Travel Award Winners – Oct 2012

ATA Scientific would like to thank all those that participated in the Sept/Oct issue of our Travel Award promotion.

Congratulations to our first prize winner, Miss Nikola Van de Wetering, a budding organic petrologist currently in her 3rd year of undergraduate studies, from the University of Queensland, School of Earth Sciences.

Nikola is currently undertaking a research project relating to the coal deposits within the Bowen Basin. Her research is aimed at identifying and understanding vegetation successions in the late Permian, and how they may relate to local changes in environment and regional changes in climate interpreted from stable carbon isotopes

“I’m passionate about field work and understanding ancient environments which lead me to work with my supervisor Prof. Joan Esterle who has been expert in the field for some time” said Nikola.

“Thank you very much for this opportunity! It is perfect timing and will help me substantially with my research”

Nikola plans to use her award to assist her to purchase a new laptop with the appropriate software needed for her research in Brazil. At the end of November, Nikola will be travelling to the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro to learn the procedures involved in palynological facies identification, and how to use pollen to further understand the palaeobotany of coals. Nikola will be working at the Laboratory for Palylnofacies and Organic Facies (LAFO).

Congratulations to our second prize winner Rupert Shuttleworth, based at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Epigenetics laboratory under his supervisor Dr Catherine Suter.

Dr Suter’s laboratory focuses on epigenetics, the study of heritable changes in gene expression that do not involve changes in the DNA sequence itself. Dr Suter’s group is dedicated to the investigation of the role that epigenetics plays in phenotypic variation and human disease.

Rupert has a background in Computer Science and Mathematics. His current research interests are in applying computing technology to help solve biological problems. Earlier this year Rupert focused on differential expression analysis in brain tumour cells and more recently has been working on high performance sequence annotation and ways of using neural networks to help find patterns in large amounts of biological data.

Rupert plans to use his prize money to attend the the BioInfo Summer 2012 meeting (AMSI Summer Symposium in Bioinformatics, 3-7 December 2012) being held at the University of Adelaide, SA. The award will cover his travel expenses and registration.

We would like to thank all those that participated. If you would like to learn more about the image used in our competition, please click here.

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