Cutting-edge research in focus at USC event

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Cutting-edge research in focus at USC event


Published on 30 November 2012

30 November 2012

Dozens of researchers will discuss their latest cutting-edge, collaborative projects underway at the University of the Sunshine Coast during a one-day Symposium on campus on Monday 3 December.

The four themes will be Aquaculture, Forest Sciences, Water Sciences, and Sustainability focused on Societal Adaptation.

The Collaborative Research Networks (CRN) Symposium called “USC Research: Building Capacity”, will be held from 8.45am to 4.45pm at the USC Innovation Centre, Sippy Downs.

USC Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Helen Wallace said the symposium would highlight USC’s strengths and aspirations in research, given the recent $5.45million in CRN funding from the Commonwealth Government over three years complemented by $2.9million in USC support.

USC CRN Project Manager Marieka Easterley said about 90 people, including academics, postgraduate research students, industry, government and regional stakeholders, would attend the first-time event.

She said participants would include USC academics and collaborative partners from the University of Tasmania and Griffith University.

The Government-funded CRN Program and complementary USC Research Fellowship scheme are the latest USC strategies for building research capacity.

The Research Fellows will talk about their research passions and achievements. Presenters will include:
• Dr Kate Mounsey discussing new research directions on dealing with the contagious skin infection, scabies;
• Dr Tomer Ventura, who recently completed his doctorate in Israel and won a prestigious ARC grant for early career researchers, examining the sexual metamorphosis of crustaceans and how findings can be applied, such as in pest management;
• Dr Steve Ogbourne, who has been involved in biodiscovery projects such as plant and animal-derived natural products that possess anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, wound-healing or cosmetic properties;
• Associate Professor Paul Salmon discussing innovation in the study of human factors in decision-making and situational awareness, for example in road safety and accident analysis;
• Dr David McMillan, a medical researcher who will join USC in 2013, giving insights into his investigations of different Streptococcus bacteria and bacterial infections of medical devices;
• Dr Joanne Macdonald, a molecular engineering expert, demonstrating how researchers can develop innovative projects that have useful, practical applications in the real world;
• Associate Professor Neil Powell, who draws on a large network of contacts from his recent work in Europe to research sustainability, climate change adaptation and water governance;
• Dr David Schoeman discussing field projects to test predictions of climate change ecology and quantify ecosystem services provided by sandy beaches;
• Dr Helen Nahrung, an expert in insect-plant interactions, developing effective management methods of forestry pests in Queensland;
• Dr Scott N Lieske discussing spatial modelling in relation to biological conservation, natural resource and built environment planning issues.

Julie Schomberg

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