Scientist of the Year finalists announced
Prof Peter Quinn is a finalist for the WA Scientist of the Year award. Picture: Ian Ferguson/The West Australian

Two plant biologists and an astrophysicist have been announced as finalists for the State’s highest science honour, the WA Science Awards Scientist of the Year.

University of WA plant scientist Winthrop Professor Hans Lambers, an expert in Australian native plants and mineral nutrition, will be up against colleague Winthrop Professor Stephen Powles, whose research into herbicide resistance has changed agricultural practices worldwide.

International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research director Professor Peter Quinn is a finalist for the award following his role in securing part of the Square Kilometre Array telescope for WA this year.

The WA Science Awards recognise outstanding achievement in research, engagement and education with six categories.

Science and Innovation Minister John Day said the finalists’ accomplishments played an important role in providing continued economic, social and environmental benefits to WA.

The winners and the 2012 WA Science Hall of Fame Inductee will be announced at a gala dinner on October 11.

2012 WA Science Awards finalists
Scientist of the Year - $50,000

Winthrop Professor Hans Lambers - Head, School of Plant Biology, UWA
Winthrop Professor Stephen Powles - Director, Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative, UWA
Professor Peter Quinn - Director, International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research

Early Career Scientist of the Year - $10,000
Dr Ullrich Ecker - Australian Postdoctoral Fellow, UWA
Associate Professor Ajmal Mian - Australian Research Fellow, UWA
Dr Mark Paskevicius - Research Fellow, Fuels and Energy Technology Institute, Curtin University

Student Scientist of the Year - $10,000

Mr Terry Boyle - Research Officer, WA Institute for Medical Research
Mr David Erceg-Hurn - Master of Clinical Psychology / PhD Student, UWA
Ms Jennifer Girschik - PhD Candidate, UWA

Science Ambassador of the Year - $10,000

Professor Kevin Kenneally AM - Adjunct Professor, UWA and President, WA Gould League Inc
Professor Jessica Meeuwig - Director, Centre for Marine Futures and Research Professor, School of Animal Biology and UWA Oceans Institute, UWA
Professor Steven Tingay - Director, Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy, Director, Murchison

Science Engagement Initiative of the Year - $10,000

Engineers without Borders High School Outreach Program
The Kimberley Marine Research Station (KMRS)
theSkyNet - International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research - Curtin University and UWA
SPICE - Department of Education and UWA

The West Australian

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