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University researcher wins RACI award

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A Curtin University organic geochemical researcher has recently been awarded the 2012 Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Environmental Chemistry Medal.

Professor Kliti Grice, founding Director of Curtin University’s internationally recognised WA-Organic and Isotope Geochemistry Centre, has received the honour for her past 10 years of research addressing fundamental questions on the Earth’s biosphere.

“I’m honoured to have my research and that of my team and collaborators recognised, which has covered a vast array of important topics to society such as mass extinction events, geobiology, petroleum and minerals exploration, evolution of life and environmental sustainability,” Professor Grice said.

Professor Grice said her research is based on innovative analytical tools, specifically molecular fossils (biomarkers), stable carbon, hydrogen and sulfur isotopes at a compound specific level.

With a special interest in the fundamental basis for the largest of the five mass extinctions, Professor Grice and her team were able to attribute conditions of this extinction and two others to biogeochemical processes, including global warming events, and photic zone euxinia, in ancient seas rather than asteroid impacts.

A recipient of two Australian Research Council QEII Fellowships, Professor Grice has published 110 international peer-reviewed articles including ones in Science, Nature Geoscience and Geology, book chapters and plenaries.

The significance of her research has been acknowledged by several eminent awards, including International Pieter Schenck Award, Academy of Science Award and WA Premier’s Inaugural Science Award for Early Career Achievement, ARC funding, industry, state and other NCG funding.

The environmental chemistry medal will be formally presented at the annual RACI Research and Development meeting, a nationwide postgraduate student conference involving chemistry research presentations, held in December.

The prestigious Environmental Chemistry Division Medal is awarded for excellence in pure or applied scientific work in environmental science in Australia, or for service to environmental chemistry.

Professor Kliti Grice, WA-Organic and Isotope Geochemistry Centre, Department of Chemistry, Chemistry and Resources Precinct, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 2474, Email:

Megan Meates, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 4241, Mobile: 0401 103 755, Email:

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