News

ARC Linkage Project success for natural sciences



1 July 2013

Six Australian Research Council Linkage Projects have been successfully funded in the Faculty of Science and Faculty of Agriculture and Environment.

The six projects will receive funding of over $2.048 million, announced by Professor Aidan Byrne, the CEO of the Australian Research Council on 28 June 2013.

Six Australian Research Council Linkage Projects have been successfully funded in the Faculty of Science and Faculty of Agriculture and Environment.
Six Australian Research Council Linkage Projects have been successfully funded in the Faculty of Science and Faculty of Agriculture and Environment.

Across the University of Sydney, fourteen Linkage Projects were successfully funded receiving a total of $4.37 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.

"We need to encourage collaboration between researchers, industries, and communities to work together and find solutions to real, everyday challenges and issues," said Professor Byrne.

"It's about bringing together the scientists in our research institutions with industry, business and community organisations - those who can apply the outcomes of research - to tap into research expertise and share knowledge."

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

  • Optimisation of catchment management: stable isotope studies of water storage and yield, where Professor Mark Adams, Dr Willem Vervoort, Dr Thomas Buckley, Dr Kevin Simonin and Dr Claudia Keitel, all from the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, with Dr Christopher Hepplewhite from ACTEW AGL Corporation Limited, will receive $541 581 over four years for their research. Focusing on the Cotter catchment, this project will establish how the water content of soils and tree stems regulates the amount of water used by trees in sub-catchments, and thus how much reaches streams and dams. Small areas supply most of the water yield and this project will help identify where managers should focus efforts to increase yield.

  • Prediction of solar activity and space weather by automated analyses of solar radio and magnetic field observations and simulations, where Professor Iver Cairns, from the School of Physics in the Faculty of Science, and Dr David Neudegg, from the Bureau of Meteorology, will receive $330 000 over four years for their collaborative research. This project will build world-recognised capabilities to forecast space weather events at Earth in time to take protective measures. It involves around the clock automated identification and analysis of specific solar radio bursts, forecasting solar activity that results in transients moving Earth-ward, and simulations to predict when these will reach Earth.

  • Rekindle sexuality after cancer: development and testing of a novel web-based psychoeducational resource for both survivors and their partners, where Dr Catalina Lawsin, Professor Phyllis Butow and Dr Ilona Juraskova, all from the School of Psychology in the Faculty of Science, with Professor Judy Kay, from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, Dr Kevin McGeechan, from the School of Public Health, Associate Professor Frances Boyle, from the Faculty of Medicine, Dr Sylvie Lambert, from UNSW, Gillian Batt and Annie Miller, both from the Cancer Council NSW, Associate Professor Lori Brotto, from the University of British Colombia, Canada, and Associate Professor Lee Ritterband, from the University of Virginia, USA, will receive $302 000 over three years for their research. The collaboration between the University of Sydney and the Cancer Council New South Wales will develop the first web-based psycho-educational resource, Rekindle, that addresses sexual concerns of both survivors and their partners, across all cancer-types, tailored to the unique concerns of each user.

  • Highly multiplexed rapid-analysis microarrays for early disease diagnosis, where Professor David McKenzie and Professor Marcela Bilek, both from the School of Physics in the Faculty of Science, with Professor Keith Stanley, from AusDiagnostics Pty Ltd, will receive $370 000 over three years for their research. Molecular diagnostics are revolutionising the treatment of disease in hospitals by providing rapid and accurate identification of pathogens, saving costs, time and lives. This project will accelerate this revolution by combining new array technology from the University of Sydney with a proven multiplex method from the Sydney based company, AusDiagnostics.

  • Micropatterned polymer film coatings for the capture of water directly from the atmosphere, where Dr Chiara Neto, from the School of Chemistry in the Faculty of Science, Professor Andrew Harris, from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, Dr Stuart Thickett, from UNSW, and Barry Porter, from Nubian Water Systems Pty Ltd, will receive $325 000 over four years for their research. This project will produce micropatterned surface coatings that collect large amounts of water from the atmosphere. Through this technology, isolated and drought-prone regions of Australia will be able to partially satisfy their water supply needs, in a manner that is economically and environmentally sustainable.

  • Earth's best-preserved Archean boninites: do they finally resolve the Archean mantle plume-plate tectonics controversy? where Dr Derek Wyman and Professor Geoffrey Clarke, both from the School of Geosciences in the Faculty of Science, with Stephen Wyche, Dr Tim Ivanic and Dr Robert Smithies, all from the Geological Survey of Western Australia, will receive $180 000 over four years for their research. Subduction typically starts on the modern Earth with the eruption of chemically distinctive rocks known as boninites. This project will study remarkably well preserved 2.85 billion year old boninites from Western Australia that may finally establish whether modern-style plate tectonics operated in the first half of Earth's history.

Read more about ARC Linkage Projects at: www.arc.gov.au/ncgp/lp/lp_default.htm


Contact: Katynna Gill

Phone: 02 9351 6997

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