May

Australian Institute of Nuclear Science & Engineering - Honours Scholarship

Hydrogen pyrolysis of organic matter preserved in speleothems for palaeoenvironmental analysis

Indicative funding: $5,000 administered by James Cook University

The project aims to provide a new technique for dating carbonates containing organic matter to overcome problems often encountered during conventional U/Th dating. Hydrogen pyrolysis (HyPy) is a highly innovative technique whereby a sample containing organic matter is heated according to a pre-programmed temperature cycle under high hydrogen pressures. Organic matter (OM) is liberated from the matrix and swept into a dry-ice-cooled silica trap. The recovered hydropyrolysates are DCM-soluble and, once retrieved, are ready for analysis. The project aims to investigate whether radiocarbon dating of hydropyrolysates recovered from speleothems can be successfully used to establish chronologies for speleothems.

Chief Investigators: Maria Box and Chris Wurster (College of Science & Engineering)


CRC for Developing Northern Australia Scheme - Projects

Integrating Health Care Planning for Health and Prosperity in North Queensland

Indicative funding: $750,000 over 4 years administered by James Cook University

Improving health and prosperity across Northern Australia is constrained by planning silos and limited creativity in models-of-care. North Queensland (NQ) has a unique opportunity to unite health industry partners and improve efficiencies and effectiveness in service delivery. Building on findings from our Health Situational Analysis we will co-create integrated systems for mapping population need, health services and workforce, prioritising areas for action. This work brings together key public and private health system partners across North Queensland, including Hospital and Health Services, Primary Health Networks and the Community Controlled Health Sector to take a regional approach to strengthening the integration of care and place-based planning of workforce and service implementation in North Queensland. The organizational recognition of the Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre (TAAHC) streamlines these relationships. We will work with all TAAHC partners, plus QAIHC and WQPHN to take a regional approach in NQ, whilst working with expert technical reference group members from NT and WA to ensure shared learning across the north. Then, working closely with service providers and consumers we will facilitate place-based planning and design, implement and evaluate new models-of-care that will optimise health and economic outcomes, consumer and workforce satisfaction.

Chief Investigators: Sarah Larkins, Stephanie Topp, Alex Edelman, Nishila Moodley, Edward Strivens and Maxine Whittaker (College of Medicine & Dentistry, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences and Cairns & Hinterland Health Service District)

in partnership with: Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre Limited ($330,000 over 4 yrs)


Department of Industry - Innovations Connections

Testing of insecticidal and repellency

Indicative funding: $49,214 administered by James Cook University

Testing the mosquito repellency of a topical lotion product manufactured by Australian Blue Cypress P/L (ABCPL) using colony Ae. aegypti mosquitoes in order to provide data for accreditation by the Australian pesticides and veterinary medicines authority (APVMA).

Chief Investigators: Stephan Karl and Melanie Koinari (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)

in partnership with: Australian Blue Cypress Pty Ltd ($49,214)


Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation - Research Grant

Health informatics for mental health at FNQ

Indicative funding: $5,000 administered by James Cook University

This project will construct a mental health database combining demographic, household economic, geographic and pharmaceutical information on 1000 unique emergency mental health related admissions at four FNQ Hospital and Health Services, Cairns, Townsville, Mount Isa and Atherton. The construction of the database will follow the relevant privacy and data security protocols. It would then be used for a more detailed evidence-based explanation of patterns and variation of incidents adjusting for confounding and contributing factors and offsets including economic and demographic factors such as age-stratified population, household income, existing co-morbidities and lifestyle choices.

Chief Investigators: Sourav Das and Alan Clough (College of Science & Engineering, College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)


Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre Limited - Research Seed Grants

(COMFITE) Efficacy, acceptability and adherence with custom-made footwear in people with a history of diabetes-related foot disease.

