Student Conference Awards 2021

Applications for the GSA Student Conference Awards are invited from science students completing their third year of undergraduate study, or Honours, or equivalent, at a tertiary institution. These awards provide the opportunity for students to attend the GSA Conference, to be held online 6th-8th October 2021.

Further details about the conference, including programme and invited speakers, can be found on the conference website.

Applicants must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate, Honours, or equivalent degree, and should have completed at least one university-level course in genetics. Please note that PhD students are not eligible for these awards.

Students should submit their application as a single PDF with “GSA Student Travel Award” in the title to Students should include in their application:

  • A copy of their academic record/student transcript [does not need to be certified]
  • An outline of their interests in the field of genetics
  • Their full contact details: email, postal address and mobile phone
  • The name and e-mail address of one academic referee

Closing date for applications is 15th September 2021

Successful applicants will be notified by 24th September 2021

GSA 2021 Awards

We are excited to announce the winners of the Genetics Society of AustralAsia’s 2021 Awards:

  • The Genetics Society of AustralAsia MJD White Medal for excellence in genetics research is awarded to Professor Kathy Belov (University of Sydney)
  • The Genetics Society of AustralAsia Ross Crozier Medal for a mid-career researcher is awarded to Dr Camilla Whittington (University of Sydney) 
  • The Genetics Society of AustralAsia Alan Wilton Award for an early career researcher is awarded to Dr Seth Cheetham (Mater Research Institute)
  • The D.G Catcheside Prize, for the top doctoral student in the field of genetics (for a PhD thesis that passed examination during 2020) is awarded to Dr Emily Roycroft (PhD at the University of Melbourne, now at The Australian National University)
  • The Genetics Society of AustralAsia Award for Excellence in Education, for an outstanding genetics educator, is awarded to Dr Phillip Wilcox (University of Otago)
  • The Spencer Smith-White Travel Award – traditionally awarded to postgraduate members of GSA to attend our annual conference, but this year providing the opportunity to present at GSA’s online conference – is awarded to Stephanie Chen (University of New South Wales) and Nynke Raven (Deakin University)

Congratulations to all award recipients! To hear from our award winners and learn more about their excellent work, please join our online conference from 6th-8th October. Conference registration is free for GSA members. Abstract submission closes on 11th August. More information about the 2021 conference is available here.

Our thanks to all who applied or nominated others for the 2021 awards. We encourage all who are eligible to apply for our next round of awards in 2022.

Registration for GSA2021 is now open!

The conference will run on-line from 6th-8th October and is FREE to all GSA members

We have three exciting plenary speakers confirmed:

  • Professor Mark Dawson (, a clinician-scientist and the Associate Director of Research Translation at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, who studies epigenetic regulation in normal development and cancer and is the recipient of the 2020 Prime Minister’s Prize as Life Scientist of the year.
  • Assistant Professor Uma Ramakrishnan (, a molecular ecologist at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, who studies the population genetics and evolutionary history of mammals on the Indian subcontinent.

Additionally, we will have symposia on Conservation and Ecological Genetics, Earth BioGenome, Epigenetics and Chromatin Structure, Functional Genomics in Rare Disease, and Mobile Genetic Elements. However, if  your research does not fit into these themes, you can submit your abstract to an Open Symposium. We are inviting long format talks (12 minutes), lightning talks (5 minutes), and posters.

Please register and submit your abstract here:

More details regarding the conference to follow!

The GSA2021 Organising Committee

Genetics Society of AustralAsia Workshop Support Program (GSA/WSP)

GSA/WSP provides contribution towards workshops aimed at sharing knowledge and/or exchanging ideas in the broadly defined field of genetics.

Up to $1000 AUD can be provided to up to 2 events per year on a competitive basis (a total of $2000), with one round of applications considered per year.

Application deadline will fall 30 days before the annual GSA conference, with the winners announced during the conference. In 2021, the deadline is 26th of September.

