundation
Raymond E. Purves Foundation
Ian and Min Darling
John and Laurine Proud bequest
Chris Joscelyne bequest
Zoltan Florian bequest
LIRRF members and friends
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.
Joshua Connelly completed field work for his PhD in 2022: Investigating constructed seascapes in the Lizard Island Group.
The Ian Potter Doctoral Fellowship at Lizard Island
is funded by The Ian Potter Foundation. It has been awarded annually since 2006.
Juliano Morais project is ongoing: Coral recovery dynamics on post-bleach coral reefs.
Sterling Tebbett completed his PhD in 2022: The functioning of future coral reefs: fishes, sediments and productivity.
2022 The Ian Potter Doctoral Fellow
Juliano Morais, James Cook University
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.
Eric Fakan’s project is ongoing: Impact of habitat quality on the survival and fitness of coral reef fishes.
Makeely Blandford completed the final field work for her project in December 2022: The influence of habitat degradation on olfactory-mediated behaviour of coral reef fishes.
2022 Gough Family Doctoral Fellow
Eric Fakan, James Cook University
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.
Valerio Tettamanti’s field work concluded in 2022: Development of the visual system and colouration in damselfishes.
Catheline Froehlich has completed her field work in early 2022 and is preparing her thesis: Investigating the advantages of sociality in challenging environments using coral-dwelling gobies.
2022 Zoltan Florian Marine Biology Fellow
Valerio Tettamanti, University of Queensland
2019 Zoltan Florian Marine Biology Fellow
Catheline Froehlich, University of Wollongong
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 has had to wait until February 2023 to begin this research due to pandemic-related travel restrictions: 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.
Eva McClure conducted her research at LIRS during 2022: Differential effects of sequential disturbances on the structure and function of coral reefs across the continental shelf.
Will Feeney was finally able to complete this research in person in 2022. He earlier relied upon colleagues to do this time-sensitive work as he was in Europe during the covid pandemic: Mutualisms in a changing world: does the presence of cleaner wrasses confer resilience to coral reef ecosystems?
2022 Maple-Brown Fellow
Dr Eva McClure, James Cook University
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.
Ariana Lambrides conducted her research during 2022: Understanding long-term indigenous uses of the Great Barrier Reef – re-excavating the Freshwater Bay Midden, Lizard Island.
Field work for Chris Goatley and Simon Brandl‘s project finally began in 2022. It had been on hold due to COVID-19 because Simon is based in USA: Function, biodiversity, and distribution of Australia’s smallest vertebrates.
2020 John and Laurine Proud Fellow
Dr Christopher Goatley, University of New England
2022 John and Laurine Proud Fellow
Dr Ariana Lambrides, James Cook University
2020 John and Laurine Proud Fellow
Dr Simon Brandl, University of Texas Austin
The Chris Joscelyne Fellowship
was enabled by a bequest from the late Chris Joscelyne, a former Trustee of our Foundation and a long-term supporter. The award in 2022 is the first of two Joscelyne Fellowships.
Fabio Cortesi‘s project is underway in 2022: Anemonefish hotel: restoring Nemo’s home and its community for the future.
2022 Chris Joscelyne Fellow
Dr Fabio Cortesi, University of Queensland
Fellowship research stories
Fellowships and grants update
No new fellowships or grants were awarded for 2021 due to severe limitations on travel caused by...
At just 27 years of age, Sterling Tebbett has already seen stark changes in the coral reefs he...
Fellowship travel awards in a time of COVID
Our Foundation provides funding for its doctoral fellows to present their research at an...
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.
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Program 3 - Research facilities
We provide the facilities and equipment that underpin coral reef research and education at Lizard Island Research Station.
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Program 4 - Education
We provide educational opportunities for future researchers and their mentors at Lizard Island Research Station.
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Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation
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Lizard Island Research Station
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