ARC Results - Earth and environmental: it's fundamental

Wednesday, 9 November 2005

Helping save endangered species, finding a cure for cancer using frogs and using ancient DNA to discover the keys to climate change are missions the University of Adelaide will follow after the announcement of Australian Research Council (ARC) funding today.

The University of Adelaide has been awarded 33 Discovery Grants in the latest round of ARC funding, worth $9,789,557. Total research funding achieved across all grant areas amounted to $12,871,992.

Of the 33 Discovery Grants, 21 are in the Faculty of Sciences, with 47% of those going to environmental science research. There was also a strong concentration of funding to fundamental science research projects.

"Our understanding of the natural world and how it has evolved to this point is vital to understanding our impact as humans, and the impact our environment can have on us," says Professor James McWha, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Adelaide.

"The University of Adelaide's success across earth, environmental and fundamental science areas marks us as a leader in these areas, working on research with practical implications for society."

Some of the successful environmental research funded includes:


  • Research that helps understand the effects of environmental change on the perinatal development of endangered species, not only protecting biodiversity, but also having the potential to be applied to veterinary and human medical treatment, will be undertaken by a team led by Associate Professor Chris Daniels from the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. The research is valued at $295,000 over three years.
  • A team of scientists trained to the highest international standards will examine peptides from frogs to see if they can inhibit cancer cells, increase the effectiveness of the immune system and reduce stroke or cardiac conditions. The project, led by Professor John Bowie from the School of Chemistry and Physics will receive $362,000 over the next three years.
  • Professor Alan Cooper from the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Professor Tim Flannery will research the environmental impacts of climate change and humans through time, using ancient DNA. They will receive $470,000 for their research over the next three years.

As well as receiving strong funding for its environment-based research, the University also performed well in the fundamental sciences underpinning all science-based research:

  • Professor Michael Eastwood from the School of Mathematical Sciences received the highest individual funding of any University of Adelaide researcher ($800,000 over five years) for his studies into symmetry and differential geometry. Symmetry lies at the heart of mathematics and physics and provides essential tools in basic science, while differential geometry is a major branch of mathematics studying shape by using calculus and differential equations.
  • Professor Tony Williams from the University's School of Chemistry and Physics leads teams that received more than $1million for two projects associated with theoretical physics and chemistry. One will significantly advance our knowledge of the subatomic structure of the universe by studying Quantum Chromodynamics, while the other use high-powered supercomputers to assist researchers in a range of fields, including computational chemistry through to photonics.
  • Associate Professor Derek Leinweber from the School of Chemistry and Physics will also examine QCD and other associated quantum physics problems in a $232,000 grant over three years.

Professor Alan Cooper, Professor Steve Tyerman and Professor Williams were all successful in achieving grants across Discovery and Linkage areas, worth $585,999, $410,000 and $1,070,000 respectively.

A number of Early Career Researchers from the University of Adelaide were also recognised by the ARC:


  • Dr Melinda Coleman receiving $335,000 over four years for research into dispersal and gene-flow in habitat-forming algae;
  • Dr David Kelsey receiving $295,000 over four years for a project developing tectonic models that will reduce risk to mineral explorers and contribute to the broader question of Australia's Proterozoic evolution;
  • Mr Travis Elsdon who will receive $315,000 over three years for a project studying bottom-up effects of nutrients on estuarine fish related ecosystems;
  • Dr Mark Tingay heads up a team researching tectonic processes, with major implications for hazard and assessment and mineral exploration in South-East Asia. His research has been funded $250,755 across four years.

 

Contact Details

Ms Robyn Mills
Email: robyn.mills@adelaide.edu.au
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084


Mr David Ellis
Email: david.ellis@adelaide.edu.au
Website: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/news/
Media and Communications Officer
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762


Mr David Ellis
Email: david.ellis@adelaide.edu.au
Website: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/news/
Media and Communications Officer
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762