Inaugural doctoral Dean's list announced

The Dean's list is a formal record and public acknowledgement of those doctoral graduates whose theses have been judged by their examiners to be of exceptional quality and whose work makes an outstanding contribution to their field of research.

We congratulate the following graduates on their inclusion in the first Dean's list, announced in November 2017:

Kate Duignan

Doctor of Philosophy in Creative Writing

Supervisors: Professor Damien Wilkins and Dr James Meffan

Kyle Clem

Doctor of Philosophy in Physical Geography

Supervisors: Professor James Renwick and Dr Jim McGregor

Lorance Taylor

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Supervisors: Dr Maree Hunt and Dr Anne Macaskill

Benno Blaschke

Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies

It is perceived that Christian mystics experience ultimate reality uniquely, and as being of the personal God. Benno Blaschke’s study utilises new methods developed in the science of consciousness to examine what Christian Centering Prayer contemplatives and monks experience in their practices/ Benno’s research shows that their contemplative states of consciousness are apprehended through experimental primitives, such as ‘sense of presence’, and without God-identification. The experiences are therefore of an unidentified reality, which empirically disconfirms the received view. Consequently, contemplatives across different traditions and cultures may indeed have similar experiences of ultimate reality, that is, of God as God is.

Supervisors: Associate Professor Michael Radich and Professor Joseph Bulbulia

Jennifer Matthews

Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Biology

Some corals tolerate environmental distress by changing the composition of their algal partners (symbiodinium). One key consideration in determining compatible associations is the role played by nutritional exchange. Jennifer Matthews’ research applies a novel approach to explain the key metabolic network activity between different Symbiodinium genetic variants and a common Cnidarian host. Optimal nutrient exchange and immune responses were revealed as important determinants of successful Cnidarian-Symbiodinium associations. Jennifer’s work provides significant advances for understanding the metabolic mechanisms underlying a successful symbiosis and the survival of coral reefs in a changing ocean.

Supervisors: Professor Simon Davy and Dr Clint Oakley

Michael Jackson

Doctor of Philosophy in Ecology and Biodiversity

Rats and possums are leading pest mammals that impact human and animal health and our biodiversity. Current lures to monitor and trap these animals are perishable and short-lived, thus requiring frequent replenishment. This increases costs and restricts their effectiveness. Michael Jackson’s research identifies a number of chemical compounds found in foods that are highly attractive to these pest mammals. The compounds could form the basis of a long-life lure for monitoring and trapping, which would offer significant advantages over food-based lures. Michael is now working with the Department of Conservation to transform his research into a viable long-life lure product.

Supervisors: Dr Wayne Linklater and Dr Rob Keyzers

Allan Drew

Doctor of Philosophy in Creative Writing

Allan Drew’s research, comprising a novel and a critical component, examines the processes of characterisation in the retelling of narratives. His critical work compares the effects of genre on characterisation in two seventeenth-century narrative poems, John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Lucy Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder, and asserts that the pressures that genre places upon a story must be respected in any critical analysis. Allan’s novel fictionalises the life of John Milton from 1665 to be 1666, while he was completing Paradise Lost. The novel is a reckoning of the consequences of literary obsession, characterised and personified by his fictional John Milton.

Supervisors: Emily Perkins and Associate Professor Sarah Ross