University of Tasmania researchers have won Federal Government research grants worth more than $2 million.
Among the Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards aimed at improving Australia’s response to natural disasters is a $427,067 grant to the University’s School of Natural Sciences.
Dr Frances Sussmilch will lead the research into how to enhance plant survival during drought.
It will aim to identify the genes in a plant which minimise water loss during conditions of low humidity.
“This project aims to enhance drought survival by restricting water loss,” Dr Sussmilch said.
She said plant-based industries were expected to benefit from the breeding of improved, drought-adapted varieties for food security in a drying climate.
“Diverse land plant models will be examined to ensure broad applicability of results,” Dr Sussmilch said.
Tasmanian researchers have been awarded funding for a total of six projects:
3D printing of multi-level porosity glass, $400,661, Dr Vipul Gupta. This project aims to develop more sustainable and ceramic manufacturing procedures for multi-level porosity structures;
· Examination of intergenerational disadvantage, $395,945, Dr Kathleen Flanagan. Aims to improve public policy and welfare support for so-called problem families through analysis of data and epigenetics;
· The effect of ocean warming on temperate reef species, $426,718, Dr Scott Bennett. Aims to enhance the capacity to detect vulnerable areas of reef and their associated species;
· Investigation of the factors involved in stopping or allowing actions, $417,842, Dr Dora Matzke. Looks at the response inhibitions of defence-related personnel with the aim of minimising inappropriate actions;
· Assessment of the ocean’s role in the decline of Antarctic sea ice, $415,266, Dr Amelie Meyer. Observations from state-of-the-art equipment will address a gap in global knowledge and improve understanding of the changing dynamics in a region that regulates global weather and climate.
Nationally there were 200 grants awarded, worth a total of $81.8 million.