Past Recipients

Past Recipients

Marie Windstein (Murdoch)

Spatial ecology of sharks and rays in the nearshore environment of a newly created Sea Country Indigenous Protected Area, Kimberley, Western Australia.

Marie’s greatest concern is coastal ecosystem degradation and its impact on marine diversity. Through both academic and professional experiences, I’ve gained an in-depth understanding of the ecological value of our coasts and witnessed the widespread conservation challenges associated with our ever-increasing use of coastal areas.

Rooted in a life-long passion for the ocean, my research interests stand at the intersection of spatial ecology and marine conservation. Designed in collaboration with Karajarri Traditional Owners and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, my research employs acoustic telemetry to study the spatial ecology of sharks and rays in the Karajarri Sea Country Indigenous Protected Area.

We focus on the movements of globally threatened sawfish and culturally significant stingrays in a communal elasmobranch nursery. This data yields quantitative insights into their local movement, ecological connections, and habitat-related behaviors, benefiting the preservation of these endangered species and supporting a tailored management strategy for Karajarri Sea Country managers.

Ursula Rodrigues (UWA)

Caring for Country and people with Noongar fire: A two-way investigation of fire management in southwestern Australia.

An affinity with southwest Australian landscapes and an interest in how humans interact with them led Ursula to cross-cultural research. Her PhD focusses on the outcomes for people and Country of contemporary Noongar fire stewardship and collaboration between land managers and Noongar peoples in fire management in the Fitz-Stirlings region in southern WA.

Using mixed methods approaches, Ursula and her colleagues at UWA Albany are working alongside Noongar Elders and knowledge holders to investigate shared questions about Elder-led burning practices, including how and when fire is necessary for management according to Noongar bio-cultural knowledge, floristic outcomes of experimental burning, and social and cultural outcomes of the Elder-led burn program she is facilitating.

Madison Williams-Hoffman (ECU)

Radioactive Legacy from Nuclear Weapons Testing at the Montebello Islands, Western Australia.

Madison, following her undergraduate and honours studies at the University of Queensland, now investigates the environmental impact of nuclear weapons testing in Australia. Focusing on the Montebello Islands, Western Australia, she assesses the lasting radioactive legacy from detonations seven decades ago, gauging implications for the current and future aquatic ecosystem within the state marine park.

Madison actively promotes effective science communication, gaining recognition in outlets like The Guardian, The Conversation, and ABC. She manages ECU’s Environmental Radiochemistry Laboratory, specializing in biosecurity and hazardous substances. In May, Madison welcomed her first child, dedicating her limited spare time in 2023 to advocating for improved parental leave for research students in Australian universities.

Natasha Harrison (UWA)

Robust measures of anti-predator behaviour in Western Australia’s critical weight range mammals.

Tash Harrison is a conservation biologist, incorporating the fields of behavioural and population ecology into her work. She is currently working to quantify the loss of anti-predator traits from havened populations of mammals, to investigate drivers of such losses, and determine any survival consequences of weakened anti-predator responses. Ultimately, Tash is motivated to provide tangible evidence with which to inform strategic conservation management of Australia’s unique fauna.

Patrick Morrison (UWA)

Voyaging in Murujuga: A Study of Maritime Culture and Climate.

Patrick Morrison is an archaeologist and PhD student at the University of Western Australia. His research focuses on how people in Northwest Australia adapted to climate shifts and rising sea levels over 10,000 years. In 2022, the John Glover RSWA Grant aided stable isotope analysis of ancient shellfish from Murujuga, offering insights into historic sea temperatures and changing coastal foraging patterns.

Patrick specializes in underwater archaeology, using 3D photogrammetry to document shipwrecks like Trial 1622 and Zeewijk 1727 with the WA Museum. He co-authored the first discovery of submerged Aboriginal artifacts on the Australian continental shelf. He also teaches Maritime and Historical Archaeology at UWA.

Samantha Norman (UWA)

 Investigating the Molecular Evolution of C4 Photosynthesis in the Genus Neurachne.

Samantha’s research is centered around exploring the molecular evolution of C4 photosynthesis within the Australian grass genus Neurachne. This genus, unique to Australia, stands out as the sole monocot genus containing closely related species that exhibit C3, C4, and C3-C4 intermediate photosynthetic pathways. This distinctive characteristic of Neurachne provides an exceptional opportunity to delve into the molecular evolution of C4 photosynthesis in monocots.

Her research places a particular emphasis on characterizing phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC), the key carbon-fixing enzyme of the C4 pathway, and its corresponding isoforms in each Neurachne species. To further her investigations, the RSWA John Glover research support grant will enable Samantha to undertake a research trip to Washington State University, where she will have access to the specialized equipment essential for her work.

Shannon Duffy (UWA)

Genomic mechanisms of thermal resilience in reef building coral: insights from World Heritage Ningaloo Reef.

Shannon is a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia and the Australian Institute of Marine Science, focusing on coral adaptation and acclimatization at Ningaloo Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site. She uses genomics and heat-stress experiments to study coral responses to climate pressures, such as marine heatwaves. Her research explores molecular mechanisms behind Ningaloo’s coral response to heat stress and the genetic basis of spawning traits and population genomics in Western Australia.

Shannon’s previous work studied the symbiotic relationship between algae dinoflagellates and Scleractinian coral in offshore reefs. With a passion for genomics in conservation, she used the John Glover Research Support Grant to investigate genetic components of heat stress resilience at Ningaloo, contributing to global coral protection efforts.