Indicative funding: $50,000 administered by James Cook University

Approximately 8% (n=80,000) of Northern Australians have diabetes of whom about a quarter (n=20,000) will develop foot disease putting them at risk of amputation and death and costing ~$24 million each year. The most common cause of diabetes-related foot complications is excessive pressure on an area of an insensate foot. Footwear designed to limit pressure on the feet has been shown to reduce the risk of foot ulcers. The most appropriate type of footwear is however unknown. This pilot clinical trial examines the efficacy and acceptability of footwear designed to the shape of an individuals’ feet using three-dimensional printing.

Chief Investigators: Jon Golledge and Joseph Moxon (College of Medicine & Dentistry)


Nurse-led and Aboriginal health worker supported model for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea diagnosis and management in remote Queensland

Indicative funding: $50,000 over 2 years administered by James Cook University

This project involves trial and evaluation of nurse-led, and Aboriginal health workers (AHWs) supported, integrated model for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) diagnosis and management in Mount Isa. After appropriate training and upskilling, nurses and AHWs will offer diagnosis and management of OSA. Patients with moderate-severe OSA will be managed locally, while atypical/complex patients will be referred to specialists. Validated questionnaires and objective measures will be used to assess treatment effectiveness, waiting time reduction, treatment adherence and feasibility and acceptability of the model. Stakeholder interviews will help in identifying opportunities for improvement and strategies for sustaining and systematising the model over time.

Chief Investigators: Yaqoot Fatima, Godrey Martis, Isabelle Skinner, Timothy Skinner, Romola Bucks, Peter Eastwood, Stephanie King, Santosh Jatrana and Abdullah Mamun (Mt Isa Centre for Rural & Remote Health, North West Hospital and Health Service, La Trobe University, The University of Western Australia and The University of Queensland)


April

Anglogold Ashanti Australia Ltd - Research Grant

Timing of Geological Events at Mt Clark Breccia Complex - Honours Project.

Indicative funding: $30,000 administered by James Cook University

The proposed Honours project will attempt to establish a relative timing of geological events at the Mt Clark breccia complex by defining of a sequence of geological and hydrothermal events. This should include the characterization of alteration mineralogy and metal zonation within the project area and defining the sequence in which hydrothermal events (veins, breccias and intrusions) occurred. The work should integrate field and drill core observations, sample analysis and any other required methods to produce a paragenetic sequence of events that led to gold mineralisation at the Mt Clark project.

Chief Investigator: Paul Dirks with the help of Bianca Ligasacchi and Rachael Hammond (College of Science & Engineering and AngloGold Ashanti Australia Ltd)


Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment - Advancing Pest Animal and Weed Control Solutions Competitive Grant Round

Applying environmental DNA (eDNA) methods for Yellow crazy ant detection, a sensitive and less labour-intensive approach to invasive ant detection

Indicative funding: $629,505 over 3 years administered by James Cook University

Invasive invertebrates in Australia are estimated to impact agricultural production losses by $4.7 billion annually and cost up to $8 billion annually considering all impacts and expenses. More specifically, invasive ants are a significant threat to agricultural production, biodiversity, tourism, personal property, and local business and industry. Current methods for invasive ant detection (i.e. baited traps or cards, pitfall traps, and detection dogs) rely on trapping, smelling, or sighting active individuals and are therefore labour-intensive, costly, and highly reliant on weather conditions. The proposed project will apply environmental DNA methods for yellow crazy ant (YCA) detection. YCA has been listed as a high priority species under the National Invasive Ant Biosecurity Plan 2018-2028, and will be used as a case study. The proposed methodology could be applied to the existing infestations and taken up by farmers, as well as being applied to other terrestrial pests.

Chief Investigator: Cecilia Villacorta Rath with the help of Lori Lach (TropWATER and College of Science & Engineering)


Australian Research Council - Discovery - Projects

On the physiology of plant transpiration

Indicative funding: $111,190 over 3 years administered by Australian National University

The aim is to better understand plant water use (transpiration): to determine the relative roles of the environment, both aerial [absorbed radiation, both long and short wave, humidity, windspeed and temperature] and below ground [e.g. soil moisture content and resistance to root penetration], and of the plant [stomata, water pathways inside the leaf, and root water status] in controlling transpiration rate. The project will improve formulae describing the environmental and biological aspects of transpiration. A novel technique will be developed to measure the water potential distribution within the leaf. Results will inform breeders of the abilities of different plants to transpire rapidly when demand is high, or to conserve water.

