Aussies get marine research gongs

Three Australian scientists have each received a prestigious award for their work in marine research.

The Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation is considered one of the world’s top gongs for recognising innovative work aimed at keeping the oceans healthy.

The Australians will each receive a $US150,000 ($A165,000) grant to conduct a three-year research project.

Offered since 1996, the Pew program recognises five scientists each year and it’s the first time three Australians have got the nod in one hit.

CSIRO scientist Beth Fulton won for her work assessing how the marine ecosystem is being affected by overfishing, climate change and other pressures.

Marine ecologist Peter Mumby got his nod for developing science models to assess and integrate the risks of things such as hurricanes and ocean pollution.

Ben Sullivan plans to use his grant to reduce the killing of seabirds in open ocean and trawl fishing.

This year’s recipients were among the most exceptional and innovative ocean conservationists in the field, the Pew Environment Group’s Joshua Reichert said in a statement.

Six Australians have previously taken out the fellowship.