News & Events

Standing tall for Tasmanian science


Getting exercise, quitting cigarrettes and the devastating impact of plastic on our wildlife.

Three 2011 Tasmanian Young Tall Poppies were recoginsed as excellent early career researchers and for communicating to the community beyond their normal research roles on 11 October.

The Premier of Tasmania, Lara Giddings MP, presented the awards and inaugural prize of $5,000 for the Tasmanian Young Tall Poppy Scientist of the Year supported by the Tasmanian government, alongside the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Tasmania, Professor Peter Rathjen – himself a Tall Poppy alumnus – and Professor Paddy Nixon, DVC Research at the University of Tasmania and Chair of the judging panel, in the presence of key industry, education and community representatives and a great group of school students from Rosny College.

The 2011 Tasmanian winners are:

Dr Verity Cleland – Menzies Health Research Institute / University of Tasmania
Research Area: Behavioural Epidemiology
Dr Cleland focuses on understanding individual, social and environmental influences on physical activity anong women, children, those experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage including rural populations.

Dr Stuart Ferguson – University of Tasmania
Research Area: Psychology
Dr Ferguson’s research tries to understand why smokers find it hard to quit and what can influence the outcomes to result in more people being able to quit for good when one in five Audtstralians still smoke.

Dr Jennifer Lavers – Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery / University of Tasmania
Research Area: Marine Biology
Young Tall Poppy Scientist of the Year for Tasmania
Dr Lavers research is focused on determining whether the removal of plastic from seabird stomachs results in healthier chicks and survival. She is passionate on mumerous other research activities regarding plastic and related wildlife management across the globe.

The latest Tasmanian winners join a national cohort of esteemed national Young Tall Poppy colleagues of  nearly 300 who in accepting this award commit  to act as role models and story tellers for the next generation and the general community to promote science through outreach.

Learn more about each winner here and contact us at if you want one of them to  engage with your school or community function.

In the News – a sample:

Coverage in the Mercury

Media Release from TMAG

Premier’s Media Release