Evolution in mammals, biological mutations, plant growth and ageing are among topics to be studied in four prestigious UQ fellowships awarded to School of Biological Sciences academics in the 2016 round.

UQ Fellowships aim to foster development of promising early career researchers and retain mid-career and senior academic staff of exceptional calibre at the University.

The three-year fellowships are awarded for research, teaching and service activities.

UQ Fellowships awarded to School of Biological Sciences academics are:

Dr Chang Seok Han is an evolutionary biologist who plans to test how oxidative stress is related to behavioural ageing, and how the relationship is influenced by the social environment. Dr Han is joining the School from Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany.

Professor Christine Beveridge researches the hormonal control of plant development, particularly shoot architecture. Over the next three years, she plans to increase understanding of why and how shoot growth, sugars and hormones affect shoot branching to assist with such issues as understanding the cause of unwanted growth responses to pruning and the mechanisms underlying different types of shoot architectures that affect yield.

Dr Katrina McGuigan is an evolutionary quantitative geneticist whose research aims to understand the evolution of genetic variation, and the relationship between processes driving this and the evolution of phenotypes (the observable characteristics of the organisms).  She will undertake research-teaching using vinegar flies and zebrafish as her animal models.

Dr Diana Fisher will conduct research and teaching in the field of conservation and life history evolution of mammals in Australia and Melanesia. Her research focuses on extinction and conservation biology of mammals, and evolutionary ecology- including sexual selection, the evolution of ageing, and life history in mammals. She plans to assess ways to protect endangered marsupials and bats from threats such as introduced predators and drought in Australia, and forest loss in the Solomon Islands, and to increase our understanding of the unusual reproductive tactics of some carnivorous marsupials. 

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