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Funding and Grants


OI SCHOLARSHIPFor the next generation of marine researchers


Robson & Robertson Awards

Thanks to the generous contributions of the Jock Clough Marine Foundation, the UWA Oceans Institute is proud support the next generation of marine researchers. The Robson and Robertson Awards honour Professor Alan Robson AO CitWA and Emeritus Professor Alistar Robertson for their integral role in the establishment of UWA’s Oceans Institute. These awards are designed to encourage early career researchers across any marine discipline, giving these emerging marine experts a boost through providing opportunities to travel, undertake fieldwork, access key equipment and otherwise enrich their research.

R&R Fellow

5-year fellowship to support an outstanding early career researcher

R&R Young
Scholar Program

Funding of up to $15,000 for PhD students


Meet Dr Matthew Fraser, inaugural Robson & Robertson Research Fellow

Many of our most pressing environmental challenges are long-term and require many years of data to develop effective management responses. Having this stable position supported by the Robson and Robertson Award has allowed me the time and space that very few early career researchers get to tackle these problems in a comprehensive manner

Matthew Fraser


Young Scholar Program

The Robson and Robertson Awards also provide opportunities for outstanding young scholars to undertake exciting and innovative oceans research via the annual R&R Young Scholar Award.

This award supports a cohort of PhD students with funding up to $15,000 each.

The award is allocated after assessment by established leaders in marine science in Western Australia, based on the credentials of the researcher, quality of the project, alignment with identified strategic area, and the potential research impact.

The Robson and Robertson Young Scholar Program covers experiment expenses, training, conference attendance, fieldwork, further study, and other opportunities to start these emerging scholars on strong research foundation.

Just like the leaders that these Awards honour, recipients contribute significantly to research into the future of our oceans.


Meet the 2022 Award Winners

winners of the 2022 R&R awards


Congratulations to the 2022 Award Winners

This year eleven PhD students were awarded a total of $98,000 through the 2022 Robson and Robertson Young Scholar Program to further their doctorate research.


  • Vania Andreoli, School of Biological Sciences, Nutrient composition of aquatic foods: internship at Harvard University
  • Kelly Boden-Hawes, Oceans Graduate School, Identifying regions of thermal refugia within a tidally driven coral atoll
  • Katrina Bornt, School of Biological Sciences, Persistent chemical pollutants in decapod crustaceans across an urbanization gradient in Western Australia
  • Celina Burkholz, School of Biological Sciences, Microbial communities in a changing ocean
  • Thomas Crutchett, School of Biological Sciences, Does plastic ingestion cause oxidative stress? A case study of two aquatic species in an urbanised estuarine system, Perth, Western Australia.
  • Yanyan Dong, School of Agriculture and Environment, A comparative study of tourists visiting Pacific Island destinations - marine environmental impacts
  • Anna Faber, School of Molecular Sciences, Developing biotechnological solutions to foster microbial microplastic degradation in the fast-growing, marine bacterium Vibrio natriegens
  • Jake Manger, School of Biological Sciences, Discovering the variable eyes of deep-sea amphipods in Cape Verde
  • Isobel Sewell, School of Biological Sciences, Utilising insect protein in aquaculture - Singapore presentation
  • Taylor Simpkins, School of Biological Sciences, Kelp Blue Carbon: the transport and transformation of kelp detritus on the Great Southern Reef
  • Michelle Van Compernolle, Oceans Graduate School, A global threat index for marine megafauna 
2017-2021 R&R AWARD Winners

5 Year Reflective

  • 2021 Awardees

    Eleven PhD students were awarded a total of $103,000 through the 2021 Robson and Robertson Young Scholar Program to further their doctorate research.


    • Charlotte Aston, School of Biological Sciences, Optimising the management of recreational fishing and spatial planning of marine parks in World Heritage Areas
    • Joshua Bonesso, School of Earth Sciences, Assessing the impacts of climate change on short and long-term resilience and sensitivity of coral reef islands
    • Mitchell Booth, School of Biological Sciences, Revealing the adaptive and plastic responses of Posidonia australis to extreme events and climate change in a World Heritage Site
    • Katrina Bornt, School of Biological Sciences, Plastic contamination in commercially important decapod crustaceans
    • Celina Burkholz, School of Biological Sciences, Utilising transcriptomics to identify bright spots in kelp forests
    • Gabrielle Cummings, School of Biological Sciences, Ocean accounting and its application to Sustainable Development Goal 14; Life Below Water at the United Nations Ocean Conference
    • Abinaya Meenakshisundaram, School of Biological Sciences, Population genetics and characterisation of the Ningaloo Reef whale shark population from 2016 to 2021, using low-coverage Whole Genome Sequencing (IcWGS)
    • Antoine Minne, School of Biological Sciences, Deep-water genetic refugia for the kelps of the Great Southern Reef
    • Molly Moustaka, School of Biological Sciences, Understanding how seascape configuration influences secondary productivity in coastal ecosystems
    • Matilda Murley, School of Biological Sciences, Invertebrates living on intertidal rock platforms along the Western Australian coast
    • Isobel Sewell, School of Biological Sciences, Utilising insect protein in aquaculture diets

