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Recognition for UTAS scientists

Two University of Tasmania (UTAS) scientists have been honoured through the 2023 Tasmanian Tall Poppy Science Awards.

The annual awards, created by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science, recognise and celebrate the achievements of Australian scientists and honour emerging experts who combine exceptional research with an enthusiastic commitment to communicating science.

Dr Chloe Lucas, a research fellow at the school of geography, planning and special sciences at UTAS, has been named Tall Poppy of the Year.

“I’m thrilled that the importance of climate change communication and my work in this space is being recognised with this award,” Dr Lucas said.

Dr Lucas leads a program called Curios Climate Schools which asks students what they want to know about climate change and matches them with experts to answer their questions.

“During the past two years our project has answered almost 500 questions from 50 classes around Tasmania and we are hoping to answer even more this year,” Dr Lucas said.

“My research has also had a tangible impact on communication about bushfires in greater Hobart.”

“It has led to a partnership of four local governments to trial a new model of bushfire preparedness communication through the ‘Sparking Conversations, Igniting Acton’ project.”

Dr Yuan Zhou was awarded the Tasmanian Young Tall Poppy award for his Multiple Sclerosis (MS) genomics research at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research.

“I’m extremely proud to be named a Tall Poppy particularly as it recognises the significant impact my research has on the community,” Dr Zhou said.

“MS is a devastating neurological disease that usually begins in young adults and can greatly limit their ability to have an independent life.

“My research aims to understand the factors that cause MS and lead to its progression, and we can use the information to help us understand the biological changes that cause MS while developing better treatments.”

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