28 August 2012

A University of Queensland animal welfare researcher tonight won the 2012 Australian Museum Voiceless Eureka Prize for Scientific Research that contributes to Animal Protection.

UQ Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Max Lu congratulated Professor Clive Phillips from UQ's Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics, who won the award.

Professor Phillips conducts research that improves animal welfare and increases understanding of attitudes towards animals.

“The welfare of animals is increasingly the subject of scientific research, and UQ has a significant team of scientists that I am fortunate to be part of, devoted to investigating ways of improving the way in which we look after animals,” Professor Phillips said.

His research covers farm, captive wild and companion animals. Key areas include the export of livestock from Australia, reducing under-nutrition in rangeland animals, improving conditions for captive wildlife and increasing respect for animals.

The Eureka Prizes are presented annually and reward excellence in the fields of research and innovation, leadership and commercialisation, school science and science journalism and communication.

Professor Lu also congratulated a team led by Professor Peter Visscher from the UQ Diamantina Institute which was a finalist in the category of Scientific Research.

The team includes Dr Sang Hong Lee and Associate Professor Naomi Wray from the UQ Queensland Brain Institute, Dr Jian Yan from the UQ Diamantina Institute and Professor Michael Goddard from The University of Melbourne.

The team has developed and applied elegant statistical methods to explain differences in complex traits, such as height and schizophrenia, among individuals.

Professor Phillips follows in the footsteps of previous UQ Eureka Prize winners, including Professor Jian-xin Zhao, Mr John Cook, researchers from the Nanopatch Vaccination Team, Professor Hugh Possingham, Professor Mark Dodgson, Professor John Mattick AO, Professor Ian Frazer and Christian Weedbrook.