WIT award recipient Kerrie Wilson with UQ sponsor Prof Linda RichardsAssociate Professor Kerrie Wilson (pictured here with UQ sponsor Professor Linda Richards) was awarded the Life Sciences Research Award at the Women in Technology  (WIT) awards, acknowledging the significant influence of her research on international conservation policy.

The judges observed the novel and innovative research being demonstrated by the ARC Future Fellowship holder and through the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED), which that has led to strong applied outcomes. Associate Professor Wilson is The University of Queensland's Node Director for CEED.

"An award like this really promotes the role of women in science - the choices they need to make to have a career in science and the obstacles they have to overcome. Science can have a strong gender bias and I'm proud that CEED is pushing back against it – with more than 50% women," she said.

"The judges were also impressed by the leadership being shown by CEED, which is providing a platform and training opportunities for early career researchers. One of the real strengths of the Centre is that it sets students up with a diversity of career pathways in the environment, not just academia.

"Something I learnt from meeting the other finalists, who were impressive people across a number of disciplines, was that to be successful in science you have to be prepared to fail. You experience more failures when you're successful."

"It was also great to see conservation science being recognised alongside more traditional life sciences. We're working in an exciting and important discipline, with significant implications locally and globally."

Women in Technology President Fiona Hayes said the awards, now in their 18th year, were a massive success with nominations up 50% across nine award categories.

Kerrie Wilson is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Associate Professor at The University of Queensland.