The 2020 award recipients were joined by family, friends and colleagues as they were virtually presented with the medals by AINSE President Professor Ian Gentle, and AINSE Managing Director, Michelle Durant.
Dr. Anna Florin, a recent PhD student from the University of Queensland and a former AINSE Winter School student and PGRA and Honours award recipient, was awarded the Gold Medal for her high impact collaborative publications surrounding her research into the analysis of plant macrofossils from Australia’s oldest known archaeological site, Madjedbebe (northern Australia), to explore dietary changes as well as landscape uses over the last 65,000 years.
Through the use of stable isotope analysis Dr. Florin’s research of pandanus nutshells, predicted precipitation and recovered stone artefacts, suggests that the Alligator Rivers region may have been a favourable environment for people and animals during periods of glacial aridity.
Since completing her PhD, Dr. Florin has taken up a role as a research fellow in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage at the University of Wollongong.
Professor Neil Saintilan, of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department at Macquarie University, is the Lead Country Coordinator of the IAEA Wetlands program. He was recognised for an astounding 41 peer-reviewed papers co-authored by ANSTO scientists with support from AINSE.
Professor Saintilan’s research explores how climate change impacts varying types of wetlands due to rising sea-levels, water extraction and changing climatic conditions. His team have developed new tools and approaches for river management to assist in planning for appropriate water allocations, minimising disruptions to the natural functions of the wetlands.
AINSE wishes to congratulate Dr. Anna Florin and Professor Neil Saintilan on their excellent research accomplishments, and look forward to seeing the outcomes of their next research endeavours.