ARC Linkage Project success for natural sciences

7 July 2012

Three Linkage Projects have been successfully funded by the Australian Research Council across the division of natural sciences - the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, Faculty of Science and Faculty of Veterinary Science.

The three projects will receive funding of $1.375 million, announced by Senator Chris Evans, federal Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research on 30 June 2012.

Across the University of Sydney, ten Linkage Projects were successfully funded receiving a total of $3.76 million over the next four years from the Australian Research Council.

Australian Research Council Linkage Projects funding supports collaborative research projects between higher education researchers and partner organisations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Partner organisations must make a significant cash or in kind contribution to the project.

"The Government is encouraging collaboration between researchers, industries, and communities to work together and find solutions to everyday problems like healthcare, skills shortages, food security and our changing climate," said Senator Evans.

"These projects will deliver tangible, economic outcomes for all Australians. It is important to invest in science and research to drive innovation and growth in the Australian economy - after the mining boom is over, Australia will remain a smart country."

The three successful Linkage Projects in the division of natural sciences are:

  • Methane and nitrous oxide in agro-ecological systems: novel technologies and understandings to improve ecosystem management, where Professor Mark Adams, Professor Alex McBratney and Associate Professor Margaret Barbour, all from the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, will receive $530 000 over four years for their research with Picarro Inc, Landcare Research, Coolringdon Pastoral Company, Hazeldean Pty Ltd, The Philip Bushell Foundation and Auscott Limited.

Professor Mark Adams
Professor Mark Adams

"Methane and nitrous oxide are critical greenhouse gases but globally we lack ecosystem scale analyses of the balance of emissions, including animal emissions, and soil oxidation.This project will quantify this balance for a range of agro-ecosystems, and explore and develop opportunities for improving soil-based Greenhouse Gas mitigation measures," said Professor Mark Adams.

  • New generation evacuated glazing for emissions reduction in the built environment, where Professor Marcela Bilek and Professor David McKenzie, from the School of Physics in the Faculty of Science, will receive $730 000 over four years for their work with VELUX.

"Energy consumption in buildings now rivals that of transport and agriculture. A new collaboration between our group at the University of Sydney with our invention of evacuated glazing and VELUX, a world leading glazing manufacturer, will deliver new vacuum insulated windows made from toughened glass that will offer both safety and record performance," said Professor Marcela Bilek.

  • Addressing koala conservation management needs: applying novel genomic methods and assessing ecological exchangeability across the species range, where Professor Herman Raadsma and Dr Kellie Leigh, from the Faculty of Veterinary Science, and Dr Kyall Zenger, an Honorary Associate in the Faculty of Veterinary Science, will receive $115 218 over four years to work with the San Diego Zoo Global and Conservation Ecology Centre Pty Ltd.

"One of Australia's most iconic species, the koala, is under threat. This project will use cutting edge whole-genome technology to assess levels of genetic diversity and population differentiation across the species range, to inform the setting of conservation management units," said Professor Raadsma.

Contact: Katynna Gill

Phone: 02 9351 6997

Email: 2225322e145f12610b25475a364b122238534f5d0d2305493933