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Fulbright scholars take Tasmanian know-how to the US

Three researchers have been named Tasmania's 2023 Fulbright Scholars.

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Remote wilderness management, 'lab-on-a-chip' portable analytical chemistry developments and technology law are on the research agenda for some of Tasmania’s most outstanding scholars.

Three University of Tasmania researchers and alumni have been named among the 2023 Fulbright Scholars and will soon travel to the US as part of the prestigious academic and cultural exchange program.

The 2023 Fulbright Scholarship recipients from the University of Tasmania include:

Professor Michael Breadmore (BSc Hons 1998, PhD 2001, DSc 2017), Fulbright Future Scholarship – Analytical Chemistry

Former ARC Fellow and globally recognised separation scientist, Professor Breadmore will travel to Stanford University to further advance a new analytical material, developed by his team at The University of Tasmania. He will use his fellowship to understand how molecules move through this material, in order to use it in applications including portable environmental monitoring and personalised medicine.

“COVID 19 has illustrated really elegantly the power of what I do – that is the ability to make a (bio)chemical measurement at home and to use the outcome of that test to make a decision. But not all the things we want to measure can be done in the simple, portable, instant way that COVID tests can be done,” Professor Breadmore said.

“My research over the past 20 years has focused on creating new ways to measure things – so far, we have managed to do this with explosive detection and in-situ water monitoring, with more to come.

“I feel incredibly honoured to have been awarded a Fulbright Future Scholarship. As someone who was born in Tasmania, educated here, and works here, it’s a tad daunting and just a little scary to know I will be going to work with some of the brightest and smartest people in the world! But it’s also exciting.

“It is the links and relationships we can forge on cultural exchanges like this one that help to break down barriers and boundaries, and that lead to a richer and more rewarding world in which we live.”

Daniel Hackett (DipAq 2001 GradCert(Fish Mgt 2002), MPA GovMgt 2021), Fulbright Tasmania Scholarship – Management of Wilderness and Wild Places

An environmental studies PhD student in the School of Geography Planning and Spatial Sciences at The University of Tasmania, and veteran of the Tasmanian tourism industry, Mr Hackett will travel to Pennsylvania State University to be part of a multi-national team researching wilderness soundscapes and perceptions of remoteness among recreational wilderness users.

“In the US, I will conduct on-the-ground research in some amazing areas, including the glaciers and mountains of Denali National Park, Alaska,” Mr Hackett said.

“The sounds and feelings associated with being in remote and wild places are an important and protected element of land managed as wilderness, from Tasmania's World Heritage Area right through to the hundreds of millions of acres managed as wilderness in the USA.

“Despite its importance, there is very little scientific data published on this topic, so our research in the US will be used to further inform management of the wilderness network there, but will also be equally valuable here at home in Tasmania.

“To have my work recognised and elevated into an international research program is an amazing opportunity and I’m still pinching myself. Programs like this ensure our innovative island-borne ideas in Tasmania mature with global relevance and input – it’s a win-win for the state.”

Ella Hilder (BA-LLB 2021), Fulbright Tasmania Scholarship – International and Technology Law

Ms Hilder is pursuing a career in international and technology law, with a particular focus on policy in the Asia-Pacific region. After graduating in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in International Relations) and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Tasmania, Ms Hilder was admitted to practice in the Victorian Supreme Court in 2022.

Her passion for technology law was sparked while completing her Honours thesis which focused on the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. For her Fulbright Scholarship, she plans to undertake a Master’s degree in Technology Law and Policy.

“I feel incredibly lucky to have been selected as a Fulbright scholar and the fact that I will do so as a representative of my home state makes me incredibly proud,” Ms Hilder said.

“I will likely be on the east coast of America for my studies - in Washington DC or New York City. My focus will be on building digital resilience in the Indo-Pacific region. I am very interested in how Australia as a strategic actor in the Indo-Pacific region can promote a democratic, open and free internet through novel legislation and policy frameworks.

“My hope is that by gaining technology law expertise that is currently only available in the United States I will be able to translate that knowledge into the Australian policy context in order to make our policy responses more dynamic and adaptive.”

The University of Tasmania will also host two US Fulbright Scholars in 2023:

  • Dr Travis Young from The Pennsylvania State University, Fulbright Future Scholarship (Postdoctoral) – Geography
  • Cade N. Kane from Purdue University, Fulbright Future Scholarship (Postgraduate) – Botany