Phyllis Montgomerie Award Scholars

The Phyllis Montgomerie Award has been presented to promising young scholars since its inauguration in 2015. We commend the ongoing successes of past recipients and the important contribution they are making through their research and work to the lives of people in Australia, around the Commonwealth and beyond.   



2017 - Mitchell McMaster

Mitchell McMaster is  currently undertaking a PhD on multidomain dementia prevention at the Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing (CRAHW) at the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra. His main research interests are: dementia and it’s prevention, mild cognitive impairment and healthy ageing. Prior to commencing his PhD Mitchell worked in a diverse range of research environments and projects including: A wet lab working with astrocyte cultures, volumetric MRI data, a driving simulator, implementing behavioural interventions and with large psychometric data sets. Having worked in the private sector and research centres affiliated with hospitals and universities he has extensive experience in conducting high level research across different setting and utilising different methodologies.

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2016 - Stephen Fairweather

Stephen Fairweather completed a Bachelor of Philosophy (Science) degree with First Class Honours at the Australian National University in 2010. It was during his undergraduate degree that Stephen first became interested in protein structure–function relationships, particularly in membrane proteins. This led him to undertake first Honours, and then his doctorate in the laboratory of Dr Stefan Bröer at the Australian National University. Stephen’s research has focused on the molecular interactions between human epithelial secondary active amino acid transporters and their heteromeric protein partners and what this tells us about transporter function in healthy and diseased states. In addition, the last year of his doctorate has seen him branch out and begin the investigation of novel amino acid transporters from apicomplexan parasites. His research has led to numerous first and contributing author publications during his PhD, in journals such as Biochemical Journal, Journal of Biological Chemistry and Hypertension. In particular, Stephen is interested in investigating how basic biophysical processes at the molecular transport level can explain organism- or systems-level processes and disease states. His long-term goal is to study the biophysical processes underlying secondary transporter function and combine them with emerging techniques for in situ genome editing to bridge the gap between fundamental molecular understanding and human diseases. Stephen is currently finalising his thesis and some other doctoral research for publications. 


2015 - Claudia Benham 

Claudia Benham is a PhD student in the Fenner School of Environment and Society and CSIRO Gas Industry Social And Environmental Research Alliance. Her research explores interactions between socio-economic and ecological change in complex coastal systems, through the application of interdisciplinary research methods. Her PhD work examines the impacts and management of gas development in coastal social-ecological systems within northern Australia and the Pacific Region, with a focus on tropical seagrass ecosystems. As part of her PhD she has built collaborations with Central Queensland University and Ohio State University to examine these issues through a range of case studies. Claudia has previously worked for the Australian Government in water and environmental policy, and marine conservation roles and is passionate about science communication and applied research.