World leading ANU scientists recognised among nation's best

25 May 2021

A plant biologist and geochemist from The Australian National University (ANU) have both been recognised for their outstanding contributions to their fields of science.

Professor Dorrit Jacob's work is diverse, covering everything from how certain molluscs produce pearls, to how diamonds form deep inside the Earth's mantle.

She's a pioneer in the emerging field of biomineralisation - or how living organisms produce minerals - and recently joined ANU as the first female director of the Research School of Earth Sciences.

Professor Barry Pogson's innovative research has helped us better understand how plant cells communicate with each other about changes in their environment, paving the way for more drought resilient crops.

Professor Pogson and Professor Jacob are among 22 newly elected Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science.

Professor Pogson says while it's an incredible honour, it's an accolade that needs to be shared.

"The real heroes are the students and early career researchers in my lab who've done the hard yards that have underpinned the discoveries we've made together," he said.

"My effort to back their careers will become even more of a focus of my work in the years that follow." 

The recognition comes after a challenging 2020 for Professor Pogson and his colleagues.

"After a tough year our research we're pushing ahead with our research and looking into new ideas to address food security," Professor Pogson said.

Already recognised as a leader in her field, Professor Jacob says she's flattered by this latest honour.

"It makes all the ups and downs worthwhile," Professor Jacob said.

"You work away on things without ever really expecting something like this. I'm very humbled!"

The 2021 Fellows were elected by their Academy peers. More information is available on the Australian Academy of Science website.