CSIRO scientists elected to Australian Academy of Science

24 March 2006

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(Photo at end with link to full-sized image: 6.2 MB.)

Three of CSIRO’s leading scientists – Professor Brian Boyle, Dr
Steve Rintoul and Professor Andrew Holmes – have been elected as Fellows
of the Australian Academy of Science.

The Fellowship of the Academy consists of about 380 of Australia's leading experts
in the physical and biological sciences and their applications. Each year 16
scientists, judged by their peers to have made an exceptional contribution to
knowledge in their field, are elected as Fellows of the Academy.

CSIRO Chief Executive, Dr Geoff Garrett, said: “We are proud to see our
scientists recognised in this way and it is testimony to their outstanding and
long-term contributions to Australian science. Their election to the Academy
will further cement our ongoing close interactions with the Academy in its important

Professor Boyle is the Director of the CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility.
He is also the Australian Director for the giant Square Kilometre Array (SKA)
radio telescope project and the Vice Chair of the International SKA Steering
Committee. During 1996-2003 he was Director of the Anglo-Australian Observatory,
which operates the largest optical telescope in Australia. His main research
interests are cosmology and the properties of active galactic nuclei and quasars.

During 1996-2002, he led the ‘2QZ’ survey, which obtained the distances
to 10 000 quasars. This was by far the largest survey of its kind ever made.

Professor Boyle held positions at the University of Edinburgh, the Anglo-Australian
Observatory and the University of Cambridge before becoming Director of the
Anglo-Australian Observatory.

Dr Rintoul – who is currently leading two major research projects within
CSIRO’s Wealth from Oceans Flagship – is internationally recognised
as the world’s leading authority on the circulation of the Southern Ocean
and how it affects global climate systems.

Dr Rintoul, who also leads projects at the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystem
Cooperative Research Centre, recently identified the key processes responsible
for recirculation of water in the extreme depths of the oceans. He also recently
provided the first ever estimates of the development rates of two mid-depth
water types – the Subantarctic Mode Water and Antarctic Intermediate Water.
These findings have had a profound influence on scientists’ understanding
of the major influence the Southern Ocean exerts on world climate patterns.

CSIRO Molecular and Health Technologies’ scientist, Professor Andrew Holmes’
research interests include semi-conducting polymers and the synthesis of biologically
relevant molecules.

He won international renown in the 1990s when, in collaboration with Cambridge
physicists, he developed a new class of light-emitting plastics. These plastics
promise to transform technology for televisions and computers with lightweight,
super-thin, flexible video screens bright enough to be viewed even in direct
sunlight. Professor Holmes’ current research includes work on addressing
the global energy crisis by developing efficient, flexible, plastic solar cells.

Professor Holmes and his research team within Melbourne’s Bio21 Institute
are also exploring a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding cellular processes
involved in diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Ultimately the convergence
of his research into polymers and biological processes may lead to advances
in tissue engineering and replacement body parts.

Brian Boyle. Photo: Kristen Clarke

Media Assistance

Craig Macaulay, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research

03 6232 5210

0419 966 465

Helen Sim, Australia Telescope National Facility

02 9372 4251

0419 635 905

Warrick Glynn, CSIRO Molecular and Health Technologies

03 9662 7344

0419 210 527