Project summaries - 2010 Environmental Research - seeding grants

2010 Environmental Research - seeding grants
Organisation Category Project title Amount $
Industry and Investment NSW Biodiversity and conservation Developing next generation sequencing for biodiversity assessment

20,000

Macquarie University Enviromental pollution Assessing groundwater fungi as novel bioindicators of contamination

19,264

Southern Cross University Integrated landscape management What lies beneath? A new method to map sub-surface acidity

20,000

University of Newcastle Climate change Local sea-level rise in the coastal waters of NSW

20,000

University of Wollongong Resource efficiency and sustainability Microbial filtration using carbon nanotube membranes

14,950

5 projects  

TOTAL

$94,214

Industry and Investment NSW
Developing next generation sequencing for biodiversity assessment
Grant: $20,000

DNA barcoding in conjunction with recent advances in next generation sequencing technology promises to greatly accelerate the pace of future biodiversity surveys. This meta-genomic approach has yet to be applied to examination of key indicator species assemblages which are diagnostic of broader ecosystem health. Here we propose to investigate the utility of DNA barcoding in conjunction with next generation sequencing to rapidly and accurately assess the species diversity of ant assemblages sampled from the north coast area of NSW. If successful, the approach would provide an exemplar for accelerating the pace and expanding the scale of future biodiversity analyses.

Macquarie University
Assessing groundwater fungi as novel bioindicators of contamination
Grant: $19,264

Contamination threatens groundwater resources worldwide, yet there are few reliable bioindicators or endemic groundwater test organisms for ecological risk assessments. Heterotrophic fungi represent a potential novel tool for assessing groundwater quality. Common fungal species Penicillium and Rhodotorula are both widely distributed in NSW aquifers and potentially sensitive to contamination, being present in clean, and absent from contaminated locations. This project will evaluate the sensitivity of these species to common contaminants and provide proof of concept for these organisms as bioindicators and as laboratory-culturable toxicity test organisms, leading to a widely applicable tool for ecological risk assessment in aquifers.

Southern Cross University
What lies beneath? A new method to map sub-surface acidity
Grant: $20,000

Broad community concern exists about climate change implications for land management. Low-lying coastal floodplains and wetlands are particularly vulnerable to inundation by rising sea-levels. These floodplains contain acid sulfate soils and large quantities of acidity and trace metals. Seawater inundation has the potential to greatly enhance the release of acidity and trace metals, with a high capacity to severely degrade wetlands, estuaries and farmland. This project will develop a new and novel method to rapidly and accurately map sub-surface acidity. This technique will be used in the targeted management of coastal floodplains to mitigate the effects of predicted sea-level rise.

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University of Newcastle
Local sea-level rise in the coastal waters of NSW
Grant: $20,000

Although sea-level rise is the most certain and important impact of climate change, there is considerable uncertainty in the magnitude of local sea-level rise in coastal areas. This project addresses the uncertainty by investigating a novel method for a joint analysis of sea-level changes from satellite remote sensing and tide gauge. The local sea-level rise is to be produced by combined effects of global sea level rise, local factors and seasonal ocean variations. Outcomes will include reliable estimates of the regional distribution of sea-level rise for NSW, which will significantly contribute to better projections of sea-level changes in the future.

University of Wollongong
Microbial filtration using carbon nanotube membranes
Grant: $14,950

This project will explore the potential of membranes composed of a revolutionary new type of material, carbon nanotubes, for purifying industrial and urban water supplies. Carbon nanotubes have super-slick surfaces that water cannot bind to. Less energy is therefore needed to purify water by reverse osmosis, a method more Australian towns and industries may have to adopt to ensure a continuous and safe water supply. Owing to their incredibly small size, carbon nanotubes can also kill harmfull bacteria. This may provide another benefit to industries and municipalities that choose to treat their waste water using membranes composed of carbon nanotubes.

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Page last updated: 02 August 2012