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RIEL PhD candidate wins Endeavour Scholarship

By Angus Smith

RIEL PhD candidate Pia Harkness wins Endeavour Scholarship RIEL PhD candidate Pia Harkness wins Endeavour Scholarship

A Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods PhD candidate, who is investigating marine-based livelihoods in eastern Indonesia, has won the highly coveted Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship.

Pia Harkness will use the scholarship to support her work, which will use participatory mapping with local communities to investigate marine resource use and management around Savu island, in the Savu Sea in eastern Indonesia.

“The recently established Savu Sea Marine National Park is the largest marine protected area in South-east Asia, yet little information is publicly available about how local small-scale fishers as well as larger fishing fleets use resources in the area,” Pia said.

“I am particularly interested in investigating the drivers of marine ecosystem degradation in the region, and how the combination of degraded ecosystems and marine conservation initiatives, such as the National Park, affect the livelihoods of local small-scale fishers,” Pia said.

Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships are internationally competitive, merit-based awards provided by the Australian Government. They support people of the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas to undertake study, research and professional development programs in Australia and for Australians to undertake these programs overseas.

Pia will receive her scholarship at an awards dinner at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra on December 3.
 
The Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships build Australia’s reputation for excellence in the provision of education, support the internationalisation of the Australian higher education and research sectors, and offer high-achieving Australians opportunities to increase their knowledge and expertise in their field.