Chief Investigators: Graham Farquhar, Lucas Cernusak and Abraham Stroock (Australian National University, College of Science & Engineering and Cornell University)


Pathways for performance improvements of organic light emitting diodes

Indicative funding: $94,000 over 4 years administered by University of Queensland

Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) represent the next generation technology for displays and lighting. Despite their rapid uptake, one of the factors limiting their application in lighting is the efficiency roll-off at high brightness. This project aims to work towards solutions for this problem using an innovative combination of simulation studies and experimental work. Expected outcomes include improved theoretical and experimental approaches leading to new design rules for OLEDs. This should provide significant benefits such as a pathway for development of improved efficient, high brightness OLEDs for applications in low energy consumption lighting and long-lasting, bright displays.

Chief Investigators: Ian Gentle, Bronson Philippa and Almantas Pivrikas (The University of Queensland, College of Science & Engineering and Murdoch University)


CSIRO - Top Up Scholarship

Applications for Magnetic Resonance Image Guidance in Radiation Therapy in Prostate Cancer.

Indicative funding: $51,000 over 6 years administered by James Cook University

Prostate cancer is a serious disease with a large burden on the Australian health system, often treated with radiation therapy (RT). A specific RT treatment called Magnetic resonance image-guided radiation therapy (MRIgRT) combines imaging with therapy to provide potentially superb targeting. In this project, technical machine learning solutions for novel applications of MRIgRT will be explored.

Chief Investigators: Mostafa Rahimi Azghadi, Jacob Mohan and Febrio Lunardo with the help of Ashley Gillman (College of Science & Engineering and Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation)


Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources - Business Research and Innovation Initiative

Carbon capture and dissemination amongst mangrove forests.

Indicative funding: $64,799 administered by James Cook University

The aim of this project is to provide the Department, including its specified experts and consultants, with key unpublished and published field data collected by Dr Duke and MangroveWatch - based on broadly defined parameters for carbon capture and dissemination amongst mangrove forests. These data have been gathered over three decades and relate to the significant mangrove ecosystem.

Chief Investigator: Norman Duke (TropWATER)


Ecological Society of Australia - Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment

Ecological influences on biodiverse morphology in climbing geckos

Indicative funding: $6,670 administered by James Cook University

Ecological interactions are one of the main drivers of biodiversity generation. The influence of ecology on the morphology of organisms is one such interaction that influences the generation of biodiversity. Australian Diplodactyline geckos are some of the most morphologically and ecologically diverse systems in the world. They occupy a diverse range of habitats and have evolved unique toe pads enable the exploitation of several substrates within the habitats they occupy. Therefore, my project will investigate how toe pads have evolved in response to habitat use in Diplodactyline geckos. We will examine these relationships by studying habitat use and morphology, with locomotor performance as an intermediary link.

Chief Investigator: Lin Schwarzkopf with the help of Rishab Pillai (College of Science & Engineering)


Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation - Research Grant

Elucidating previously undiscovered stinging organelles in the Irukandji jellyfish Carukia barnesi

Indicative funding: $5,000 administered by James Cook University

Nematocysts are stinging organelles found in jellyfish that contain and inject their venom. From the highly venomous irukandji jellyfish Carukia barnesi, a previously undiscovered type of nematocyst has been found. We seek to use high magnification and fluorescent microscopy to determine the nature of this new nematocyst, to further understand the venom ecology of this lethal jellyfish.

