New Forrest Scholars' research to benefit people and the environment

13/02/2023 | 3 mins

Another four PhD students have been awarded prestigious Forrest Scholarships to carry out research at The University of Western Australia.

They will develop a model for use in offshore wind design, evaluate strengths and weaknesses in brain and cognitive function assessments and interventions, research the interactions between post-closure mining pit lakes and groundwater systems and develop ceramic bone implants.

Aiden Archer, from Wembley, aims to improve the assessment of wave and current loads on the supporting structures of fixed offshore wind turbines, ultimately enabling a more economical design.

Aiden ArcherImage: Aiden Archer.

Claudio Vergara-Saez, from Chile, will focus on the implementation of an open-source code with the capability to simulate the physical, biological and geochemical interactions between mine pit lakes, groundwater systems and climatic variables. His research will support pit lake rehabilitation plans to transform them into valuable sources of water for the community.

Mingxin Ye, from China, aims to develop strong and affordable, non-toxic ceramic implants that facilitate bone growth. He hopes his bioceramic scaffolds will reduce complications some implant patients report due to hypersensitivity associated with materials currently used. 

Esperance-born Nicole Feast, who now lives in Subiaco, will research neuropsychology, a specialised area of psychology that focuses on the interplay between cognitive, affective, behavioural and brain function.  

She aims to address the gap in existing literature in neuropsychological assessment and intervention in clinical research trials to enhance wellbeing and assist people.

Director of the Forrest Research Foundation Professor James Arvanitakis said the 2023 Forrest Scholars were an impressive group who had been chosen following an extremely competitive application process.

“The Forrest Research Foundation attracted exceptional applications from around the world who aim to pursue research excellence as well as confront some of the world’s grand challenges,” he said.

“What makes these candidates stand out was not only their commitment to pursue an ambitious research agenda, but their commitment to their communities as well as the leadership they have already demonstrated.”

Joining the four UWA scholars are Georgia Khinsoe, from Applecross, who will study at Curtin University and research aortic stenosis — a degenerative heart condition — and Rachel Newsome who will be investigating the activity, health, and energetics of the reef manta ray in Western Australia’s seascapes at Murdoch University.

The scholarships are made possible through the Forrest Research Foundation, which aims to attract the brightest minds to conduct research in WA.

The Forrest Research Foundation was established in 2014 to create a world-leading collaborative centre of research and scholarship. The foundation was made possible through one of the largest-ever philanthropic donations in Australian history, by Andrew and Nicola Forrest through the Minderoo Foundation. 

“Congratulations to the new Forrest Scholars, who were selected from an amazing array of applicants and who will now contribute to the Western Australian community through their research and leadership,” Nicola Forrest said. 

“Nicole Feast’s study of neuropsychology aims to improve the health of our most vulnerable community members, while Aiden Archer’s research into the most efficient way to harness wind power could play a vital role in the global transition to a green energy future.”

“I am thrilled to support researchers tackling the biggest challenges facing both people and our planet.”

For more about the Forrest Research Foundation, visit

 Pictured above: Nicole Feast, Mingxin Ye, Georgia Khinsoe, Claudio Vergara-Saez, Rachel Newsome, James Arvanitakis

Media references

Annelies Gartner (UWA Media & PR Manager) 08 6488 3226

Share this

Related news


Browse by Topic

Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.