Deakin University has been awarded over $1.95M to support five new ARC Linkage Projects.

Deakin University has been awarded over $1.95M in National Competitive Grant funds to support five new Linkage Projects.

The results were announced by Senator the Honourable Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training, as part of the latest Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Programme rounds.

Professor Peter Hodgson, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, is delighted with the outcome and sees the announcement as indicative of the University’s ability to work creatively and collaboratively with industry partners on real world issues that will have lasting and tangible benefit for Australia.

“This result shows that Deakin is very well placed to respond to the Commonwealth Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda initiatives for research,” Prof Hodgson said.

Deakin University researchers and members of the Centre for Integrative Ecology (CIE) Dr Peter Macreadie, Dr Emily Nicholson and Dr Daniel Ierodiaconou will lead the project “Optimal management of coastal ecosystems for blue carbon sequestration,” in collaboration with Professor Catherine Lovelock from the University of Queensland.

The project involves three Partner Organisations, The Nature Conservancy Australia Trust, Parks Victoria and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and will develop world-first decision tools to predict how different management plans will affect the ability of coastal ecosystems and their capacity to sequester carbon.

As Australia’s coastal zone holds one of the world’s richest stores of “blue carbon,” it is critical they are protected from the dual threats of coastal development and climate change.

Prof Hodgson will head the project “Development of novel high performance aluminium alloys containing scandium,” together with Monash University and industry partners Universal Alloy Corporation (UAC) and Clean TEQ Limited. Dr Thomas Dorin from the Institute for Frontier Materials will also be involved.

The project aims to develop a new generation of alloys that contain scandium (Sc). Australia has the largest deposit of scandium in the world. Early investigations showed many beneficial effects of Scandium on alloy behaviour, but research was abandoned due to the high cost of the material. Australian company Clean TeQ has developed a sustainable extraction technology which will markedly lower its price.

“This will ensure we capitalise on scandium’s beneficial effects and that Australia sits at the forefront of this new alloy development strategy,” Prof Hodgson said.

By partnering with an international supplier of aerospace aluminium, UAC, the team will expedite rapid commercialisation.

Professor Peter Miller, who is a member of the Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development (SEED), has assembled a team of Australian researchers and industry partners to undertake, “An assessment of late night alcohol restrictions in Queensland.”

Dr Kerri Coomber from Deakin will work alongside Professor Miller, as well as researchers from James Cook University, the University of Queensland, Curtin University of Technology, the University of Newcastle, Monash University and La Trobe University.

The project involves three key industry partner organisations, the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, Lives Lived Well and Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre. It will focus on assessing the impact of the introduction of the 2am cessation of alcohol service for licensed venues across Queensland, in order to develop policy advice aimed at reducing alcohol related harm.

Associate Professor Helen Gardner of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences will lead the project, “Howitt and Fison’s anthropology: using new methods to reveal hidden richesand will work with Dr Rachel Hendery from the University of Western Sydney, Dr Stephen Morey from La Trobe University and Dr Patrick McConvell of the Australian National University.

The project involves three partner organisations, each of which is providing one or more Partner Investigators. Native Title Services Victoria, the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages and Museum Victoria will add industry specific knowledge and expertise to allow the team to analyse Lorimer Fison and AW Howitt’s archival material, which contains critical records gained from deep engagement with Indigenous experts.

This important work will give new perspectives on Australian history, anthropological theory and Australian linguistics, while expanding access to these materials by collating them into digital formats. By collaborating closely with Indigenous researchers, the team hope to further national recognition of the diversity of Aboriginal heritage.

Finally, Professor John Arnould from the Centre for Integrative Ecology will work with the University of Tasmania and three Partner Organisations – the National Centre for Scientific Research (France), Petuna Management Unit Trust and Austral Fisheries – on “Developing solutions to marine mammal interactions with long-line fisheries.”

Marine mammal interactions with commercial fisheries are an increasing and major world-wide issue with both ecological and economic consequences. The team will use innovative techniques to determine aspects of natural marine mammal behaviour that can be exploited, in conjunction with optimal fishing vessel operations, to minimise their interactions with fisheries.

This work will result in the development of solutions that can be implemented in a broad range of fisheries facing similar issues throughout the world.