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Featured News JCU researcher named in top dozen of female scientists

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Wed, 26 Oct 2016

JCU researcher named in top dozen of female scientists

zoe bainbridge

A James Cook University researcher has been named in the top dozen of Australian female researchers.

Dr Zoe Bainbridge will today (October 26) receive a 2016 Women in Research Citation Award at a special ceremony in Canberra.

Jointly presented by Clarivate Analytics and the Australian National University (ANU), the awards recognise highly cited early-to-mid-career Australian female researchers.

Using publication and citation data, the 12 were identified as female researchers who have co-authored influential papers contributing to research within their research domain spanning science, social science and humanities. Dr Bainbridge's research domain is environmental science and management. 

Dr Bainbridge (pictured above), a Research Fellow at TropWATER at JCU said the award came as a great surprise.

“It’s an honour to be recognised in this way as a high impact researcher,” she said.

Dr Bainbridge’s research aims to identify the catchment sources of fine sediment that is transported into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon, which pose the greatest ecological risk to coral reef and seagrass ecosystems.

She examines the composition and properties of river sediment collected during flood events and in adjacent flood plumes to establish a unique fingerprint, so the source of the fine sediment can be traced back to its upstream catchment origin. 

The identification of these hot-spot areas of soil erosion is critical to prioritise remediation efforts to minimise run-off, given the size of the Great Barrier Reef catchment area (about 420,000 km2).

Dr Bainbridge hopes her research will contribute to the improvement of Great Barrier Reef inshore water quality and associated ecological impacts, as well as economic and social benefits to the Queensland tourism industry.

As a female researcher, having a supportive work environment was important, she said.

“For me personally, being part of a dedicated and supportive research team environment has been key to my career progression to date. At a broader scale, organisations providing flexibility and support to female researchers to balance career and family is also critical.”

Gender equality in research has been the subject of wide debate and in Australia there are multiple programs committed to tackling this issue such as the National Innovation and Science Agenda and the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) program.

Earlier this year JCU was one of eight Australian institutions selected to participate in SAGE’s Athena SWAN pilot program.

The program aims to improve gender equity and diversity in STEMM disciplines in universities and research institutions and to improve the promotion and retention of women in the sector.

The pilot program is coordinated by the Australian Academy of Science.

A photo of Dr Bainbridge here (cut and paste link): http://bit.ly/2faIt8m

Contacts

For interviews: Dr Zoe Bainbridge

mob: 0427 845 330

JCU Media contact: Caroline Kaurila, tel: (07) 4781 4586 or 0437 028 175