Thumbnail image for Can corals cope with change?

Does the thought of moving house stress you out? You’re not alone – Dr Carly Kenkel, a post-doctoral scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, has found that relocating—even a short distance—can also be stressful for corals.

Fresh Science is a national competition helping early-career researchers find, and then share, their stories of discovery.

The program takes up-and-coming researchers with no media experience and turns them into spokespeople for science, giving them a taste of life in the limelight, with a day of media training and a public event in their home state.

Fresh Science 2016 is being held in May—July in Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and NSW. (See dates below.)

You can also take a look at the work of our past Freshies.

Queensland Fresh Scientist develops an app to help stroke victims regain their speaking skills

Embargoed 8am Tuesday 26 July 2016

For stroke survivors who suffer language difficulties a new ‘pedometer’ for measuring how often they talk each day holds promise for helping them to regain their communication skills. [click to continue…]

tick pic

An echidna tick (Bothriocroton concolor), imaged by Siew-May (Kimberly) Loh [anterior view]

Perth molecular biologist Dr Charlotte Oskam has found herself at the centre of debate over whether Lyme disease exists in Australia with her research into the hidden bacterial world of ticks.

Charlotte has been searching Australian ticks for the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, which causes Lyme disease in the Northern Hemisphere—a debilitating condition many believe is present in Australia despite health authorities claiming it is not.

[click to continue…]

Fresh Science 2016

22 February 2016

in 2016

Announcing the 2016 Freshies

New South Wales

  • Katelyn Edge, Office of Environment and Heritage – Clear as mud: contaminated sediments toxic to oysters
  • Kyle Ewart, University of Sydney (and Australian Museum) – Rapid and robust species identification of rhinoceros horn
  • Teagan Gale, UNSW – The step-parent trap: conflict in the mouse household
  • Sadia Mahboob, Macquarie University – Making a mark on early colorectal cancer detection
  • Lidia Matesic, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation – Miniature plumbing fast-tracks radiopharmaceutical development
  • Minal Menezes, Metabolic Research Unit/Kids Research Institute (KRI), University of Sydney – Unraveling genetic disease mysteries: a path to personalised medicine
  • Alex Patton, UNSW – Conductive cardiac patches: mending broken hearts
  • Martin Ploschner, Macquarie University – Sculpturing light at the tip of a needle
  • Mark Polizzotto, UNSW – Immune system boost offers new HIV-related cancer hope
  • Jelena Rnjak-Kovacina, UNSW – Blood supply: the missing piece of the bioartificial organ puzzle
  • Babak Sarrafpour, University of Sydney – Potential role for bite forces in tooth eruption
  • Edward Waters, University of Notre Dame – Possums: furry friend or filthy foe?
  • Michael Widjaja, University of Technology Sydney – Employing cleavage as a distraction


  • Caitlin Brandenburg, The University of Queensland – The CommFit™ app, a pedometer for talking
  • Farhad Fatehi, CSIRO – mHealth (Mobile Health) for diabetes
  • Brian Forde, The University of Queensland – Resistance gene driving the evolution of pan-drug resistance
  • Daniel Harvie, Griffith University, Recover Injury Research Centre – Can pain sensitivity be learned?
  • Amy Jones, Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery, Griffith University – New drug to fight neglected tropical disease
  • Joanna Kristoffersen, University of the Sunshine Coast – Rapid diagnosis of Hendra virus
  • Leila Matindoost, The University of Queensland – P35-Enhanced insect cell line increases the yield of baculovirus
  • Amanda Neilen, Griffith University – Defining what controls cow urine leaching into waterways
  • Sohinee Sarkar, Queensland University of Technology – Sticky fingers: E. coli superbug’s biofilm-forming weapon!
  • Eleanor Velasquez, Queensland University of Technology – Pumice rafting: a hitchhiker’s guide to marine biodiversity


  • Kathleen Beggs, Deakin University – Doing chemistry with carbon fibre in a microwave
  • George Chen, the University of Melbourne – When ‘WHEY’ no longer equals waste
  • Eric Pui Fung Chow, Alfred Health – HPV infection reduction in young men
  • Enrico Della Gaspera, RMIT University – Researchers unlock new materials using (powerful) camera flashes
  • Muhammad Awais Javed, Swinburne University of Technology – Do microorganisms eat metals?
  • Yugeesh Lankadeva, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health – The hidden culprit behind kidney failure in sepsis
  • Han Lin, Swinburne University of Technology – Store energy in graphene thin film
  • Chun Hin Ng, Monash University – Plastics, Shining the Way for Hydrogen Power
  • Berkay Ozcelik, CSIRO – Invisible films and pumped-up cells cure blindness!
  • Jaclyn Pearson, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity at the University of Melbourne – Never say die: sneaky, sweet talking bacteria
  • Samuel Skinner, the University of Melbourne – Pushing s#!t – improving wastewater filtration
  • Amy Winship, Hudson Institute of Medical Research – Novel fertility-preserving treatment for women with uterine cancer

Western Australia

  • Lucy Forman, Curtin University – Subtle secrets of the Solar System
  • Bonnie Furzer, University of Western Australia – Strength and hyper mobility in children
  • Tegan Grace, University of Notre Dame – Maternal hypertension and preeclampsia affect longitudinal motor development
  • Christine Groom, University of Western Australia – Community of Perth can help save Carnaby’s cockatoo
  • Diego Milani, University of Notre Dame – Neuroprotective properties of poly-arginine peptides
  • Charlotte Oskam, Murdoch University – The hidden bacterial world in Australian ticks
  • Alison Ritchie, Curtin University – Pollinators are vital for reconnecting Perth’s threatened woodlands
  • Favil Singh, Edith Cowan University – Benefits of exercise done before prostate cancer surgery
  • Erica Suosaari, Bush Heritage Australia – Stromatolite provinces of Hamelin Pool

South Australia

  • Mona Awadalla, Flinders University – Genetic cause of small eyes found by Adelaide scientists
  • Karen Best, South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute – Fishing for a way to prevent allergy
  • Eriita Jones, University of South Australia – A global map of surface materials on Mars
  • Anna Leonard, University of Adelaide – Take the pressure down: new targets for spinal trauma
  • Ramkrishna Nirola, University of South Australia – Green and Gold actually comes out more than that !
  • Stephanie Plummer, University of Adelaide – Natural molecule helps brain heal itself after trauma!
  • Malcolm Purdey, University of Adelaide – Sensors for Healthier Hearts and Babies
  • Stephanie Shepheard, Flinders University – Urine holds the key to motor neuron disease
  • Hannah Wardill, University of Adelaide – TLR4: the new pain in the gut for cancer patients
  • Sharon Zivkovic, University of South Australia – Addressing societies most wicked problems with complexity science

We’re judging the NSW nominations now and will announce the 2016 Fresh Scientists for that state soon.