Chief Investigators: Emily O'Hara, Jamie Seymour and Jen Whan (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine and Research Infrastructure)


Documentation and evaluation of Aboriginal medicinal plants for anti-inflammatory agents

Indicative funding: $5,000 administered by James Cook University

Aboriginal people in Australia, especially in remote areas, have a vast knowledge of medicinal plants and bush food (Packer et al., 2012) that have supported their sustenance and protected them against different ailments for thousands of years. In Far North Queensland (FNQ), there are more than 18 Aboriginal communities and their customary food and medical knowledge differ from other parts of Australia. Their knowledge is shaped by their rich tropical forests that are home to range of medicinal plants and bush tucker. It is believed that these plants and bush food keep some remote Aboriginal people healthy especially protected against Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The prevalence of IBD in Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory is almost 8-37-times less than the non-indigenous population (Leach et al., 2014; Iyngkaran, 2015). Although genetic and other factors cannot be ruled out, diet, which plays a pivotal role in shaping the architecture and functionality of resident microbes in the gut (Zmora et al., 2019), may be responsible for this health outcome. Indeed, some Indigenous populations are known to possess unique microbiota compared to non-indigenous population (Iyngkaran, 2015) and we hypothesize that this could be due to inclusion of medicinal plants and bush food in their diet. Unfortunately, since younger generation are not interested to learn the Aboriginal medicinal plants and bush food knowledge, the rich customary knowledge is dying with the community elders. There is urgent need to document the surviving customary food and medical knowledge of some remote Indigenous communities before they are lost forever, which has both cultural and health ramifications in near future. Therefore, this study proposes to document and study the largely untapped pharmacopoeia of Mbabaram Aboriginal people in Atherton and discover viable medicinal plant candidates for anti-inflammatory screening.

Chief Investigators: Phurpa Wangchuk and Gerald Paul Turpin (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)


Save Our Seas Foundation - Grant

Using epaulette sharks as an indicator species to predict elasmobranch reproductive changes from climate change

Indicative funding: $4,295 administered by James Cook University

Defining life history characteristics of elasmobranchs over centuries of research has been pivotal data to understand underlying biology as well as facilitating proper management and conservation. Within life history characteristics, reproductive biology and endocrinology is a generally lacking field for the majority of elasmobranchs where approximately 46% of this taxonomic group are poorly understood in this area. Our study aims to use a well understood model species to predict how climate change-mediated ocean warming will shift reproductive timing and success in the future. These reproductive models are crucial for implementing recovery of elasmobranchs worldwide in our rapidly changing environment.

Chief Investigators: Carolyn Wheeler and Jodie Rummer with the help of John Mandelman (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and New England Aquarium)


Wildlife Health Australia - Research Grant

Monitoring of avian influenza in samples collected from aquatic birds in North Queensland

Indicative funding: $24,776 over 2 years administered by James Cook University

At least 576 fresh faecal samples from wild ducks and magpie geese will be collected as environmental samples in the Townsville region. Swabs in transport media and immediately transported to the laboratory. Samples will be pooled and nucleic acid extracted. The extracted nucleic acid will be screened using assays based on TaqMan that will detect avian influenza. Pools that react will be individually extracted and tested. Avian influenza isolates will be checked using TaqMan specific for H5 and H7. Should the samples react in these assays it will be sent to AAHL for further testing and the CVO will be notified. Sequencing on all isolates other than those reacting in H5 and H7 will be carried out to determine genotype and to confirm pathotype.

Chief Investigators: Graham Burgess and Paul Horwood (College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)


March

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research - Fisheries Program - Small Research Activity

Spatially integrated Portfolio Approach to support livelihoods

Indicative funding: $248,458 over 3 years administered by James Cook University

The Integrated Livelihoods Approach (ILA) provides an approach to diagnose and help navigate interrelated and cumulative impacts, trade-offs and co-benefits of interacting livelihood activities occurring in spatially defined coastal areas. Participatory and interdisciplinary research, integrated governance, negotiation, trust-building, ongoing conflict management, and cross- sectoral and political engagement are central to the ILA. This project will establish the mechanisms for achieving the strengthened networks, integrated governance and policy, and improved planning required to implement an ILA in Western Province, Solomon Islands, with the potential to scale-up to other locations.

