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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Biology Grad Receives Prestigious Australian Scholarship

Tim Hammer, who earned his master's degree in biology from Old Dominion last December, has been awarded a Forrest Research Foundation scholarship at the University of Western Australia to pursue his Ph.D.

Hammer's is among the first scholarships funded by billionaire Australian mining executive Andrew Forrest to expand innovation and research in Western Australia. The four-year scholarships are valued at $45,000 (AUD) to cover housing, research, travel, fees and other living expenses.

Hammer's master's research on a group of native Australian plants called Ptilotus (commonly known as Mulla Mulla) was recently published in Taxon, a top international journal in plant systematics. He will continue that research with the help of top Western Australia scientists in numerous fields to answer how modern plants responded to Australia becoming increasingly arid over the past several million years, diversified rapidly, and became successful in nutrient-poor soils.

Hammer said he owed his achievements to the instructors within the University's Department of Biological Sciences, "especially Timothy J. Motley, who mentored me as an undergraduate and took me on as a graduate student in his lab, but who sadly passed away during my first year as a graduate student in 2013.

"The support that my fellow lab-mates and I received from the department and individual professors following Dr. Motley's death was incredible," Hammer said. "It is unlikely I would have gotten this far in my academic career this quickly without their help and support."

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