Top science prize for USC ecologist helping wildlife


Associate Professor Celine Frere

A USC scientist renowned for her work with wildlife and detection dogs has today been named the Queensland Young Tall Poppy Scientist of the Year, one of the state’s top science prizes.

Associate Professor Celine Frere, a behavioural ecologist and co-leader of the USC Detection Dogs for Conservation unit, was awarded the honour at a ceremony in Brisbane tonight where she also received a Queensland Young Tall Poppy Science Award.

The awards, an initiative of the Australian Institute of Policy and Science, recognise excellence in research and enthusiasm for communicating science beyond the walls of the laboratory. They are widely considered to be an early indicator of Australia’s future scientific leaders.

Dr Frere said the title was a great honour because, while science was a vital pursuit, it was also important to share findings with the world to drive change and find solutions.

“Science is critical to our understanding of the world and, certainly in my field, how we manage our resources to protect our precious ecosystems,” she said.

As an empirical biologist, Dr Frere has a primary research interest in animal behaviour and genetics to better understand how animals adapt to environmental change. She has published widely, including papers on lizards, giraffes, cetaceans, porpoises, koalas and kangaroos.

She was central to the establishment of USC’s Global Change Ecology Research Group, which brings together early and mid-career academics focusing on the impacts of humans on biodiversity and ecosystems.

In 2015, Dr Frere and her postdoctoral researcher, Dr Romane Cristescu, launched USC’s Detection Dogs for Conservation unit, which delivers ecological data and analysis on vulnerable species such as koalas and quolls to government and industry.

“The team has featured in news media across the world since we worked with the International Fund for Animal Welfare to deploy detection dog Bear to find injured and displaced koalas following bushfires across New South Wales and Queensland,” Dr Frere said.

USC Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Helen Bartlett congratulated Dr Frere and said her scientific outputs had helped the university gain a ‘well above world standard’ rating in the fields of ecology and environmental sciences in the Excellence in Research Australia benchmarking.

“Dr Frere has also been enormously successful in sharing her passion and vision to preserve Australia’s unique wildlife, particularly in the wake of devastating bushfires that destroyed their habitat. This state-wide recognition for her work is enormously well-deserved,” Professor Bartlett said.

In 2017, Dr Frere was named as one of Australia’s 30 'most dynamic scientists and technologists' (Science and Technology Australia) and recognised as a SuperStar of STEM 2017.

Professor Helen Bartlett and Associate Professor Celine Frere

Animals Wildlife or Pets Conservation Environment Science & Research University & TAFE

University Of The Sunshine Coast : View Full Profile
90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
07 5430 1234
University Of The Sunshine Coast
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
USC social media class trends at Aus/NZ awards 14 October 2020 | The likes and positive comments are flowing for USC’s Social Media degree program after it gained high recognition at the 2020 Australian and New Zealand Social Media Marketing Awards. More information...
83% bushfire survival of endangered macadamia: USC research 01 October 2020 | USC-led research in Bulburin National Park, between Bundaberg and Gladstone, has recorded 83 percent survival of the wild population of an endangered native macadamia nut plant, following the 2019-20 summer... More information...
Research finds new way to help frail older people 30 September 2020 | A $6.9 million global research project involving USC as the only Australian partner has developed a new monitoring and intervention system to slow or even reverse the progression of frailty among older adults. More information...
Blue carbon focus for ocean-loving world champion 24 September 2020 | The coronavirus pandemic may have upset world champion stand-up paddleboarder Brianna Orams’ plans to compete in the sport’s 2020 Euro Tour – but the USC Environmental Science student refuses to see it as a... More information...
CIDSEL facilitates leadership conference for future diplomats 26 September 2020 | More than 40 young Australian university students from across the country have been selected to participate in the United States Embassy Student Leadership Program from August to December 2020. More information...
Report highlights USC’s financial benefit to regions 24 September 2020 | The significant financial impact that USC is having on its communities has been highlighted in a new report released today by the Regional Universities Network (RUN). More information...
Collateral damage: Deadly funnel-web spider toxin did not evolve to kill humans 22 September 2020 | While funnel-web spider bites in Australia can be deadly, a scientist from USC Australia has helped discover that human deaths are simply an unfortunate side-effect of the spider’s strong self-defence system. More information...
Jess designs a career that’s dedicated to dogs 21 September 2020 | Architectural designer Jess Johnson had a different career switch in mind when she decided to study Animal Ecology at USC – until she met a koala-detection dog named Bear and his other canine companions. More information...
USC students gain early start to media careers 17 September 2020 | Two USC Journalism students who recently secured full-time reporting jobs in a challenging media landscape say the secret to their success was embracing every opportunity to gain real-life skills through their... More information...
Time is right to explore uni options with free course 17 September 2020 | With many people reassessing their career goals due to COVID-19, USC is offering a free course for those wanting to sample higher education and explore their study opportunities. More information...

comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service