3 USC research videos selected for national stage

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3 USC research videos selected for national stage


Associate Lecturer in Serious Games and USC PhD student Katryna Starks.

1 March 2017

Three videos featuring USC research on road safety, video games and climate change are among 21 projects selected from across Australia for a national showcase starting today, Wednesday 1 March.

The short, dynamic videos will be shown at the three-day annual Universities Australia Higher Education Conference in Canberra. (See links to videos below.)

In the first, Research Fellow Dr Vanessa Beanland describes her study of visual cognition among drivers and her passion for improving road safety through USC’s Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems.

“My research focuses on situations where drivers fail to notice objects that are clearly within their view, whether the object is something small like a road sign or something that seems obvious, like a train or motorcycle,” she said.

“Studying people’s eye movements shows that drivers can ‘look without seeing’, and this can happen to anyone. I want to help develop innovative strategies to reduce road trauma.”

In the second video, Associate Lecturer in Serious Games and USC PhD student Katryna Starks explains how video games can have a positive influence on young women in terms of empowerment and leadership.

“The focus of my research is to find out how female players react to female protagonists in games. If the character is strong, does the player feel strong? Does it affect her self-worth?

“In my study, females aged between and 11 and 22 played a game and answered questions. Those who played a beauty-based game felt insecure about their looks. Those who played an adventurous woman felt empowered, intelligent and equal to males.”

In the third video, Senior Research Fellow Dr Tristan Pearce outlines his research on how climate change is affecting the lives and livelihoods of people around the world.

“The poles are melting, sea levels are rising and reefs are dying, but it’s not just plants and animals that are affected – it’s us,” Dr Pearce said.

“The integration of Indigenous knowledge and western science is the key to getting a holistic understanding of climate change. I am working with people in the Canadian Arctic, South Pacific Islands and Australia to learn how they are adapting and what they can teach us.”

USC Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Roland De Marco said it was wonderful to have three USC researchers featured at the conference, a major national platform attracting hundreds of delegates from education, government, industry and media.

“The selection of three USC videos in this national Vice-Chancellors Research Pitch Challenge is prestigious for the researchers and great recognition for our University,” he said.

Links to the videos:
Dr Vanessa Beanland
Katryna Starks
Dr Tristan Pearce

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