  • 2020 Awardees

    Working across a diverse range of innovative projects in ocean science, eight PhD students were awarded a total of $92,000 through the 2020 Robson and Robertson Young Scholar Program.


    • Abinaya Meenakshisundaram, School of Biological Sciences, Developing molecular techniques to obtain population-level inferences of whale sharks from environmental DNA
    • Pook Komoot, School of Social Sciences, Tracing Long-Distance Maritime Connections in the Indian Ocean World via the Analysis of Persian Gulf Torpedo Jars
    • Adi Zvifler, School of Earth Sciences, Resilience, Restoration and Refugia – the future of Ningaloo and Exmouth Gulf coral reefs
    • Ulysse Lebrec, School of Earth Sciences, Australia’s hidden landscape: Reconstructing submerged coastal environments and landform evolution during the last glacial cycle
    • Isobel Sewell, School of Biological Sciences, Utilising insect protein in freshwater aquaculture diets
    • Matilda Murley, School of Biological Sciences, Participatory mapping of Karajarri coastal Traditional Ecological Knowledge
    • Maria Jung, School of Biological Sciences, Developing early warning stress indicators of the leaf metabolism in temperate and tropical seagrasses in Western Australia
    • Justin Geldard, Oceans Graduate School, Hydrodynamic Forces on Coral Reefs
  • 2019 Awardees


    Thirteen talented young marine students from The University of Western Australia's Oceans Institute received a major boost to support their doctorate research in 2019.

    • Malindi Gammon (Project: Predicting the vulnerability of flatback turtle rookeries in the North West Shelf to a changing climate)
    • Nahlah Alsuwaiyan (Project: The role of genetic diversity on temperature resilience of the early life stages of the Australian kelp)
    • Camille Grimaldi (Project: Oceanographic drivers of coral reef connectivity off Northwestern Australia - joint research project between UWA and AIMS)
    • Victoria Cammilieri Asch (Project: Neurobiological indicators of olfactory sensitivity in a cartilaginous and a bony fish)
    • Matilda Murley (Project: Investigating invertebrates on intertidal rock platforms in Western Australia: species diversity, habitat distribution and traditional ecological knowledge)
    • Hannah Calich (Project: Movement and habitat use patterns of highly migratory sharks)
    • Lucy Arrowsmith (Project: Global whale shark study and shipping movements)
    • Jessica Kolbusz (Project: The role of oceanographic processes on recruitment of the Western Rock Lobster)
    • Laurence Dugal (Project: Developing environmental DNA metabarcoding techniques for ecosystem biodiversity assessments)
    • Naima Andreas Rodriguez (Project: Shark aggregations underpin conservation but where are they and when do they occur?)
    • Paige Maroni (Project: A phylogeny today, pharmaceutical exploration tomorrow: Next generation sequencing to resolve the radiation of species in the Doris 'kerguelenensis' complex)
    • Mario Conde-Frias (Project: Sediment transport processes within coastal ecosystems)
    • Renan da Silva (Project: Understanding and predicting the impact of nearshore submerged structures on coastal processes with application to wave energy converters)


  • Past Winners
    • Daniel Van Hees
    • Stephanie Venables
    • Matthew Navarro
    • Chenae Tuckett
    • Maharani Yulisti
    • Jonathan Mitchell
    • Tamara Schlosser
    • Joseph Turner
    • Nguyen Chi
    • Lauren Peel
    • Anita Giraldo
    • Sahira Bell
    • Charlotte Birkmanis
    • Nestor Bosch
    • Nery Contti Neto
    • Michael Kelly
    • Belinda Martin
    • Yannick Mulders
    • Albert Pessarrodna Silvestre
    • Sofie Vraken
    • Salvador Zarco Perello
    • Andrew Zulberti

The 2022 Application round is now closed



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