Media Release

08/11/2013
$4.3m boost to research
JCU has received more than $4.3 million in research grants announced by the Minister for Education, Mr Christopher Pyne.

Nov 8, 2013: - James Cook University has received more than $4.3 million in research grants announced by the Minister for Education, Mr Christopher Pyne, today.

The funding is part of the ARC’s Future Fellowships scheme and major grants schemes and includes Future Fellowships for Professor Philip Munday and Dr Susan Laurance.

Professor Munday will receive almost $1 million between now and 2017 for his work on the long-term impacts of ocean acidification on marines fish and fisheries.

Dr Laurance’s grant of $680,00 will be used in a globally unique experiment to determine how rainforests will respond if droughts increase in the future.

Dr Julie Lovisa has been awarded an Early Career Researcher grant of $325,650 to further her work on how quickly reclaimed land can be used.

A number of the JCU grants reflect the University’s important role into creating a brighter future for life in the tropics world-wide,

These include:

  • using cave guano to understand vegetation change throughout the islands of South East Asia;

  • improving the community-managed networks of no-take marine reserves in the Coral Triangle Region to the north of Australia;

  • research aimed at understanding the social mechanisms in the Asia-Pacific region relating to the benefits of transnational seafood commodity chains; and

  • studying the global problem of ageing populations by looking at how transnational Papua New Guinean families plan for old age.

Professor Paul Dirks, one of the key discovers of the Australopithecus sediba fossils – a potential direct human ancestor – in South Africa, will receive more than $250,000 to document the environment in which sediba lived and died and help in future exploration for hominid fossils.

With a grant of $435,000, Professor David Bellwood will lead research to find ways to restore degraded reefs, and Professor Geoff Jones will use his Discovery funding of $434,000 to provide the first insights into how coral reef fish diversity responds to increased subdivision and isolation of reef habitat.

JCU Media: Jim O’Brien 4781 4822 or 0418 892449.