Dr Julianne O'Reilly-Wapstra
The Gottstein Fellowship was the start of an important career trajectory.
In 2003 I was awarded a Gottstein Fellowship to travel to Scotland following the completion of my PhD in the School of Zoology at the University of Tasmania. This was an exciting opportunity for a recent PhD graduate to take the skills I had gained in understanding natural plant defences against herbivores in a eucalypt/possum system to investigate similar questions in a different system
on the other side of the world.
The Gottstein Fellowship took me to the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute in Scotland (now the James Hutton Institute) to work with Dr Glenn Iason and his team to investigate natural plant chemical defences of Scots pine against native pests. At the time, this research group was the largest group of researchers in Europe studying the interactions and consequences of herbivores in heterogeneous landscapes.
What do Scots pine and Scottish pests have to do with our Australian systems? The anti-herbivore chemical defences in Scots pine comprise similar compounds to those found in our major temperate plantation trees -
the eucalypts and radiata pine. I investigated natural plant resistance in the Scots pine system
and returned to Australia to apply new insights, knowledge, and techniques to our systems.
The Gottstein Fellowship set me on an important career trajectory. This research trip laid the foundation for further collaborative research with the Scottish team culminating in multiple papers,an invitation to present a keynote presentation and lead a book chapter for Cambridge University Press. I have continued to develop as a leader in forest industries research in Australia and have fostered a successful 20-yearcareer working closely with many industry partners to address questions in pest browsing research in the eucalypt and pine systems.
I am currently the Director of the Australian Research Council Training Centre for Forest Value based at the University of Tasmania and I greatly enjoy working with the next generation of forest industries researchers – some of whom have also been Gottstein Award recipients.
The purpose of the Trust is "to create opportunities for selected persons to acquire knowledge which will promote the interests of Australian industries which use forest products…”. The fellowship certainly provided me with such opportunities and as a proud recipient.
I wish to thank the Gottstein Trust for the opportunity it provided me and many other recipients over the
Associate Professor and Associate Head (Research), School of Natural Sciences
Director, ARC Training Centre for Forest Value
Director, Tasmanian Forest and Forest Products Network Board