Advisor of the Year Awards 2019

The Advisor of the Year Awards aim to encourage and reward staff who have excelled in the supervision of Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates at the Doctoral, Research Masters and/or Honours levels. Winners are selected for these awards by the Research Education Sub-Committee based on nominations from their students. Primary of the Advisor this year is shared between two advisors.

Primary Advisor of the Year

Ellen Ariel 

Associate Professor Ellen Ariel

College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences

Dr Ariel is Associate Professor in Virology at the College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences. She has previous worked for the European Commission, delivering scientific advice to policy makers as well as assessing and advising research directions in the EU Aquatic Animal Disease sector. Dr Ariel is the team leader of the Turtle Health Team, and instigator of the new research facility: "The Caraplace".

View Ellen's Research Portfolio

David Bellwood 

Professor David Bellwood

College of Science & Engineering

David's research interests include global biogeography and the conservation of coral reefs, particularly the role of biodiversity in ecosystem processes. He has more than 10 current and 10 completed research students on his advisory record. David has collaborations globally including Washington, San Paulo and Auckland.

View David's Research Portfolio

Advisory Panel of the Year

All advisory panels at JCU include a minimum of two advisors, normally not more than four. The winners demonstrate an outstanding capacity to work together to support the candidates and their research.

Professor Melanie Birks, Professor Jane Mills and Dr Lin Zhao

College of Healthcare Sciences

View Melanie's Research Profile

View Jane's Research Profile

Dr Kristin Wicking, A/Prof Nichole Harvey, Dr Karen Francis, Dr Intansari Nurjannah

College of Healthcare Sciences

View Kristin's Research Profile

View Nichole's Research Profile

Division of Tropical Health and Medicine Award Winner

Award for Excellence in Graduate Research Leadership

Melissa Crowe 

Dr Melissa Crowe

DTHM Cohort Doctoral Studies Program

Melissa is the Head of the Cohort Doctoral Studies Program, providing Doctoral candidates with the opportunity to study in a supportive environment with mentoring, peer support and professional development The program is designed to support and nurture doctoral students through their studies by providing workshops, seminars, coursework, peer learning facilitation and writing workshops in a cohort model where students commence and progress through their program as a group. Although students may undertake different pathways through the program, all will complete either a PhD or professional doctorate. Melissa has over 15 years’ experience teaching and researching the issues of exercise in hot and humid environments and drugs and supplements in sport.

View Melissa's Research Profile

Division of Tropical Environments and Societies Award Winner

Early Career Advisor of the Year

Bronson Philippa 

Dr Bronson Philippa - College of Science & Engineering

Bronson is a Senior Lecturer in Internet of Things Engineering. He has been primary and secondary advisor to a number of students and was actively involved in the co-supervision of a graduate who received their PhD degree “cum laude” in 2018. Dr Philippa takes care to ensure that PhD candidates are immersed in a community of researchers. For example, he coordinates a weekly seminar series on organic electronics that includes Honours students, PhD students, post-docs and academics. This seminar series is important to give PhD candidates exposure to a wider range of topics than their immediate project and to give experience in public speaking.

Another aspect of PhD supervision is exposure to industry and industry-lead projects, especially for candidates with career goals outside the academic sector. Dr. Philippa has invited one of his students to participate in an industry-funded research project. The company has just signed the contract and the project will begin shortly. The student has contributed from the early phases of developing the objectives of the project, participating in meetings with the client, and will play a major role in the research itself. Due to the student’s interests and goals, a “research apprenticeship” type of supervision allows the PhD candidate to gain experience with industry and build a track record of working on commercially funded R&D.

View Bronson's Research Profile

Division of Research and Innovation Award Winners

Award for Excellence in Graduate Research Leadership

Alana Grech 

Dr Alana Grech –ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

Since taking on the role of Assistant Director and ADRE in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (in 2016), Dr Alana Grech has provided exemplary leadership, mentoring and guidance to further improve the Centre’s exceptional record and program of graduate research. Not only is Alana an effective and accomplished graduate research advisor in her own right, but she has invested considerable time and effort to improve the graduate research environment for both students and advisors within the Centre. Alana was also instrumental in expanding graduate research offerings in the Centre to include Masters students.

View Alana's Research Profile

Award for Excellence in Promoting Indigenous Participation in Graduate Research

Felecia Watkin 

Associate Professor Felecia Watkin - Indigenous Education & Research Centre

Associate Professor Felecia Watkin Lui is a Torres Strait Islander woman with giz from Erub, Mabuiag and Badu Islands. She is an Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies in the Indigenous Education and Research Centre and Thematic Convenor of Indigenous Futures for the Cairns Institute, JCU. She taught/supervised into the Master of Indigenous Studies over several years, supervised to completion PhDs and Master students, helped supervise the remaining Master of Social Science enrolments for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Centre, and currently involved with the transition to IERC’s M.Phil (Indigenous) program.

As is now understood by the collegiate, supervising Indigenous research students, or supervising non-Indigenous students with Indigenous research topics, is not a straightforward process. It requires a great deal of patience and a high level of dexterity with Western social sciences and Indigenous knowledge standpoints. Associate Prof Watkin-Lui has proven over and again, and with each degree completion, that good work can be done despite the level of difficulty in Indigenous research areas. Her persistence over many years to be a conscientious and supportive supervisor at JCU deserves to be recognised.

View Felecia's Research Profile

Award for Excellence in Promoting Industry Engagement in Graduate Research

Allan Dale 

Professor Allan Dale – The Cairns Institute

Allan Dale is a Professor of Tropical Regional Development at The Cairns Institute, James Cook University and a University Fellow with Charles Darwin University’s Northern Institute. Allan has a strong interest in integrated societal governance, with a particular focus across the tropical world, northern Australia and the Great Barrier Reef. He leads JCU’s contributions to Queensland’s Rural Economies Centre of Excellence (RECoE) and the Clean Growth Choices Program, the Human Dimensions of the GBR, the Northern Development agenda and emerging approaches to Collective Impact. The award recognises his extensive collaborations and partnerships that support the Graduate Researcher experience. Partners include:

  • Rural Economies Centre of Excellence.
  • Clean Growth Choices
  • Collective Impact Initiative -
  • Reef and Rainforest Research Centre
  • CSIRO
  • Australian Institute of Marine Science

View Allan's Research Profile