Dreams can come true
It was like a fairytale for Michelle Stockwell when a princely scholarship brought her dream of saving frogs from global extinction one step closer.
The University of Newcastle conservation biologist was awarded the Barker Family PhD Scholarship in 2006 to continue her research into why frog populations around the world were being decimated by an amphibian chytrid fungus.
It is study that requires constant fieldwork, which she says is very expensive.
"Being granted this scholarship means I can extend my study and pay for travel," Stockwell said.
"I have recently returned from Brazil, where I presented my work to the sixth World Conference of Herpetology. The scholarship enabled me to go."
The Barker Family PhD Scholarship was established in 2001 with a $100,000 donation from the family. Each recipient of a scholarship receives $5,000 a year for their final two years of PhD study, an additional $2,500 to write their thesis and $2,000 to assist with travel expenses to attend conferences.
Stockwell said receiving the scholarship was a welcome financial boost and acknowledgement of her work.
"The prize means so much to me, it is validation of my research.
"It is a wonderful feeling to know that what you are doing is important to people like the Barkers who are themselves so strongly committed to helping the local environment."
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