2019 ARC Future Fellows Announced

The Australian Research Council (ARC) has today announced Monash University as the recipient of 13 Future Fellowships worth more than $11 million, as part of a collective $87.8 million research investment announced by the federal government.

Monash researchers received this vital funding to pursue discoveries in areas that will shape Australia’s future, such as medicine, information technology, engineering and science.

Monash University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AO said the funding would drive discovery and innovation with national and international significance.

“This remarkable result is proof of our commitment to research excellence and the quality of our researchers,” Professor Gardner said.

“We’re grateful for the continued support from the ARC, which recognises the global scale of Monash University as we continue to grow our international partnerships with universities, industry and government.

“This global research network enables complex, multidisciplinary projects that will have a positive impact on communities around the world.”

From 2016-19, Monash has been awarded more than $40 million through the ARC Future Fellowships scheme, highlighting the pool of talent among the University’s mid-career researchers who will become Australia’s next generation of research leaders.

The Monash University 2019 Australian Future Fellows are:

  • Dr David Ripley, Faculty of Arts Using philosophical and computational approaches to develop logical tools for managing reasoning and computation under conditions of bounded resources. The expected outcome is new logical methods for managing limited resources, as well as boosting interdisciplinary capacity.
  • Dr Timothy Verhoeven, Faculty of Arts Investigating the neglected history of popular petitioning as a democratic tool in 19th-century United States for causes including anti-slavery, suffrage and immigration restriction. The expected outcome is a new perspective on the emergence of mass democracy and provision of a critical historical framework for assessing modern-day claims about the digital petition.
  • Dr Gholamreza Haffari, Faculty of IT Improving coherence and accuracy of automatic translation technologies by exploiting global linguistic structures and recent advances in deep neural networks, in order to generate coherent and faithful text. Expected outcomes include next-generation computational technologies for language understanding and generation.
  • Associate Professor Luke Morgan, Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture Developing a global reception history of designed landscape, including gardens. Expected outcomes of this project include new methods and techniques for the analysis of landscape and enhanced capacity to build international collaborations.
  • Dr Kathryn Lawlor, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Exploring the potential for programmed cell death to promote innate immune cell signalling, which is a critical and fundamental biological process. Expected outcomes of this project are to enhance our basic understanding of cell death, and build interdisciplinary collaborations.
  • Dr Karla Hutt, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Investigating the fundamental biological mechanisms required for the production of high-quality gametes, which underpin female fertility and the propagation of all sexually reproducing species. Expected outcome is to dramatically improve our understanding of quality control in the female germ line and position Australia as a world leader in the field of reproductive science.
  • Professor Alex Collie, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Developing knowledge on the impact of social protection policy and process on work disability, to study the impact of policy change on access to the Disability Support Pension (DSP), the experiences of DSP applicants and recipients, and to examine the transition of people with long-term work disability between workers’ compensation and social security systems. Expected outcomes include informing future social policy development and service delivery, and developing capacity to evaluate social protection programs and policy shifts as they occur.
  • Associate Professor Ana Traven, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Exploring how metabolism (and resulting metabolites) regulate the expression of genes, and investigating how these processes dictate the interaction of microbiota with the immune system. Expected outcome is to generate transformative knowledge of gene regulation, a fundamental process for cellular function, and decipher how the microbiome yeast Candida albicans interacts with immune cells and bacteria.
  • Dr Kristian Kempe, Faculty of Engineering Developing a new generation of synthetic and biomimetic pseudo peptide polymers with advanced biomedical properties. Expected outcome of the project is the generation of a platform of bioinert materials that could potentially find applications as building blocks in next-generation nanomedicines and medical devices.
  • Dr Sridevi Sureshkumar, Faculty of Science Identifying the novel genetic pathways and mechanisms mediating several genetic disorders, including Friedreich’s ataxia. This project aims to discover novel genes, uncover fundamental molecular mechanisms, and reveal the genetic networks that govern gene silencing caused by triplet repeat expansions.
  • Dr Scott Findlay, Faculty of Science Exploring atomic-scale characterisation including quantitative structure determination. Expected outcome is to explore methods that use the latest detector technology to determine structure and interatomic bonding in much thicker nanostructures than at this point possible.
  • Professor Bob Wong, Faculty of Science Tracking how drugs in the environment affect wildlife behaviour and survival, and therefore also the ecological communities they inhabit. Expected outcomes include new mechanistic understandings and predictive capability for real-world application.
  • Professor Ilya Mandel, Faculty of Science Combining state-of-the art theoretical modelling with innovative machine learning techniques in order to explore how the universe makes merging black holes and neutron stars, and what they tell us about the lives and deaths of the most elusive but incredibly important massive stars. Expected outcome is to strengthen Australia’s role in the emerging field of gravitational-wave astronomy, and provide broad benefits through transferrable machine learning techniques, collaboration-building and big-data training.