Western Australian Fellowships Program

This science funding program attracted internationally prominent researchers from interstate or overseas to Western Australia to build and lead world-class research teams.

The program has been replaced by the Premier’s Science Fellowship Program.


The Fellows supported under the program delivered a range of economic, environmental and social benefits for the State. They delivered significant scientific outcomes, built valuable research capacity (people and facilities) and attracted high levels of research funding.

In total, 12 Fellowships were supported under the program from October 2003 to February 2018:

  • Professor Mark Jessell - 3D Modelling of Geology
  • Professor Carole Jackson - Radio Astronomy
  • Professor Andrew Whiteley - Soil Microbial Diversity
  • Professor Shaun Collin - Sensory Systems of Vertebrates
  • Professor Malcolm McCulloch - Coral Reefs
  • Professor Steven Tingay - Radio Astronomy
  • Professor Lister Staveley-Smith - Radio Astronomy
  • Professor Peter Quinn - Radio Astronomy
  • Professor Ian Small - Plant Molecular Biology
  • Professor Klaus Regenaur-Lieb - Geology
  • Professor John McKenzie - Microbiology
  • Professor Julian Gale - Nanotechnology

Achievements of Recent Fellows

Professor Mark Jessell

Professor Jessell is a structural geophysicist whose Fellowship focused on advancing 3D modelling of Western Australia’s geology, which will help industry to discover new minerals wealth and predict environmental impacts of mining these deposits.

Highlights of his Fellowship included:

  • A data analysis platform to empower mineral explorers in Western Australia to maximise geological insight from Geological Survey of Western Australia data; and
  • Eight transfer of knowledge workshops for Australian and international industry, geological survey and research end-users, with six of these workshops held in Western Australia.

    Professor Jessell’s Fellowship commenced in October 2013 and formally concluded in February 2018.  His research is continuing within the Centre for Exploration Targeting in the School of Earth Sciences at The University of Western Australia.

    For more information about Professor Jessell’s research, visit his profile page on the Centre for Exploration Targeting website.

Professor Carole Jackson

Professor Jackson is an astronomer whose Fellowship aimed to generate research output from the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), a Square Kilometre Array (SKA) precursor project.

Highlights of her Fellowship included:

  • Utilising the MWA to lead research into the nature and evolution of the most massive extragalactic objects (e.g. radio galaxies and quasars); and
  • Assisting the design of the SKA.
  • Professor Jackson’s Fellowship commenced in August 2013 and formally concluded in October 2017.

She is currently the General and Scientific Director of the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. She continues to collaborate with the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy (CIRA), where MWA research is ongoing.

For more information about CIRA’s research, visit the CIRA page on the Curtin University website.

Professor Andrew Whiteley

Professor Whiteley is a microbial ecologist and soil scientist whose Fellowship investigated new approaches for environmental rehabilitation, underpinned by developing and utilising a detailed database and understanding of soil microbial diversity in Western Australia.

Highlights of his Fellowship included:

  • A baseline map (based on microbial DNA) of the diversity and distribution of microbes in soils across all of Western Australia’s major habitats, which is being used to manage and promote healthy microbial communities relevant to rehabilitation of mine sites, agriculture and conservation; and
  • MicroBlitz, the world’s first soil sampling citizen science project, which used members of the public of all ages to collect soil samples, and made a crucial contribution to the Western Australian soil microbial map.

Professor Whiteley’s Fellowship commenced in November 2012 and formally concluded in June 2017. His research and citizen science work is continuing through the School of Agriculture and Environment at The University of Western Australia.

For more information about Professor Whiteley’s research, visit the UWA MicroBlitz page.

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