Prof Marilyn Renfree
Marilyn’s research has focussed almost entirely on marsupials because of their intrinsic interest and for the opportunities they provide as biomedical models for understanding mammalian reproduction and development (although elephants, women, sheep and mice have also had a look-in in her research career). Her laboratory is known internationally for its study of the reproduction and development of marsupials that have resulted in a number of discoveries that challenged the accepted dogma in several areas including early mammalian development, physiological and molecular control of embryonic diapause, placentation, sexual differentiation, virilisation and genomic imprinting as well as conservation and evolution and even bringing a gene from the extinct Tasmanian Tiger back to life. She has also been involved in genome studies of the platypus and the tammar wallaby. She is an enthusiastic mentor and was awarded the Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers. Marilyn is the Ian Potter Chair of Zoology and was Head of Department of Zoology at The University of Melbourne from 1991 -2003, an ARC Federation Fellow 2003-8, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Kangaroo Genomics from 2008-10 and was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia on Australia Day 2013. She is currently a Laureate Professor of the University of Melbourne.