Climate scientist and molecular geneticist win prestigious Tall Poppy awards

Associate Professor Francine Marques and Dr Ben Henley.

Congratulations to Dr Ben Henley and Associate Professor Francine Marques who have been named 2020 Victorian Young Tall Poppy Science Award winners.

Dr Henley is a climate science lecturer at the Monash University School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment, and Associate Professor Marques is an internationally renowned researcher from the School of Biological Sciences specialising in high blood pressure and manipulation of disease via gut microbes.

Associate Professor Marques won the prestigious American Heart Association Hypertension Council Goldblatt Award in 2019, and was a finalist in 2019 for the Eureka Emerging Leader in Science Prize.

“I am delighted to be a Young Tall Poppy Award winner,” said Associate Professor Marques.

“I'm trained as a molecular geneticist but my research spans from the laboratory to clinical trials.”

“My goal is to discover ways to treat and prevent the development of high blood pressure through manipulating fibre and the gut microbiota.”

Dr Henley’s research interests include: hydrological modelling for water supply planning, decadal climate variability, and the impacts and palaeoclimate context of anthropogenic climate change.

“I am honoured to be receiving a Young Tall Poppy award,” Dr Henley said.

“My research aims to have direct impacts for how we live and prosper.

“In these immensely challenging times, we need to work harder than ever as a cohesive society to secure our future. Scientific research and development will play a key role in leading us out of the economic downturn and finding the solutions for the great challenges we face.”

The Tall Poppy Campaign was created in 1998 by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS) to recognise and celebrate Australian intellectual and scientific excellence and to encourage younger Australians to follow in the footsteps of our outstanding achievers.

It has made significant achievements towards building a more publicly engaged scientific leadership in Australia.

The Tall Poppy Campaign currently recognises the achievements of Australian scientists through the prestigious annual Young Tall Poppy Science Awards and the biennial CSL Florey Medal.

The Victorian Young Tall Poppy Awards are expected to be held as a virtual event in early October.

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