Double success for Gates Cambridge couple

  • November 22, 2017
Double success for Gates Cambridge couple

Douglas Brumley and Natalia Egorova both win Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards.

A Gates Cambridge couple have been doubly successful and have both won the competitive Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) in Australia.

Husband and wife Douglas Brumley [2009] and Natalia Egorova [2010] were both successful in this year’s round of Australian Research Council Grants. The success rate for the competitive Discovery Early Career Researcher Award is just 16%.

Douglas won a $365,058 grant for a project which aims to apply advanced video-microscopy to characterise microbial motion at the single cell level, interrogating their navigational responses in precisely controlled physical and chemical conditions. Douglas says ocean carbon cycling is driven by the concerted action of marine microbes, but the fine-scale interactions between these microbes and their physical and chemical environments remains elusive. “The project findings will unravel the fundamental processes governing microbial motion in real environments, and develop the mechanistic modelling tools required to make quantitative ecosystem-level predictions of how soil-atmosphere-water-marine systems respond in the face of environmental change,” he states in his submission. Douglas, who did a PhD in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge, is currently a Lecturer in Applied Mathematics at the University of Melbourne.

Natalia’s $366,403 grant is for a project which aims to generate a novel neurobiological account of word learning, going beyond a simple mapping between words and objects and recognising the sensory and socio-communicative embedding of language. Capitalising on interdisciplinary approaches to research, the project will use state-of-the-art neuroimaging to reveal the neural architecture and mechanisms supporting contextualised sensory word learning. Natalia says the results are expected to bring about a paradigm shift in the fields of neurobiology of language and learning, having a profound impact on the practice of language teaching and improvement of language functioning. Natalia who did her PhD in Biology at Cambridge, is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and the University of Melbourne.

Douglas Brumley

Douglas Brumley

  • Alumni
  • Australia
  • 2009 PhD Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
  • Trinity College
Natalia Egorova

Natalia Egorova

  • Alumni
  • Russian Federation
  • 2010 PhD Biology
  • Lucy Cavendish College

Having a diverse but mainly Arts background, at Cambridge I shifted to Sciences, pursuing a PhD in Biology at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit. I have always been interested in how people use language in context (pragmatics), and what mechanisms in the brain underlie contextual enrichment. Therefore for my PhD I chose to explore the neural correlates of speech act processing, thus contributing to the emerging discipline of neuropragmatics.

Latest News

Provost wins top Royal Society award

Gates Cambridge Provost Professor Barry Everitt has been selected for the Royal Society’s premier award in the biological sciences. Professor Barry Everitt FMedSci FRS has been awarded the Croonian Medal and Lecture 2021 for his research on the application of his findings on brain mechanisms of motivation to important societal issues, such as drug addiction. […]

Addressing energy injustice in the Global South

A new framework which uses artificial intelligence to analyse textual data on energy use and behaviour could help policymakers develop a deeper understanding of energy injustices in the Global South. The study, Grounded reality meets machine learning: A deep-narrative analysis framework for energy policy research, was led by Gates Cambridge Scholar Ramit Debnath [2018] and is published in the journal Energy Research […]

Scholar wins top German prize for PhD thesis

A Gates Cambridge Scholar has won a prestigious international award for her PhD dissertation on the relationship between offshore finance and state power. Dr Andrea Binder was named winner of the Körber Foundation’s German Dissertation Award 2020 for social sciences. The prize, one of the most highly endowed for young researchers from Germany, honours excellent PhD research which […]

Developing a farm for impact model

Shadrack Frimpong has not yet started his PhD, but already his and his team’s work has earned him awards from the Queen, the Clinton Foundation and the Muhammad Ali Foundation. The awards are for their outstanding work in creating a potential new development model for rural crop-growing communities starting from Shadrack’s own village in Ghana. […]