Another Young Tall Poppy science winner sprouts at UWS

Associate Professor Hilary Bambrick from the University of Western Sydney's School of Medicine has been named a 2011 Young Tall Poppy at a gala for the prestigious science award in Sydney last night.

Associate Professor Bambrick, who specialises in the health implications of climate change, has been recognised for her outstanding research and her ability to communicate the complexities of science to a broad audience.

UWS is now home to four Young Tall Poppies. Associate Professor Bambrick joins colleagues who received the honour in previous years: Professor Ian Anderson from the UWS Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Dr Leigh Sheppard and Dr Maria Nowotny both from the UWS School of Natural Sciences.

The Young Tall Poppies campaign run by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science recognises young researchers, in the early stages of their careers, already making discoveries.

Associate Professor Bambrick's work is focused on the direct consequences of climate change on the community's health especially vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly and those from Indigenous communities.

"Higher temperatures, altered local rainfall patterns and other climatic variations will change the distribution of insect-borne diseases, some infectious diseases and parasites and have a direct impact on health through events such as heatwaves," says Associate Professor Bambrick.

"It's essential we build a better understanding of how our health could be affected by climate change. The changes are happening much more quickly than our genes can cope with, so we'll need to be forewarned of the potential consequences and be clever about how we adapt."

Associate Professor Bambrick and her fellow 2011 Young Tall Poppies will embark on a 12 month program to take their knowledge out to the community, especially schools, to help raise the awareness and understanding of science.

"I'm thrilled to be named a Young Tall Poppy," says Associate Professor Bambrick. "The next year will provide a fantastic opportunity to engage others, especially children, in science. With climate change and other challenges facing an aging and growing population, we'll need our best and brightest young minds working on the solutions."

As one of Australia's largest universities, UWS is committed to delivering an extensive and diverse program of science related programs including: medicine, computing, physiotherapy, engineering, podiatry, agriculture, nursing and midwifery, forensic science, mathematics, nanotechnology and environmental science.

Earlier this year outstanding and passionate science teaching at UWS was recognised with Associate Professor Roy Tasker, from the UWS School of Natural Sciences, receiving the Prime Minister's Award for Australian University Teacher of the Year.

Editors note: A photo of Associate Professor Bambrick is available on request.



4 November 2011

Contact: Paul Grocott, Senior Media Officer