Featured News All gowned-up for healthy futures

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Sun, 17 Dec 2017

All gowned-up for healthy futures

Does short-term heat acclimation actually help, what’s the best way to care for diabetics in the Torres Strait, and how do Irukandji jellyfish catch their dinner? We have some answers to all three of those questions, thanks to local scholars who will receive their Doctorates at a James Cook University ceremony at the Cairns Convention Centre on Monday (18 December).

Almost 200 health graduands will don gowns and mortar boards to receive their degrees, graduate certificates and diplomas.

JCU’s Division of Tropical Health and Medicine will confer a total of 196 awards, including 94 degrees in nursing and 59 in dentistry, as well as degrees in exercise physiology, psychology, public health, and sport and exercise science.

A further 26 have elected to receive their degrees in absentia, bringing the Division’s total number of Cairns graduates this year to 222.

This year’s graduates include five dentists who are the first to complete the Graduate Diploma of Implantology, along with one Master of Midwifery and two Masters of Nursing. Medals for academic excellence will be awarded to 18 of the graduates, in addition to other prizes.

Three doctorates will be conferred:

  • Robert Courtney, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Life Cycle, Prey Capture Ecology and Physiological Tolerances of Medusae and Polyps of the 'lrukandji' Jellyfish: Carukia barnesi. Robert’s research included a finding that the tiny Irukandji jellyfish, Carukia barnesi, doesn’t just drift about hoping food will become entangled in its tentacles. Instead, it actively fishes, extending its tentacles and twitching them to attract prey.
  • Joshua Guy, PhD. Short-Term Heat Acclimation Training: Effects on Performance and Inflammation. Joshua conducted a series of trials to investigate the potential positive and negative impacts of the short-term heat training that many athletes undertake prior to competition.
  • Sean Taylor, Doctor of Public Health. Improving Diabetes Care and Management in Torres Strait Remote Primary Health Care Settings. Torres Strait Islanders living in the Torres Strait region have the highest prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in Australia – more than three times the rate of other Australians. Originally from the Torres Strait, Sean completed his doctorate at JCU’s Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention.

The Occasional Address at the graduation ceremony will be delivered by Commodore Andrew Robertson who is an Adjunct Professor at JCU and a leader in the area of disaster medical response in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region.

This is JCU’s second Cairns graduation ceremony for 2017. The University’s Division of Tropical Environments and Societies conferred 385 degrees in March, bringing the total number of degrees awarded this year in Cairns to 607.