To qualify, the applicants must:

  1. Be current GSA member(s).
  2. Be students or employees of Australian or New Zealand academic or research institution.
  3. Organize workshop in Australia or New Zealand within one year from the award.
  4. Acknowledge GSA support on the event promotional materials.
  5. Submit application including following information:
    • 500 words description of the planned activities
    • invited speakers/presenters
    • venue
    • dates of the workshop
    • expected numbers and types of participants (students/postdocs/staff/academics/teachers)

The successful applicants will be expected to provide a one slide summary (can be a screenshot from the event website) before the following GSA meeting. These will be shown during announcements of the next awards.

All applications must be submitted by email by the closing date to

GSA 2020 Award Symposium – 1st October 2020

Please join us for a series of online presentations from our 2020 award winners. Information about the schedule and how to register is below.

Schedule (Australian Eastern Standard Time)

11:00-11:10 Welcome from GSA President Peter Dearden

11:15-11:30 Crozier Medal winner – Marnie Blewitt

11:35-11:50 Alan Wilton Award winner – Sonia Shah

11:55-12:10 D.G. Catcheside Prize winner – Theresa Cole

12:10-12:30 Break

12:30-12:45 Spencer Smith-White Travel Award winner – Katarina Stuart

12:50-13:05 GSA Award for Excellence in Education winner – Richard Edwards

13:10-13:40 MJD White Medal Award winner – Vanessa Hayes


Registration is free, via our event website.

You will be emailed a zoom link and password in advance of the seminars. We look forward to seeing you online!

Congratulations to our Student Grant Scheme winners

The inaugural student grant scheme has been a resounding success! Our congratulations to:​

  • Johanna Jones from the University of Tasmania, who won the GSA Student grant sponsored by Illumina and the Ramaciotti Centre for Genomics – an Illumina NovaSeq 6000SP flowcell
  • Laura Cook from the University of Melbourne, who won the GSA Student Grant sponsored by Brightside Scientific – a $2000 dewar
  • Andrew Baldi from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, who won the GSA Student Grant sponsored by POCD – a $1000 shopping voucher

We would like to again thank our sponsors Illumina, the Ramaciotti Centre for Genomics, Brightside Scientific and POCD Scientific for making these grants possible.

GSA Image competition prize winners

Congratulations to first prize winner Tess Cole for her stunning watercolor Penguins, inspired by her research in the Antarctic.

Penguins © Tess Cole

Congratulations also to runner-up Lauren Ashwood for her beautiful image of Telmatactis autraliensis under blue light, showing expression of GFP-like fluorescent chromoprotein in tentacles.

Telmatactis autraliensis © Lauren Ashwood

Check out the competition gallery page to see all the 31 entries to the inaugural GSA image competition.

Closing soon – GSA image competition

Do you have some images from your research that you’re particularly proud of? They could be images of an endangered plant; perhaps a confocal micrograph of an insect gonad; or maybe a stunningly beautiful phylogram.  You use them in your talks or as backgrounds for your posters … but don’t you wish you had an award that recognised your artistic genius?

To celebrate the launch of GSA’s new website we’d like your best images to decorate its pages.  To this end, we’re running a GSA Image Competition for students and postdocs/ECRs, with the winner to be announced at the forthcoming 2019 GSA Conference.  First prize: $300; runner-up $100 … plus the satisfaction of seeing your name in lights and bragging rights in perpetuity.

So turn those late nights on the confocal or long days in the field into cash and glory, and email your submissions by 5pm Monday July 1st to together with this Image Use Permission form.  Images can be from all branches of the science of genetics, provided that they’re related in some way to your research.  Entries will be judged by a panel from the GSA committee on artistic merit, and the winner announced at the close of the conference on July 3rd.

Entry is open to all students, postdocs and ECRs who are either a member of GSA or are attending the 2019 GSA Conference. Happy snapping, and good luck!