Chief Investigators: Amy Diedrich, Jacqueline Lau, Tiffany Morrison, Nicholas Murray, Stephanie Duce, Claire Holland and Faye Siota (College of Science & Engineering, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, College of Business, Law & Governance and WorldFish Solomon Islands)


Australian Research Council - Discovery - Projects

Pyrogenic Carbon Sequestration in Australian Soils

Indicative funding: $401,000 over 2 years administered by James Cook University

Pyrogenic Carbon (PyC; 'charcoal') is a porrly understood component of the global carbon cycle. It is important because it is resistant to degradation and hence has potential soil carbon sequestration benefits. This project applies a new technique (hydrogen pyrolysis) in combination with spectroscopic techniques to quantify PyC in a pan-Australian soil sample set, collected using uiniform stratified sampling and preparation protocols. This will enable the mapping of soil PyC stocks in relation to environmental and soil variables across Australia. The results will enable the understanding of the controls on PyC sequestration potential in Australian soils and contriobute to ongoing efforts to quantify soil stocks and dynamics globally.

Chief Investigators: Michael Bird and Das Souvras with the help of Jonathan Sanderman and Gustavo Saiz (College of Science & Engineering, Universidad Catolica de la Santisima Concepcion and Woodland Park Zoo)


Predicting genetic exchange between species under climate change

Indicative funding: $73,912 over 3 years administered by ANU

This project aims to resolve the factors that lead to the mixing of species’ gene pools, with a focus on whether climate change will increase such mixing, possibly leading to extinction by genetic swamping. The significance is that the project would improve our understanding of speciation and species’ vulnerability to rapid climate change through genetic mixing; a largely overlooked process. Key outcomes would be to generate new knowledge of a fundamental evolutionary process and extend the toolbox of biodiversity managers facing rapid environmental change. The project would benefit Australia by highlighting our unique biodiversity and scientific capability, and by training early career researchers in advanced evolutionary biology.

Chief Investigators: Craig Moritz, Megan Higgie, Conrad Hoskin and Stephen Zozaya (Australian National University and College of Science & Engineering)


Australian Research Council - Linkage - Projects

Integrating climate adaptation into rainforest restoration plantings

Indicative funding: $410,237 over 4 years administered by James Cook University

This project aims to investigate the impact of within species adaptation to climate on reforestation success in the Australian Wet Tropics. For a suite of six species of tropical tree frequently employed in rainforest restoration plantings in northeast Queensland, we will test the hypothesis that collecting seed from populations in similar ecoclimatic settings to the planting site will result in superior seedling growth and survival. The results of the study will allow us to provide practical advice to reforestation practitioners about the importance of matching the provenance of seed source to planting sites, and opportunities for selecting provenances pre-adapted to predicted future climatic conditions at planting sites.

Chief Investigators: Lucas Cernusak, Martin Breed, Susan Laurance and Darren Crayn with the help of Alexander Cheesman, Maurizio Rossetto, Christopher Noune and Kenneth Chan (College of Science & Engineering, Flinders University, University of Exeter, Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust and Australian Genome Research Facility)

in partnership with: Australian Genome Research Facility ($15,000 over 3 yrs)


Department of the Environment and Energy - National Environmental Science Program (NESP) - Tropical Water Quality Hub (TWQ Hub)

NESP 7.1 - Continuity Proposal for ‘Project 25’ – Farmers, Water Quality and On-Farm Decision-Making

Indicative funding: $50,000 administered by Reef and Rainforest Research Centre

Landholder concerns surrounding the credibility of broad-scale water quality monitoring and modelling initiatives in the GBR catchment area has emerged as one of the major cane industry engagement challenges for promoting significant farming practice change, and delivering water quality improvements. Based around small, sub-catchment scale water quality monitoring in a key cane growing region of the GBR catchment, Project 25 successfully utilised a bottom-up approach to integrated sub-catchment monitoring and intervention to identify ‘hot spot’ sub-catchments through localised water quality monitoring. In a collaborative programs between scientists from a range of organisations (JCU, CSIRO) and cane farming stakeholders, the Project emphasised industry ownership and control of monitoring design, and delivery of locally targeted water quality data and extension effort to provide confidence in on-farm decision making and facilitate practice change.

