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Questacon’s Ellen Cliff is Oxford bound

By Questacon Media 20 Feb 2017


Questacon staff member, scientist and gender equality advocate Ellen Cliff was recently announced as the 2017 Queensland Rhodes Scholar heading to Oxford in September 2017.

For three years she will work alongside Professor Ros Rickaby and some of the world’s best academic minds as she completes her doctorate in the field of Earth Sciences with the aim of becoming a leading ocean biogeochemistry researcher and science communicator.

Ellen grew up in Queensland and completed her schooling there and is thrilled to be named the Queensland Rhodes Scholar for 2017. “I have developed a deep passion for science and focused my skills in chemistry and maths on studying climate system science from an ocean biogeochemical perspective.”

“I look forward to being part of a world-leading research team looking into the effect of changing ocean chemistry on crucial phytoplankton species,” said Ms Cliff.

Ellen graduated from the Australian National University (ANU) with a Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) in Chemistry and Marine Science. “I was fortunate enough to receive an ANU National Undergraduate Scholarship and a University Medal. I was also awarded the AN Hambly Prize for chemistry and the ANU Royal Australian Chemical Institute Prize.”

Ellen enjoys her role at Questacon. “It is a great job which will enable me to build on my science communication skills and learn from the diverse staff here at Questacon,” said Ms Cliff.

She is also a research assistant at ANU’s Research School of Earth Science and has also worked as an undergraduate laboratory demonstrator with the Research School of Chemistry.

Each year, nine Australian Rhodes Scholars are chosen: one for each state, and another three from anywhere in the country (these are known as 'Australia-at-Large Scholarships'). A Rhodes Scholarship provides opportunities for outstanding all-round students to study at the University of Oxford. Scholars are selected on the basis of their exceptional intellect, character, leadership and commitment to service. These Scholars join a community of nearly 8,000 Rhodes Scholars worldwide and are part of a tradition in Australia that started in 1903.