The newsletter of the Australian-American Fulbright Commission, promoting educational and cultural exchange between Australia and the United States.
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2016 Fulbright Roadshow

It's that time of year again! The Commission will be travelling across Australia to deliver our specialised information seminars for the next round of Postgraduate, Postdoctoral, Professional, Senior Scholar and Distinguished Chair candidates.

See below for dates and venues for the Fulbright Roadshow events in each State and Territory. 

Queensland, Tuesday 3 May 
The University of Queensland - Senate Room, Level 5, Brian Wilson Chancellery (61A), Brisbane 
Postgraduate: 11:30am - 12:15pm 
Professional, Senior Scholar, Distinguished Chair: 12:30pm – 1:15pm 
Postdoctoral: 3:00pm – 3:45pm

Northern Territory, Thursday 5 May
Charles Darwin University - Lecture Theatre Blue 5.1.1, CDU Casuarina Campus, Darwin
Postdoctoral, Postgraduate, Professional, Senior Scholar, Distinguished Chair: 2:00pm - 3:45pm

New South Wales, Tuesday 10 May       
The University of Sydney - Room 3110, Abercrombie Building (H70) Codrington St, Sydney
Postgraduate: 11:30am - 12:15pm 
Professional, Senior Scholar, Distinguished Chair: 12:30pm – 1:15pm 
Postdoctoral: 3:00pm – 3:45pm

Victoria, Tuesday 17 May
The University of Melbourne - Yasuko Hiraoka Myer Room, Sidney Myer Asia Centre (Building 158) Swanston Street, Parkville, Melbourne
Postgraduate: 11:30am - 12:15pm 
Professional, Senior Scholar, Distinguished Chair: 12:30pm – 1:15pm 
Postdoctoral: 3:00pm – 3:45pm

Tasmania, Thursday 26 May
The University of Tasmania - Sandy Bay Campus (main session), Newnham Campus (video link), Cradle Coast Campus (video link), Rozelle Campus (video link) 
Postdoctoral, Postgraduate, Professional, Senior Scholar, Distinguished Chair: 2:00pm - 3:45pm

Australian Capital Territory, Tuesday 31 May
Australian National University - Acton TheatreJG Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, Canberra
Postdoctoral, Postgraduate, Professional, Senior Scholar, Distinguished Chair: 2:00pm - 3:45pm

South Australia, Thursday 2 June
Flinders University - Room 10.1, Flinders Victoria Square
Postgraduate: 11:30am - 12:15pm 
Professional, Senior Scholar, Distinguished Chair: 12:30pm – 1:15pm 
Postdoctoral: 3:00pm – 3:45pm
Weblink: TBC

Western Australia, Wednesday 8 June
The University of Western Australia - The University Club Theatre Auditorium, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, Perth
Postgraduate: 11:30am - 12:15pm 
Professional, Senior Scholar, Distinguished Chair: 12:30pm – 1:15pm 
Postdoctoral: 3:00pm – 3:45pm
Weblink: TBC

2016 Fulbright Distinguished Chair Public Lecture Series

In conjunction with the Roadshow events, our Distinguished Chair Scholars will be joining us in each State and Territory to deliver a series of public lectures in their research areas. See below for more information about this year's Public Lecture Series.
Professor Douglas Cochran, Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Advanced Science and Technology 
Sponsored by the Australian Government, Defence Science & Technology Group. 
Professor Cochran will be speaking about his cutting-edge research into emerging concepts in radio-frequency remote sensing, introducing the concept of passive radar, its features and challenges. He will further explain why passive radar has garnered much recent international interest and touch on Australia’s prominence in international passive radar R&D.
Public Lecture Schedule

Tuesday May 2 - University of Queensland
6:30pm – 7:30pm, Room 212, Level 2 Sir Llew Edwards (Building 14)

Thursday May 5 - Charles Darwin University
4:00pm – 5:00pm, Lecture Theatre Blue 1.1.01, Casuarina Campus 

Tuesday May 17 - University of Melbourne
6:30pm – 7:30pm, University House, Woodward Centre, 10th Floor, Law Building, 185 Pelham St, Carlton
Professor Carol Weissert, Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Political Science
Sponsored by Flinders University
Professor Weissert is a dynamic and engaging speaker with a vast knowledge of the U.S. political sphere. She will be speaking on a variety of topics, from in-depth analyses of her research into Federalism, to insights into the dramatic and vituperative 2016 American Presidential Election.
Public Lecture Schedule

Tuesday May 10 - University of Sydney
6:30pm – 7:30pm, Room 3110, Abercrombie Building (H70) Codrington St, Sydney

Thursday May 26 - University of Tasmania
5:30pm – 6:45pm, Stanley Burbury Theatre, University Centre, Sandy Bay campus, Hobart