Chief Investigator: Aaron Davis (TropWATER)


Assessing the Benefits of Using Existing Drainage infrastructure to Meet Reef Water Quality Targets.

Indicative funding: $50,000 administered by Reef and Rainforest Research Centre

Landholders and local drainage authorities in the Russell-Mulgrave catchment have indicated their support for using controlled drainage to improve water quality outcomes. However, successful implementation requires underpinning modelling to understand where drainage control structures would best be located and what impact or benefit they might have. The drainage network in the Russell-Mulgrave catchment has only just been recently, and only partly, mapped, and no ground-truthing or modelling has yet been applied. This project will complete the high resolution drainage network mapping, ground-truth that mapping and apply hydrological modelling to determine the best locations and approaches for drainage control structures.

Chief Investigator: Damien Burrows with the help of Aaron Davis (TropWATER)


Emergency Medicine Foundation - Leading Edge

Classifying the Type and Severtiy of Traumatic Injury in North Queensland: A Multicentre Retrospective Study

Indicative funding: $97,580 over 3 years administered by Queensland Health

Queenslanders living in regional, rural and remote areas having a higher incidence of traumatic injury and are disadvantaged by prolonged prehospital times. The aim of this project is to define and describe trauma patients transported by aeromedical emergency services to and between Townsville, Cairns, Mt Isa and Mackay hospitals over a 3 - year period (2016-2018). A key objective is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of clinical interventions and therapies from point-of-injury to hospital admission, and patient outcomes to hospital discharge. This data will help inform all stakeholders on the current state of emergency trauma care in the tropics.

Chief Investigators: Clinton Gibbs, Hayley Letson, Geoffrey Dobson, Luke Lawton, Brett Hoggard and Ben Butson with the help of Erik Biros, Daniel Lindsay, Richard Murray and Ulrich Orda (Queensland Health, College of Medicine & Dentistry, College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, Townsville Hospital and Health Services and North West Hospital and Health Service)


International Development Research Centre - Livestock Vaccine Innovation fund

Development and deployment of a subunit vaccine against bovine babesiosis

Indicative funding: $1,617,074 administered by James Cook University

Bovine babesiosis caused by Babesia bovis is a tick-transmitted disease that causes severe, often fatal disease in cattle, resulting in significant economic losses to beef and dairy industries worldwide, as well as to individuals and small subsistence farmers in endemic areas. This project aims to make a dual-acting, subunit vaccine against babesiosis that is practical and easily deployable in babesiaendemic regions worldwide to prevent both acute disease in infected animals and parasite transmission by tick vectors. Farmers will benefit by protecting their animals against bovine babesiosis and achieve improved livestock production to meet local and global demand for animal products.

Chief Investigators: Brian Cooke, Carlos Suarez and Vignesh Rathinasamy (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, United States Department of Agriculture and Monash University)


National Health & Medical Research Council - Targeted Research

Defining and predicting Healthy Ageing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Populations (HATS)

Indicative funding: $159,942 over 5 years administered by University of Western Australia

There is no current model of healthy ageing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island populations. Although there are many similarities to health related quality of life, there remain fundamental differences to the domains and uses for a model of healthy ageing. In response to worldwide population ageing, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently released a blueprint for Ageing and Health (2015). This document has produced a framework that may be applied to all populations. This blueprint has adopted a life course approach to health determinants and proposed a broad based intrinsic capacity of individuals that interactions with the environment and society. This framework will need to be strengthened with specific cultural and aspects for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island populations. We will apply this approach to our previously studied populations for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples to define healthy ageing. These studeis include both longitudinal and cross- sectional studies. Using our previously studied cohorts from the last 15 years, we will then deer

Chief Investigators: Leon Flicker, Dawn Bessarab, Venessa Curnow, Dina LoGiudice, Roslyn Malay, Kate Smith, David Atkinson, Edward Strivens, Briony Dow and Jeremey Temple with the help of Sarah G Russell and Rachel Quigley (The University of Western Australia, Cairns & Hinterland Health Service District, Melbourne Health, College of Medicine & Dentistry, National Ageing Research Institute and The University of Melbourne)


