Dr Kirrilly Thompson has been selected as one of five young Australians to be recognised for her research, beating out almost 250 other applicants in the process.
ABC Radio National and the University of New South Wales joint project ‘Top 5 Under 40’ aimed to find and honour five of Australia’s best and brightest young scientific minds.
The Research Fellow from Adelaide-based Appleton Institute at CQUniversity has been recognised for her outstanding work with animals and humans in bushfire events. Her award winning work investigates how people and animals – specifically horses – react to bushfires, and how non-verbal communication between them can act as therapy for disaster trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Equine therapy may be an emerging and promising treatment, however Thompson admits more research needs to be done before it can become a popular and viable practice.
Kirrilly is also currently undertaking research through the Managing Animals in Disasters (MAiD) project with the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC