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American Australian Association awards five Fellowships to leading American graduate scholars for advanced research at top Australian universities. 

Media Release
New York, N.Y. – Wednesday, March 4th, 2008
American Australian Association awards five Fellowships to leading American graduate scholars for advanced research at top Australian universities.
These fellowships continue the association’s support of intellectual collaboration and discourse between Australia and the United States. Malcolm Binks, the Associations Chairman commented on the latest fellowships, “This year saw increased applications from a well credentialed pool of academics, conducting research in cutting edge fields including marine biology, conservation and stem cell research. The Association sees knowledge and skill transference as an important part of continuing and strengthening US-Australian relations and we are pleased to offer such opportunities.”
The United States Study Centre, to open March this year at the University of Sydney will further enhance the educational opportunities for both Australian and American students and researchers. The centre is a joint initiative of the American Australian Association and the Australian Government.
Each year the association receives applications from students seeking to continue their research in diverse fields from business, engineering to science and biomedical research.  Competition was tough for places as this year saw a record number of applicants, all of whom were exceptional candidates. The successful fellows will undertake research into applied conservation biology, marine ecology, stem cell research and climatology. Fellows will attend leading Australian institutions; Sydney Children’s Hospital, James Cook University Walter and Elizabeth Hall Institute of Medical Research, The Australian National University and the University of Queensland.
The Association’s Education Fund has awarded over $1.5 million dollars to both American and Australian students since its inception in 2002. The Association supports its Education Fund and Fellowship program through a series of annual benefit events and the sponsorship of key corporate members.

Sir Keith Murdoch Fellows:
Michael Berumen
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution/James Cook University
Research Interest: Marine Biology
Michael studies the ecology of Butterfly fish, a family of coral reef fish. He will continue his research on feeding ecology, life history traits and the effects of habitat quality on tropical fish. Working in Australia at the Lizard Island Research Station he will examine links between habitat quality, feeding patterns, and subpopulation fitness using genetic parentage techniques.

Gwyn Harburg
University of Texas/Walter and Elizabeth Hall Institute of Medical Research
Research Interest: Mammary stem cells
Gwyn is a PhD recipient in Integrative Biology from the University of Texas’ Southwestern Medical Center. Her research concentrates on the regulation of adult neural stem cells. Her postdoctoral research, along with understanding the biology of stem cells explores the effect of potentially carcinogenic molecular pathways on mammary stem cells.

Tala Kaplinovsky
University of California, Irvine/University of New South Wales
Research Interest: Adult stem cells
Tala is completing her Masters degree in the faculty of Medicine at the University of New South Wales. In addition, she has a research position at the Developmental Neurosciences Program at Sydney Children’s Hospital. Her research into adult stem cells focuses on the olfactory receptors. She aims to uncover new therapeutic options for developmental, degenerative and traumatic neuropathological conditions of the brain and spinal cord.

Sindia Sosdian
Rutgers University/Australian National University
Research Interest: Climatology
Sindia’s research concentrates on paleoclimatology, paleooceonography and oceanography. She will be completing a year’s research at the Australian National University, Canberra. Specifically she will investigate the fundamental controls on Australian rainfall by reconstructing changes in sea surface temperatures and rainfall across the last 7,000 years.

Carissa Klein
University of California, Santa Barbara/ University of Queensland
Research Interest: Applied conservation biology
Carissa’s research focuses on quantitative based conservation science. The ultimate aim of Carissa’s research is to improve decision making in environmental management by developing science based tools and methods for government agencies and groups involved in natural resource management. Her research aims to effectively balance conservation and biodiversity whilst minimizing both the environmental and economic costs of such projects.


For additional information on this release, please contact:
James Stevens
Phone: 212-338-6860 ext 208
Source: American Australian Association  

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