Sports injury and environmental law occupy minds of UniSA Fulbright scholars

PhD student Joel Fuller. A University of South Australia environmental law expert and a PhD student investigating the connection between running strides and sports injury have secured prestigious Fulbright scholarships to travel to the United States this year.

UniSA PhD student Joel Fuller will use his Fulbright South Australia Postgraduate Scholarship to visit the University of Massachusetts while UniSA Adjunct Professor Rob Fowler will travel to George Washington University on the Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Climate Change and Clean Energy.

Trained physiotherapist Joel says he will use his time in the US to investigate whether there is a connection between running stride and injury risk.

“Running is an inherent component of most sports, so it’s important for understanding injuries,” he says.

“We’re looking at whether the structure and pattern of your running stride gives an indication of the health of your neuromuscular system – similar to how the structure and pattern of your heartbeat gives an indication of the health of your cardiovascular system.”

The University of Massachusetts will offer Joel the opportunity to work with a large group of high-performance athletes from the institution’s sporting programs. The PhD student will set off in August with the goal of building on the stride assessment technique developed as a spin-off from his PhD project on footwear and running injuries.

Adjunct Professor Rob Fowler. Meanwhile at George Washington University, Prof Fowler will explore how different levels of government collaborate to manage environmental challenges from a US perspective.

The Washington DC location will enable him to work with some of the US’s leading environmental law scholars, as well as senior administrators from federal, state, regional and local government.

Prof Fowler, who has extensively researched and published in environmental law areas such as environmental impact assessment, soils and land degradation, biodiversity conservation and climate change, says the scholarship will give him the opportunity to examine what the most appropriate role for the federal government in environmental matters is, and how this role can be effectively pursued.

“My US research will particularly focus on the federal role in climate change and clean energy, which I hope will provide useful insights for Australia as it seeks to develop new approaches to climate mitigation, and also engages in a wider reflection upon the appropriate role of the federal government in relation to the environment,” he says.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd congratulated the two researchers on securing the esteemed Fulbright scholarships.

“We are very proud that two of our researchers have been chosen to take part in the Fulbright scholarship program this year,” he says. 

“International collaboration is an important component in creating research with impact. Both UniSA Fulbright scholars will be able to take their research to the next level by working in a collaborative new environment and benefiting from the many aspects of cultural and educational exchange.”  

The Fulbright Program has been providing opportunities for educational exchanges between the US and Australia since 1949. 

For more information on Prof Fowler, Joel and the Fulbright scholarship program, visit the Australian American Fulbright Commission website.

Media contact: Peter Krieg office 8302 0965 email Peter.Krieg@unisa.edu.au

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