Natural Environment Research Council - Global Challenges Research Fund

Impacts of Air Pollution on Productivity of Natural and Cultivated Tropical C4 Grasses: Implications in the Face of Land Use Change in Brazil

Indicative funding: $114,250 over 2 years administered by James Cook University

The overall aim of this project is to assess the impact of currently observed, and more common future episodes of high ozone (O3) concentrations in the context of changing land- cover (from native C4 pasture to sugarcane) at the regional scale in southern Brazil. This information is of direct interest to governmental, non- governmental, private-sector, academic and community stakeholders with respect to the diverse benefits tropical grasses provide to society.

Chief Investigators: Alex Cheesman and Lucas Cernusak (College of Science & Engineering)


Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada - New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF)

The Transformative Potential of Socially Accountable Education: Understanding Global and Local Perspectives

Indicative funding: $8,950 over 4 years administered by Lakehead University

While social accountability has fundamentally changed medical education, the lived experiences and practices of social accountability are less well known. Within the context of COVID-19, a group of researchers at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine are seeking to explore stories of social accountability across different medical schools and health systems across the globe by researching those whom are students and/or staff at schools of socially­ accountable medical education.

Chief Investigators: Erin Cameron and Torres Woolley (Lakehead University and College of Medicine & Dentistry)


The Royal Society of Queensland - Grant

Mapping Coastal wetland extent, heterogeneity and use by aquatic fauna using UAV technology to inform applied environmental management of tropical wetlands.

Indicative funding: $1,110 administered by James Cook University

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in research has surged, however this has not been matched by a parallel increase in their use for conservation works. This projects aims to assess barriers to the use of UAV's in environmental management by surveying conservation professionals. Solutions to these barriers will then be incorporated into UAV surveys assessing complexity and connectivity in tropical estuaries. Overall this project will build connection between the management and research community and showcase ways in which this inexpensive, customisable technology can be used in local level conservation.

Chief Investigators: Sophie Walker and Nathan Waltham (TropWATER)


Townsville Hospital and Health Service - Study Education Research Trust Account (SERTA)

Assessment of Renal Function in Neonates and infants using Cystatin C.

Indicative funding: $24,000 administered by James Cook University

Diagnosis of early acute kidney injury (AKI) can prevent renal failure in babies (<2 years of age). This non-invasive method validation study will utilise parallel alternative method testing for renal function tests, to examine the clinical applicability and accuracy of implementing Cystatin-C (Cys-C), as a preferred biomarker for early AKI by: (1) determining if Cys-C is a more sensitive marker of impaired renal function and decline compared to serum creatinine in this cohort; (2) determine if eGFR derived from Cys-C is a more sensitive predictor of renal function decline; and (3) produce a clinical reference range for Cys-C for this cohort.

Chief Investigators: Andrew White, Yoga Kandasamy, Danica Vojisavljevic, Donna Rudd, Nathan Reeks and Teal Mogford (Townsville Hospital and Health Services, College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)


Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre Limited - Research Assistance Scheme

Use of telemedicine to improve access to medical termination of pregnancy services in Cape York: an pilot implementation study.

Indicative funding: $36,810 over 2 years administered by James Cook University

Despite estimates that one in four Australian women will have an induced abortion during their reproductive life, access to safe abortion care is limited, particularly for women living in rural and remote settings. The use of telehealth to deliver medical termination of pregnancy services into health facilities where there is no registered provider has been successful in other countries, but has not been attempted in Australia. This project will evaluate the implementation of a medical termination of pregnancy service delivered via telehealth into Cape York health facilities.

Chief Investigators: Sandra Downing, Cate Nagle, Darren Russell, Kim Veiwasenavanua and Caroline de Costa (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, College of Healthcare Sciences, Cairns & Hinterland Health Service District, Torres & Cape Hospital & Health Service and College of Medicine & Dentistry)