Dr Lydie Couturier

Researcher, Project Manta

"With the International Travel Award Grant I was able to visit Mozambique and South Africa and work with renowned scientists in Durban, Cape Town and Reunion Island."

Recent PhD graduate Dr Lydie Couturier's research has contributed to the improvement of the conservation and protection of manta rays and their habitats around the world.

Lydie's PhD project focused on reef manta rays in eastern Australia under Project Manta, a multidisciplinary study of manta rays based at UQ.

"Our research with Project Manta has helped to secure the manta rays' listing on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix II in March 2013.

"I am very proud to have been part of this big achievement."

CITES is an international agreement between governments whose aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Appendix II lists species that may become threatened with extinction unless trade is closely controlled.

Manta rays are now an officially protected fish species in Indonesia and Australia.

Lydie diving with the manta rays as part of her research. Photo taken by Chris Garraway.  
Lydie diving with the manta rays as part of her research. Photo taken by Chris Garraway.  
   

With the help of a UQ Graduate School International Travel Award Grant, Lydie had the opportunity to network and develop relationships with international researchers.

"While at UQ, I learnt how to communicate with different groups of people including scientists and non-specialist audiences.

"With the International Travel Award Grant I was able to visit Mozambique and South Africa and work with renowned scientists in Durban, Cape Town and Reunion Island.

"A trip highlight was working with Dr Andrea Marshall, director of the Marine Megafauna Foundation and lead expert in manta ray research.

"Collaboration between manta ray researchers is crucial to help improve the conservation and protection of manta rays and their habitats around the world.

Photo of a turtle taken by Lydie during a research trip.  
Photo of a turtle taken by Lydie during a research trip.  
   

"I have also successfully established a volunteer-support network along the east coast of Australia by engaging with recreational divers and diving industries, offering them the opportunity to be involved with Project Manta.

"It is extremely rewarding to see how the community has also contributed to the success of my research by providing important data, expertise and support along the journey."

Currently Lydie is continuing her work with Project Manta and hopes to expand her research as well as become a supervisor herself.

For further information about Project Manta please visit:

https://www.facebook.com/ProjectMANTA

https://sites.google.com/site/projectmantasite/

Dr Ariane Laplante-Lévesque

Post-Doctoral Researcher, Eriksholm Research Centre, Denmark

"My experience as an RHD student has been about so much more than just doing a PhD."

"My experience as an RHD student has been about so much more than just doing a PhD. Throughout my PhD, I worked at UQ as a lecturer, clinical educator, tutor, marker, research supervisor, and research assistant. I travelled extensively, for example I presented my research at four different international conferences overseas during my candidature. I also spent six weeks in Europe on a UQ Graduate School Travel Grant. I wrote a book chapter and designed a continuing education module for audiologists. I supervised the work of research assistants and acted as peer reviewer for four different scientific journals. I was involved in the sporting community at UQ and also did some committee work. It was very varied and rewarding to be involved in so many different things. I loved interacting with people from around the world and from different walks of life, both whilst at UQ and whilst travelling. I participated in many sessions offered during Graduate Week. I have found most of them helpful, especially at the start of my candidature when there was so much for me to learn."

Ariane is now a post-doctoral researcher at the Eriksholm Research Centre in Denmark working on topics such as the individual aspects of hearing, the environment, and the lifestyle, personality and listening preferences of people with hearing loss. She is also a post-doctoral researcher at Linköping University in Sweden.

Dr Ashley Wilkinson

Research Scientist, Centre for Kidney Disease Research

"My RHD experience has been invaluable for my current research work at the P.A. hospital."

"My RHD experience has been invaluable for my current research work at the P.A. hospital. The skills I have gained are both broad and specific. I’ve learned specific research techniques that I can use for my research. I’ve also gained confidence and skills in giving presentations, multi-tasking, undertaking literature reviews, analysing research results. These skills will be invaluable for my future career."

Ashley Wilkinson is now a Research Scientist at the Centre for Kidney Disease Research.

 

Dr David Liu

Honorary Fellow, School of ITEE, The University of Queensland

"Hosting academic visitors in your lab and going on academic tours is a great way to find future collaborations and job opportunities."

"My research at UQ was in 'Patient monitoring in anaesthesia with head-mounted displays' and turned out to be fascinating, challenging and amazingly rewarding.

When I first started, however, I had thought that the process would be relatively unexciting - enrol, work on your own for a few years, submit and graduate - but soon discovered that Australian programs are actually remarkably flexible.  In fact, advisors and the University are always willing to help you "enrich" your education.

Enrichment involves participating in activities that, while not strictly necessary for completing your PhD, provide complementary educational experiences that help you become a better scientist. 

Collaborations are the foundation of academic research; take a look at any journal article and you'll probably find several co-authors.  You can work with your fellow students on side projects (in addition to your PhD), and even expand your professional networks through collaborations. Hosting academic visitors in your lab and going on academic tours is a great way to find future collaborations and job opportunities. The global academic “family” that develops throughout your career is one of the greatest perks of academia.

Other opportunities for travel include internships and fellowships. Internships give you the opportunity to apply the research skills that you learn during the PhD to practical problems in industry. Research fellowships, on the other hand, let you collaborate with internationally renowned researchers and may be part of prestigious scholarship programs such as the Rhodes and Fulbright.

The gap between the academic and corporate worlds can be dramatic at times, but research commercialisation bridges that gap for the benefit of both. Your hard work and expertise helps the wider community, while industry provides funding and support to enhance or continue your research. It also happens to be a great way to supplement your scholarship and travel funds."

Dr Joe Codamo

Senior Process Engineer & Program Manager (PD/CLG), DSM Biologics

"As panellist on the Student Panel session, I witnessed first-hand the importance of programs such as Graduate Student Week."

"As panellist on the Student Panel session, I witnessed first-hand the importance of programs such as Graduate Student Week. This vital series of workshops and seminars give potential and early-stage postgraduate students the opportunity to fully appreciate what is required and expected of a post-graduate research student. Such programs also relay to students that there are ample avenues to seek support and advice during what can be an exciting yet trying time in their careers."

Dr Sam Nicol

Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska

"There are many staff who are world renowned in their fields who offer excellent opportunities for you to learn the skills you need to do research at an international level."

"UQ is an excellent university for research higher degrees. There are many staff who are world renowned in their fields who offer excellent opportunities for you to learn the skills you need to do research at an international level. Brisbane is also a great city to be a student-- there is gorgeous weather, and there are always plenty of activities happening in a great community.

The Thesis Hub was a quiet environment that was ideal for writing up. A new location at the end of my thesis was a nice change that gave me the last little push of motivation I needed to get finished. It's also a great way to meet some of the graduate school staff, which is handy when you need to submit."

Sam now has a post-doctoral research position in the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska.

Dr David MacDonald

Lecturer, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland

"After considering all my options I chose to travel 16,000kms (from Canada) to study at UQ."

"I had been in clinical practice for 9 years when I decided to return to university and begin a PhD. After considering all my options I chose to travel 16,000kms (from Canada) to study at UQ. What first attracted me to UQ was its excellent reputation internationally for research in Physiotherapy.  Once I arrived in Brisbane I could not have been happier with my decision. The facilities and research supervision have been nothing but world class! Not to mention Brisbane is an amazing place to live.... great weather, great people, incredible lifestyle.  I cannot understand why anyone would want to study anywhere else!"

Dr You

What will your UQ story be?

UQ's resources provides you with opportunities and choice to help you achieve your research potential and professional goals.

What will your UQ story be?

UQ's resources provides you with opportunities and choice to help you achieve your research potential and professional goals:

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