UNE researchers win $2 million in ARC grants

Published 29 November 2018

The University of New England (UNE) has attracted $2 million in prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) funding for 2019.

UNE researchers have been awarded three Discovery Project grants worth just over $1 million, a Discovery Indigenous grant of $523,000 and a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award of $370,000.

UNE Vice-Chancellor Professor Annabelle Duncan said the grants are worthy recognition for the university's world-class researchers.

"Our success in this latest round of grants demonstrates the high calibre of researchers at the University of New England and the importance of their research," Professor Duncan said. "These grants are highly competitive and represent the gold standard not just for Australian research but internationally. I congratulate all our successful researchers."

UNE Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Professor Heiko Daniel, said the funded research projects span a range of subject areas of high national interest - from pure mathematics applied to environmental challenges, Indigenous cultural knowledge systems and improving school language programs, to dinosaur evolution and new archaeological analytic techniques that allow us to learn from the past.

"These are the most competitive and prestigious research funds in Australia and our success continues to demonstrate the excellence and quality of research that is being conducted at UNE," Professor Daniel said. "I am thrilled that our researchers have been recognised with substantial grants this year. UNE’s research strategy is focussed on high-quality research with outcomes that impact society; our success with ARC is a key part of this strategy. Our researchers are active across many fields of inquiry, developing solutions to contemporary challenges and finding new answers to age-old questions."

The successful researchers include:

  • Dr Lorina Barker, who has earned a $523,000 Discovery Indigenous grant to track three Indigenous Songlines and explore their importance to cultural knowledge, history, language and identity;
  • Professor of Mathematics, Yihong Du, who has been awarded $464,000 to research propagation phenomena, which is implicated in the spread of invasive species, infectious diseases and cancer cells;
  • Professor Anne-Marie Morgan and Associate Professor Elizabeth Ellis, who were awarded $428,600 to investigate early year's language programs in schools in three Australian states;
  • Associate Professor Peter Grave, whose $173,100 grant will enable him to study power and politics in Iron Age Anatolia; and
  • Dr Nicolás Campione, who will use dinosaur teeth to investigate how diet influenced their spread and dominance during the Mesozoic period, courtesy of a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award.

UNE researchers collaborating with colleagues from other Australian universities - Dr Mark Moore, Dr Timothy Schaerf and Dr Brendan Wilkinson - have also received ARC Discovery Project funding for next year. Their research will delve into the evolution of fauna on the island of Flores, animal movement, and cryopreservation, respectively.

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