For over fifteen years, James Cook University has been a leader in cutting-edge computational research.  Our current projects are pushing the boundaries of technology.

SensorQ

Helping the Townsville City Council protect our precious waterways

We have developed SensorQ, a unique, end-to-end water monitoring and analysis network in conjunction with industry leaders Taggle Systems and CoastalCOMS.  Through a partnership with the Townsville City Council, the devices have been deployed to local waterways and storm water drains.

SensorQ is a low-cost network system that collects real time information about water turbidity, pH and oxygen levels, electrical conductivity, temperature, light, wind and currents. Our sensor buoys are built to withstand harsh Australian weather conditions and collect round-the-clock data.  This information is fed into a visualisation system, allowing Council water management staff to see and quickly react to changes in water quality. SensorQ, as an integrated data collection, storage, analysis and visualisation platform, has a variety of industry applications, enabling Queensland to more effectively participate in the Big Data economy.

CliMAS

Transforming the latest in climate change research into a simple mapping tool for exploring the impact on almost every species of Australian vertebrate.

Through CliMAS, users easily through search hundreds of species of land-based native birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians and display results on the interactive maps. Users can explore 18 different Global Climate Models and two potential emissions scenarios with projections extending to the year 2085.

The report function of CliMAS offers easy access to projected changes to climate and biodiversity for a specific region. The reports are customisable, enabling visitors to investigate climate change in their region and determine priority species.

Fully open to the public, the CliMAS project helps simplify research into climate change and biodiversity distribution and was developed to improve engagement and knowledge transfer between researchers and conservation managers, decision-makers and the general public.

Tropical Data Hub

The central catalogue for tropical research data produced by or held at JCU.

Since inception, the catalogue has grown to house thousands of entries with each containing information about what the data is, where and when it was collected, why it was gathered, who collected it and the funding source, if applicable.  Information available through the TDH covers all disciplines, including the physical and natural environment, societies and communities, linguistic and cultural data and economic statistics.  When available as Open Access, original data is directly accessible from the catalogue or otherwise clear details are provided on how to negotiate access and what restrictions apply, if any.

To learn more, read the Tropical Data Hub: Data North discussion paper.

Digital Homestead

Changing the face of Australia’s beef industry by bringing technology to the outback.

Our Digital Homestead project at Charters Towers’ Spyglass cattle station is creating more efficient and profitable cattle farms through sensor technology.  This project combines remote sensors and monitoring, data analytics and rural connectivity technology to help farmers collect real-time information about cattle behaviour, weather, pasture performance, grazing capacity and market conditions.

One of systems, Walk Over Weighing, is improving farm efficiency by allowing farmers to weigh their animals remotely on a daily basis.  This provides better tracking of the health of a herd and allows for the detailed monitoring of behavioural changes.  For instance, if cattle are not visiting the weighing stations, it may indicate the presence of alternative water sources or an individual animal suffering an illness.

The data from the property is automatically aggregated for presentation on a user-friendly digital dashboard. Farm managers can see real-time statistics relating to cattle locations, cattle weight trends and remaining tank water as well as environmental data, such as climate and weather reports.

Wallace Initiative

Conservation framework that simplifies the flow of information between policy makers and climate change researchers

A new approach to smart conservation, the Wallace Initiative is a coordinated, technological approach.  The eResearch Centre has partnered with the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), the Tyndall Centre and the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) to develop the Wallace Initiative as a simple web-based platform for investigating which regions, species and crops are likely to be the most and least affected by future climate change. Information from approximately 350,000 data sets is displayed geographically as an overlay on Google Maps, and is also available for download from the site for users wishing to run their own species bioclimatic models with their own data.

JCU Research Portfolio

An innovative space for researchers to share their work and connect with colleagues and the world.

We wanted the world to know about all the great research coming out of the JCU community, so we developed a one-stop shop for all active researchers at the University.   The Research Portfolio allows visitors to easily find researchers by their areas of expertise, interests, publications, grants or funding, and prospective students can connect with supervisors.

The Research Portfolio is a portal with a difference:  researchers only need to contribute information the University doesn't already know about them. By utilising data from existing sources, we make it easy for over 1000 researchers to promote their work to the world.  Extra information such as avatars, biographies, interests and experience are easily self-managed by researchers online. The Portfolio continues to improve the quality of data sets across internal systems by providing researchers with a single view to update their data.