Amazing Australian scientists and students recognised with Eureka Prizes

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National science awards honour school students’ science communication talent and innovation and leadership of researchers.

Find out about some of the most innovative and exciting scientists in Australia who were awarded a Eureka Prize.

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The Eureka Prizes recognise some of the most innovative Australian science researchers. Credit: Australian Museum

Each year, seventeen of Australia’s most innovative science researchers are recognised at the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes. With awards for leadership, environmental research, school science, innovative use of technology and more, the Eureka Prizes are the country’s most comprehensive science awards.

Dr Dana M. Bergstrom, Australian Antarctic Division and University of Wollongong.

On 7 October 2021, winners were announced at a virtual ceremony, highlighting some of the incredible scientific research taking place across the country. Dr Dana Bergstrom was one of this year’s winners.

Dr Bergstrom is an ecologist who works to better understand and protect Antarctica.

“My work focuses on protecting the really rare Antarctic and the sub-Antarctic ecosystems,” she said.

“There’s intrinsic value in the wildlife, plants, animals and fungi of the region, but there’s also rich scientific value.

“To study a place that’s gone through many ice ages and understand how the plants and animals survive will help us predict what might happen to our climate into the future.”

Dr Dana M. Bergstrom won the 2021 Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation and Science.

Dr Bergstrom received this award for the decades she has spent championing evidence-based science in biodiversity, biosecurity and the impacts of climate change. She is skilled at science communication and has led research into ecosystem collapse from Australia’s tropics to Antarctica.

“This research sounded the alarm on the breakdown of the ecosystems, but also provided advice on ways to slow this trend,” she said.

“It’s really heart-warming to be part of a scientific solution to the problems our environment is facing.”

School students were also recognised with Eureka Prizes

Two young girls in denim jackets holding a tablet showing the film they submitted and won a Eureka Prize.
Primary winners, Scarlett O. and Scarlett P., Oak Flats Public School, NSW, for their submission, Super Volcanoes.
A boy standing on sand with the sea behind him. A clip from the Eureka Prize winning film.
Secondary winner, Jonathan D., Townsville Grammar School, Qld, for his submission, Rewilding Earth.

Both primary and secondary students were also recognised, with Eureka Prizes awarded by the University of Sydney Sleek Geeks.

This category asks students to communicate science concepts in an accessible and entertaining way. It is designed to encourage students to share the science they’re passionate about and increase their scientific knowledge at the same time.

The Sleek Geeks Eureka Prize awards are looking for the next generation of amazing science communicators. Every year, judges are overwhelmed by the creativity and quality of entries.

Each of the seventeen award winners shows adults and children alike exactly why Australia is an incredible place to be a scientist.