The 2015 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science winners were announced at a ceremony being held at EST. restaurant in Sydney.

Presenting the $25,000 Fellowships to the three Australian and one New Zealand fellows were Rodrigo Pizarro, Managing Director, L’Oréal Australia & New Zealand along with honourable guest the Hon. Karen Andrews, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry for Science and Industry.

The 9th Annual L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science Australian Fellowships, and the inaugural New Zealand Fellowship, recognised four remarkable early-career female scientists, each at the cutting edge of research.

The four 2015 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science winners are;

  • Dr Jodie Rummer – marine biologist , James Cook University, Townsville
  • Dr Muireann Irish – cognitive neuroscientist, Neuroscience Research Australia/UNSW, Sydney
  • Dr Shari Breen – astronomer, CSIRO Sydney
  • Dr Christina Riesselman – geologist, University of Otago, Dunedin

For 17 years, the global L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program has strived to support and recognise accomplished women researchers and to assist young female scientists to progress their careers. Over 2250 female scientists have been recognised globally in over 110 countries for their excellence in science.

The program aims to shine a light on the gender equity gap that exists in science and to proactively help address the issue. In 2014 women accounted for only 30% of the world’s researchers and of the 864 Nobel Laureates only 46 are women. And in Australia the figures tell a similar story and highlight the decline in the number of women staying in science through the post doctorate years. Women comprise more than half of science PhD graduates and early career researchers, but just 17% of senior academics in Australian universities and research institutes. 

“We are delighted that the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program recognises and rewards early-career female scientists for their outstanding work and contribution to society,” says Rodrigo Pizarro, Managing Director, L’Oréal Australia & New Zealand. “Research and innovation is at the heart of our business, so we are immensely proud that we can provide support for these women at a critical time in their career and help them to tackle some of the most pressing problems our society faces”.