A diverse range of projects from researchers in UQ School of Biological Sciences researchers has attracted combined funding of $2,751,612 in the latest Australian Research Council (ARC) round – more than 23 per cent of funding awarded to Faculty of Science researchers.

$506,100 was awarded to Professor Bernie Degnan for a project which aims to decipher the fundamental mechanisms governing stem cell specification and formation. 
Other successful School of Biological Sciences Discovery projects were:

  • $413,500 to a project to discover the underlying traits that permit Australian reef corals to live near the edges of their ranges in relatively cool water (John Pandolfi; Catherine Lovelock; Eugenia Sampayo; Ruth Reef).
  • $388,800 to a project to determine whether Australian cycads were threatened by historical processes, such as ancient climate change, megafaunal extinction, increased fire regimes and pollinator disruption, or by post-European changes to their environment (Lyn Cook; Gimme Walter; Lucy Terry; Robert Roemer; David Booth).
  • $340,100 to extend the theory and practice of decision science to explore the question of how the apparently divergent objectives of biodiversity conservation and economic development can be balanced (Oscar Venter; Hugh Possingham; Luis Carrasco).

Successful new School of Biological Sciences Discovery Early Career Award recipients (DECRAS) are:

  • $317,000 to Emily Wong to understand how changes to genome architecture over evolutionary time are linked to the diversity of animal morphology;
  • $368,500 to Duan Biggs to investigate the conditions under which policies that prohibit or regulate trade in wildlife products are more likely to lead to conservation outcomes.
  • $363,612 to Kevin Kocot to use new genomes from understudied lineages of Mollusca to identify the genes involved in shell formation (biomineralisation) and infer their function and evolutionary history.

Success by School of Biological Sciences researchers was mirrored by other UQ Faculty of Science researchers, who attracted combined funding of $11.748 million in the 2016 ARC round – 28 per cent of UQ’s total funding of almost $42 million.

In the past three years UQ Science researchers have attracted $37,199,709 in ARC Discovery Projects and DECRAs, in these highly competitive schemes.

In this year’s round of ARC Discovery Projects, 22 faculty projects attracted $8,495,969 – 28 per cent of UQ funding awarded – for topics ranging from plant resistance genes, to cycads, black holes, water-rock interactions at the Earth’s surface, and a mathematical model of cells during the development of embryos. 

The faculty’s 21.7 per cent success rate – well ahead of the national average of 17.7 per cent – reflected the quality and relevance of applications.

In addition, UQ science researchers were involved in successful Discovery Projects and Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities applications for other UQ units and external institutions.

Nine UQ Science researchers were awarded DECRAS valued at a total $3,252,158 – 33 per cent of the UQ total awarded.

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