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Campus News : October 2011
www.uow.edu.au University of Wollongong Campus News October 2011 11 Jacobs awarded Shackleton Medal UOW scientist Dr Zenobia Jacobs has been presented with the Sir Nicholas Shackleton Medal for the most outstanding Quaternary scientist - awarded only every two years - at a ceremony in Switzerland. The late Sir Nicholas, a British luminary in the field of Quaternary science, was the son of field geologist Robert Shackleton and great- nephew of the explorer, Ernest Shackleton. An ARC Queen Elizabeth II Fellow from the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and GeoQuEST Research Centre, Dr Jacobs received the prestigious medal at the recent International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA) Congress held in Bern. The medal is given to an outstanding young Quaternary scientist (younger than 40 years), chosen by his or her peers and evaluated by a committee of eminent Quaternary scientists. Dr Jacobs' citation for the medal read (in part): "Since graduating from the University of Wales at Aberystwyth in 2004, she has made significant methodological advances in single- grain optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating, and applied her results to a range of topics. These include understanding the role of ecological change in the lives of our earliest ancestors in Africa and the effect of humans on the native biota of newly colonised lands, such as megafaunal extinctions in Australia. She publishes in main-stream popular science media as well as prestigious scientific journals." Dr Jacobs' current Australian Research Council Fellowship is focused on Neanderthals in France. She has also played a key role in uncovering evidence of early Homo sapiens living on the coast in southern Africa, harvesting food from the sea and using red pigments 164,000 years ago -- far earlier than previously documented. As reported in the journal, Nature, she was responsible for dating of the archaeological deposits at Pinnacle Point, located on the southern Cape coast of South Africa. This is the second time the Shackleton Medal has been awarded to a University of Wollongong researcher. In 2007, Professor Chris Turney (formerly with the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences) received the same honour for his pioneering research across a range of Quaternary topics. The Quaternary Period spans the last 2.6 million years of the Earth's history. The expertise of Quaternary scientists, such as Dr Jacobs, is to interpret the changing world of the glacial ages and their impact on our planet's surface environments. Quaternary palaeoclimatic investigations play a key role in the understanding of the possible future climate change on the planet. BG Dr Zenobia Jacobs with the Shackleton Medal awarded to her in Switzerland. throw (mirrors) was described as a "beautiful, ambiguous picture". It is a large still life arrangement created by throwing light from silver, bronze and grey mirrors on to brightly coloured modular plastic food containers from the 1960s and 1970s -- labelled by Ms Redgate as "a cosmos or cosmology of objects". Judge and Monash Gallery of Art Director Shaune Lakin said that in the end the judging process came down to two photographs which were both amazing pictures. "We gave the $25,000 first prize to Jacky's picture because it is virtually flawless as a photograph. At the same time, the picture challenges many of the expectations we have about what a photograph is. It's a highly ambitious photograph and an extremely worthy winner of the country's most significant photography prize." Ms Redgate is one of Australia's pre-eminent photographic artists. For more than 25 years her work has been included in important national and international exhibitions and held in many major public and private collections in Australia and overseas. She has received a number of grants and residencies throughout her career, including the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin and the Power Studio, Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. BG Katina takes on editor's role As an academic and member of several industry boards, Associate Professor Katina Michael's kitchen calendar is already brimming with deadlines and engagements. The schedule is now set to become even busier for the mother of three as she begins a new role as Editor-in- Chief of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Technology and Society Magazine. Professor Michael, from UOW's School of Information Systems and Technology (SISAT), has taken the reigns at the respected publication for the next two years. "I really am excited about the appointment, especially given I never thought such an opportunity would come my way as early as it did in my academic career," she said. "I hope to build on the solid foundations of my immediate predecessors Professor Keith Miller and Professor Joseph Herkert. "One of my research interests is the trajectory of future technologies and their social implications so I hope as Editor-in-Chief I will be able to make that even more prevalent in the magazine." Professor Michael said while the magazine received many submissions from engineers, she hoped to introduce more interdisciplinary content from philosophers, sociologists, science and media studies commentators as well as business, ethics and legal experts. "I am also very keen to invite well-known inventors and futurists to write for the magazine," she said. As Technical Editor of the Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronics Commerce Research and a board member of the Australian Privacy Foundation and Computers and Security Journal, Professor Michael said time management had proved an important skill. Faculty of Informatics Dean Professor Phillip Ogunbona said Professor Michael's appointment was a testament to her good work and visibility at an international level. "Katina brings a lot of passion and energy to her work and is well regarded in her research community. I am really excited and proud that she has been appointed to such a rigorous and highly regarded publication," he said. JB Law student's prize a moot point University of Wollongong student Aaron Johnson has taken out the Best Speaker title in the national mooting competition hosted by the Australian Law Students' Association (ALSA). Law students from across Australia, New Zealand and Asia came head to head in the Mallesons Stephen Jacques Mooting competition in July where university teams represented fictitious clients in mock legal scenarios brought before a "court". Aaron and his mooting partner laboured over their two assigned problem questions for the ALSA preliminary rounds, dedicating an average of six hours per week in the lead up to the conference to nut out peculiar cases that illuminated anomalies in everyday law. "We got a taste of arguing that frisbee throwing was a dangerous recreational activity -- that problem just astounded me," Aaron said. "I had no idea how I was going to turn it into a persuasive argument but after a bit of a reading of the cases I thought I might just have something to pick up and run with." According to the fourth year Commerce/Law student, success in mooting simply comes down to preparation. MC Caption: . Law student Aaron Johnson has won a national mooting competition. Associate Professor Katina Michael