Shaw and Janion Scheepers webCEED researcher Dr Justine Shaw (pictured, left) is on a roll this week, winning a national award and having two pieces published in the prestigious scientific journal, Nature.

She is one of 14 Australian women researchers to win the national 2017 Peer Prize for Women in the category Earth, Environment & Space for research on climate change and species.

Dr Shaw examines conservation decision-making in the terrestrial Antarctica and sub-Antarctic, with a particular focus on non-native species.

CEED Director Professor Kerrie Wilson congratulated Dr Shaw on the high calibre of her work, reflected in her award and on her Nature publications.

The first is a study predicting expansion of ice-free areas of Antarctica due to climate change, and in the second, Dr Shaw is a co-signatory of a comment piece ahead of the G20 in Hamburg, outlining the urgent action the world needs to see by the year 2020.

“The comment piece led  former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres calls for bending the emissions curve by 2020 which is a monumental challenge, but it is necessary, desirable, and most of all, it’s achievable,” Dr Shaw said. 

“We explain why and how.”

Dr Shaw is currently examining the risks posed by non-native species to Antarctic protected areas, examining the interactions between threatened species and invasive species on Australia’s island ecosystems, and investigating applying decision science to Antarctic conservation.

She is interested in ways of dealing with uncertainty in large scale ecosystem management and the role of climate change in influencing conservation outcomes.

Dr Shaw said the team published their research in Science earlier this year demonstrating the serious consequences of this species redistribution due to climate change. Dr Shaw said “Climate change research has to be collaborative and multidisciplinary to have impact and feed into policy discussions. All of this current work has been multidisciplinary and collaborative and interestingly all three initiatives were led by women.”

The Species on the Move Thinkable submission, based on this publication, was led by Associate Professor Gretta Pecl of the University of Tasmania. It included researchers from James Cook University, Monash, Southern Cross University, University of Western Australia, University of Wollongong and University of New South Wales.

Awarded by the science and innovation website Thinkable.org and sponsored by The Sun Foundation Australia, the prize was voted on-line by researchers from around the world.

The $20 000 annual prize is designed to accelerate open knowledge exchange and cross-disciplinary innovation among women in science.

The multidisciplinary team will use the prize money to support research and preparations for a follow-up Species on the Move conference to be held in South Africa in 2019. They aim to be able to support women scientists.   

A video summarising the study can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6d-3Nv2n-Xk