Funding awarded by Academy for research projects and conferences

December 12, 2017

The Academy has awarded more than $200,000 to a number of high-quality research projects and conferences, generously supported by donations to the Academy. In 2018 these will, among other things, fund cutting-edge Australian marine, soil and plant biology research and help the survival of some of Australia’s endangered species. There is also support for specialist conferences on subjects such as the rapid collapse of ecosystems in a changing world.

The Thomas Davies Research Grant for Marine, Soil and Plant Biology fund offers annual science grants of up to $25,000 to early-and mid-career researchers in the field of marine, soil and plant biology. The 2018 awardees are:

  • Ashlea Doolette, University of Adelaide: How do Australian native plants survive on low phosphorus soils? New insights using 31P NMR spectroscopy
  • Mark Farrell, CSIRO: An innovative method for probing active soil microbial function
  • Manoj Kumar, University of Technology Sydney: Identification of the molecular response of seagrasses to heavy metal pollution and ocean acidification
  • Zoe Richards, Curtin University: Enhancing coral threatened species management with integrated phylogenomics
  • Isaac Santos, Southern Cross University: Coral reef calcification in the Great Barrier Reef following widespread bleaching
  • Allison van de Meene, University of Melbourne: Dissecting mechanisms of cell wall deposition and variability for improved understanding of our crop plants and products

The Margaret Middleton Fund for endangered Australian native vertebrate animals offers annual science grants of up to $15,000 each to support field-based, high-quality ecological research of postgraduate students and early career researchers. The objective of the grant is to provide financial support for conservation-based research of Australian ecosystems that ultimately will lead to tangible outcomes for management. The 2018 awardees are:

  • Dr Christopher Gordon, University of Wollongong: Interacting impacts of persistent fire regimes and predation on threatened mammals
  • Ms Katharine Senior, University of Melbourne: Spatial solutions for managing fire and native mammal conservation
  • Ms. Emma Spencer, University of Sydney: Does predation threaten the endangered night parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis)?

Boden Research Conference Award—up to $10,000 of funding is offered for specialist conferences in the biological sciences to enable active research workers in rapidly advancing fields to discuss current advances and problems. The 2018–19 conference is Ecological surprises and rapid collapse of ecosystems in a changing world.

Elizabeth and Frederick White research Conference Award—up to 10,000 of funding is offered for research conferences in the physical and mathematical sciences related to the solid Earth, the terrestrial oceans, Earth's atmosphere, solar-terrestrial science, space sciences and astronomy. The 2018–19 conference is Gas–solid reactions in earth sciences and astronomy.

Fenner conferences on the environment—up to $10,000 of funding is offered for conferences that bring together those with relevant scientific, administrative and policy expertise to consider current environmental and conservation problems in Australia, thereby contributing to the formation of policies that can alleviate some of these problems. The 2018–19 conference is The use of gene drive technology in conservation.

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