Tuesday May 31 - Australian National University
6:00pm – 7:00pm, The Hall, University House, Balmain Crescent, Canberra 

Wednesday June 1 - Flinders University
5:00pm – 6:00pm, Room 10.1, Flinders Victoria Square 

Wednesday June 8 - University of Western Australia
6:30pm – 7:30pm, The University Club Theatre Auditorium, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley


Fulbright Scholar Stories 

Simon Jarman  
Professional Scholar, Marine Biology

Australian Government,
Department of the Environment
Australian Antarctic Division


My Fulbright Scholarship project focused on estimating how old humpback whales are by examining changes in DNA methylation in their skin cells. Knowing the relative ages of a cross section of an animal population allows population biologists to tell whether a population is growing, where there will be relatively more young animals; or shrinking, where there will be relatively more old animals. However, for many animal species there is no way to tell how old an individual is. Humpback whales exemplify this as they are fully grown and sexually mature at as young as five years and can live for sixty years or more. Overall size is generally the only way to estimate their age, so this is clearly ineffective for most of their lifespan.
The age of this species can be determined if individuals are seen when they are first born and re-identified from individual markings later in life. This has been done most thoroughly for the population of humpback whales that feeds in the Gulf of Maine on the east coast of the USA. This population has about 1,200 individuals in any year. It has been studied continuously since the late 1970s and this means that approximately 90% of the individuals there are now known and for many of these their age is known. My Fulbright Scholarship enabled me to work with Dr Jooke Robbins at the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, MA. She has been working on these whales for more than a decade and has collected skin samples from a large number of whales of known age.
I am a molecular geneticist and I have developed a test for estimating how old humpback whales are by measuring small changes in the proportion of specific DNA molecules that have a methyl group attached to them. This ‘DNA methylation’ is the best understood mechanism in the rapidly growing field of ‘Epigenetics’ which studies how genes are controlled. Epigenetic mechanisms control a huge range of biological phenomena such as determining the many different cell types can be made in any living organism despite all cells having the same basic DNA. Some of the changes in DNA methylation relate to age even once an animal is fully developed. By measuring these changes in skin samples from the whales sampled in the Gulf of Maine where we know their age, we now have a test that tells us the age of any member of this species.
I worked with Dr Robbins on analyzing age data that we developed with our DNA methylation test for whales sampled near eastern Australia where commercial whaling did not cease until 1962. We found that the age structure of this population of whales still has the signature of the past whaling activity and is strongly biased towards younger whales. We have also analyzed the age structure of humback whale populations from waters near American Samoa and Hawaii and we will compare these and integrate the results with other information on the population biology of this species.

Simon Jarman, 2015 Fulbright Professional Scholar

ED's Update

We've had another busy month at the Commission with preparations for the Roadshow in full swing, and preliminary promotion for the next application round for Fulbright Scholarships underway.

Ongoing scholar management for both outgoing and incoming Fulbrighters has kept us on our toes, but we share the excitement and anticipation as each awardee takes their very first steps towards binational engagement and collaboration.

This year's Roadshow is set to be another exciting adventure as we travel across Australia and meet a new generation of candidates, hear their aspirations and share their enthusiasm for academic excellence.

This edition of The Fulbrighter contains comprehensive information for where and when we'll be presenting our Scholarship Information Seminars, so be sure to save the date for the events near you. We would love to see all of our aspiring fulbrighters there in person, but if you can't attend the sessions you can participate online using the links we have provided. Isn't technology wonderful?

I am also looking forward to experiencing our Distinguished Chair Lectures, as Professors Cochran and Weissert travel with us and present some of their fascinating work to the Australian public for the first time.

We hope to see all of our friends, supporters and a diverse array of candidates during our travels, so please join us at an event near you, and inform any interested parties of the Fulbright events in their area.
Dr Ruth Lee Martin
Acting Executive Director

Key Dates

Fulbright Alumni Initiative Grant (FAIG) applications:

1 February - 30 April

Fulbright Scholarship application rounds:

U.S. Postgraduate
31 March - 11 October

U.S. Postdoctoral, Senior Scholar, Distinguished Chair
1 February - 1 August

Australian Candidates (all categories)
1 May - 1 August

2016 Fulbright Roadshow:

QLD (The University of Queensland)
3 May

NT (Charles Darwin University)
5 May

NSW (The University of Sydney)
10 May

VIC (The University of Melbourne)
17 May 

TAS (University of Tasmania)
24 May

ACT (Australian National University)
31 May

SA (Flinders University)
2 June

WA (University of Western Australia)
8 June
See our website for details
Copyright © 2016 Australian-American Fulbright Commission, All rights reserved.

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