2013 University of Technology, Sydney Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers

Sydney snake scientist notches up three Eureka Prizes—in three different areas.

Australian reptile expert Rick Shine has become the first Australian scientist to win a Eureka Prize in three different categories as an individual entrant.

Professor Shine, an evolutionary biologist from the University of Sydney, has won the 2013 Australian Museum University of Technology, Sydney Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers.

In 2006 he won the Eureka Prize for Biodiversity Research, and in 2011 he won the Eureka for Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research. He now joins a small, and select, group of science professionals who have won multiple Eurekas.

Professor Shine’s latest award reflects his lifelong commitment to assisting young scientists. During his career he has supervised more than 70 research students and 20 post-doctoral fellows. The majority of his 800 published papers list his students as senior co-authors.

The Director of the Australian Museum, Frank Howarth, says. “Professor Shine’s commitment to nurturing the careers of young scientists has truly changed the field of evolutionary biology.”

“Indeed, these days it is difficult to find an Australian university biology faculty that does not have one of Rick’s past students as either a senior lecturer or even Head of School.”

The two other finalists in the tightly contested category achieved significant recognition for their commitment to assisting younger scientists.

Professor Maria Forsyth, Australian Laureate Fellow at Deakin University in Melbourne, was nominated for her tireless work in developing new passions and creativity in her students.

Professor Robert Williamson, AO, Honorary Senior Principal Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, was nominated for his encouragement of students in the areas of science, medicine and policy.

The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes reward excellence in the fields of research and innovation, leadership and commercialisation, science journalism and communication, and school science. This year the 17 sponsored prizes include awards for agriculture, defence, infectious diseases and innovative use of technology.


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Kea Lambert , Project Officer, Eureka Prizes
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