Linkage grant success for Biology
6 June 2011
Research into the likely impacts of the cane toad's southern march and how to improve management of recreational fisheries in Australia is now possible thanks to funding from the Government's Linkage Project scheme.
Professor Rick Shine and Dr Will Figueira, from the School of Biological Sciences, have each won funding, commencing in July 2011, to support research projects in partnership with NSW Government, local council, environmental groups and industry.
Professor Shine and Dr Figueira will jointly receive over $600,000 for their two research projects, which are among 19 University of Sydney projects to be funded by the Government's Linkage Projects scheme.
Announcing funding of $67 million for 219 new Australian research projects, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said the Australian Research Council's Linkage Projects scheme encourages research and development projects that will enhance the lives of Australians.
"The Linkage Projects scheme is a vital component of the ARC competitive grants suite because of the partnerships it encourages - with manufacturers and private enterprise here and overseas. These partnerships help produce tangible, workable solutions to real issues, like climate change, health and national security."
Using a $530,000 grant over six years, Professor Shine and colleagues will continue their research into the effects of cane toads on southern biodiversity and ways to lessen their impact.
They will partner with Australian Wildlife Conservancy, Foundation for Australia's Most Endangered Species Inc., Lismore City Council Tweed Shire Council, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority.
Professor Shine says: "This grant will give us the opportunity to fill in the largest "missing piece" of the cane toad jigsaw - the biology and impact of toads in the southern part of their Australian range. We've found out a lot about toads in tropical Australia, and now we can apply that knowledge to explore toad biology and impact in temperate-zone areas. Most excitingly, the NSW front gives us an ideal situation to field-test our emerging new methods for toad control."
Partnering with NSW Department of Industry and Investment, Dr Figueira's $98,000 grant will employ a PhD student for up to four years to examine the effects of recreational fishing regulations using model-based evaluations.
Dr Figueira says: "The difficulty in estimating catch and harvest in recreational fisheries, as well as their open access nature, poses considerable challenges to their management. Unfortunately, what little data we do have indicates there is a real need for more quantitative and adaptive management as recreational fisheries are often responsible for a large proportion of the total catch due simply to the high number of individuals engaging in the activity.
"The purpose of this project is to use various modeling techniques, often applied in commercial fisheries, to recreational ones with an aim of improving the management process and outcome for all involved...fishers, fish and managers."
Contact: Carla Avolio
Phone: 02 9351 4543