Spotlight on female STEM researchers at regional universities
Female researchers from Southern Cross University are making significant scientific contributions to society both in Australia and overseas. The work of Professor Amanda Reichelt-Brushett and Dr Hanabeth Luke is featured in a new STEM publication.
Hanabeth Luke is working with top rural sociologists to better understand farmer needs and challenges, and what they most need from scientists in our rapidly changing times. Amanda Reichelt-Brushett’s research is focused on tropical marine ecotoxicology and the health impacts for people in south-east Asia who rely on fish as a protein source.
Southern Cross University’s Professor Amanda Reichelt-Brushett and Dr Hanabeth Luke are profiled in a new booklet showcasing the significant scientific contributions by female researchers from Australia’s regional universities.
Published by the Regional Universities Network, the RUN Women in Science, Technology and Engineering in Regional Australia features the research stories of 14 women from Charles Sturt University, CQUniversity, Federation University Australia, Southern Cross University, University of New England, University of Southern Queensland and University of the Sunshine Coast.
Some of the stories describe the use of micro-technology devices in rugby league, combating disease in plants and animals, helping people with disability stay mobile, and developing stronger and lighter steel. Importantly, all stories reveal that the women chose careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to help their communities and to teach others.
Hanabeth is working with top rural sociologists to better understand farmer needs and challenges, and what they most need from scientists in our rapidly changing times. Hanabeth is deeply motivated by helping regional communities and farmers to become more resilient. She is researching barriers to the uptake of new scientific innovation and technology.
Amanda’s research is focused on tropical marine ecotoxicology. Recently, Amanda and her colleagues found mercury in the Maluku region of eastern Indonesia, the fishing ground for Indonesia. 90 per cent of protein resources for human consumption come from the ocean. The mercury was found to be concentrated in marine sediment up to 82 times higher than recommended safe levels.
RUN Chair, Professor Helen Bartlett, said that female researchers at regional universities are making a real difference to the big issues facing Australia.
“RUN Women in Science, Technology and Engineering in Regional Australia is a prime example of the tremendous impact that research by women at RUN universities has on regional development and beyond.
“Women are contributing enormously to advances in STEM. But we know that they still face barriers to reaching their full potential,” Professor Bartlett said.
“We must make sure that women have equal research and career opportunities in STEM. This is not only the right thing to do – it produces good outcomes for communities, business and for Australia.”
The booklet supports the Australian Government’s Women in STEM Decadal Plan and was published to coincide with the United Nation’s World Science Day for Peace and Development on 10 November.
To learn more about World Science Day, visit www.un.org/en/events/scienceday