Research funds and fellowships

todd mclay

Profile: Dr Todd McLay

Pauline Ladiges Plant Systematics Research Fellow

Dr Todd McLay has been awarded the Pauline Ladiges Fellowship, funded jointly by the Botany Foundation and the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (RBGV). The Fellowship is an opportunity for an early career researcher in plant systematics and taxonomy to continue to establish their career and advance knowledge of the Australian flora. There are few opportunities for research fellowships in taxonomy, yet never before has there been so much focus on the need to document biodiversity in the face of environmental change.

Todd completed his Masters degree at the Institute of Molecular BioSciences, Massey University, New Zealand, and his PhD at The University of Melbourne.  He was recently a post-doctoral fellow at CSIRO, Australian National Herbarium in Canberra.  Todd is skilled in the application of genomics and high through-put DNA sequencing with interests in plant phylogeny, speciation and taxonomy.

Todd commenced his Fellowship in January 2020 and for the next few years will work both at the RBGV and the University, contributing to a large collaborative study of northern Australian eucalypts, as well as developing new projects.

Botany Research Funds and Fellowships

  • Unrestricted use including research

    This fund allows us to allocate funding to priority areas and areas of greatest need in the School of BioSciences.

  • The Adrienne Clarke Chair of Botany

    This fund enables us to recruit and retain distinguished researchers and support their research programs. The fund was established by The Foundation to honour Adrienne Clarke FAA ATSE AC who was a Laureate Professor in the School of Botany until 2005. Professor Clarke is one of Australia’s most distinguished plant scientists working in the field of molecular biology of plants, particularly plant reproduction, self-incompatibility and plant resistance to insect attack and fungal diseases. She has made a major contribution to Australian industry, business and government. Further gifts can be added to this fund.

  • Pauline Ladiges Plant Systematics Research fellowship

    This fellowship is a joint initiative between the School of Botany and the Royal Botanic Gardens Foundation Victoria. It was established to support the appointment of a Fellow in Plant Systematics and Evolution. The Fellow it supports contributes to the teaching of plant txonomy and undertakes research jointly at the University and the National Herbarium of Victoria. Professor Pauline Ladiges FAA AO is renowned for her work in the field of plant systematics and biogeography, specialising in the evolutionary history of the Australian flora, particularly the eucalypts. She was Head of the School of Botany from 1992 to 2010 and was a member of the Board of the Royal Botanic Gardens for a number of years. Further gifts can be added to this fund

  • Plant Systematics Research Fund

    This fund supports research by staff or students on the systematics, taxonomy, biogeography and evolution of living or extant flora, with preference for studies on, but not restricted to, the Australasian flora. It was established in 2003 with an anonymous donation. Further gifts can be added to this fund.

  • Protist Systematics Research Fund

    This fund provides financial assistance to a researcher, postgraduate student or alumnus associated with the School of Botany, who is undertaking systematic and taxonomic research on single-celled eukaryotic organisms. The fund was established in 2007 by Dr Roberta Cowen (Townsend), an alumna of the School of Botany who specialised in algal taxonomy and biology. Donations have been received on a regular basis since then from the Foundation’s annual giving program.

  • The V Sarafis Research Fund

    The late Professor Vassilios Sarafis bequeathed the residual of his estate for the purpose of funding research on bryophytes, ferns, gymnosperms and algae. The donor, who died on 13 June 2012, was a biologist, microscopist and physicist. After his retirement Professor Sarafis was an honorary academic at various institutions including the University of Melbourne, and was a donor of the Botany Foundation. Further gifts can be added to this fund.

  • The Fern Research Fund

    In 2014 the Foundation received a donation from The Fern Society of Victoria and fund was established to support student postgraduate research on ferns or curatorial work on ferns in the University of Melbourne Herbarium. Further gifts can be added to this fund.

  • Melbourne Pollen Count, a free service for allergy sufferers

    The Melbourne Pollen Count Service provides a daily count and weekly forecast of grass pollen in Melbourne’s air from October to December to support hay fever and asthma sufferers. It is supported by gifts to the Botany Foundation. See Melbourne Pollen Count.