Recent projects: Science
The Society’s science sponsorships are usually awarded to assist specific research projects, often to support university postgraduate students in their studies. Sponsorships have been awarded across all disciplines.
Dr Martin Steinbauer from La Trobe University in Melbourne is an entomologist with more than 12 years experience in the study of insect behaviour. In 2009, Martin will be researching species of hairy caterpillars to determine whether or not they mimic characteristics of other harmful caterpillar species – including stinging caterpillars. Martin hopes his research will assist people – especially students – in correctly identifying species.
Female giraffes are the supermodels of the animal kingdom – leggy, graceful and aloof. Up until now it was believed that they didn’t form strong social bonds, but recent research has revealed this theory may be incorrect. University of Queensland PhD candidate Kerryn Carter is on the case to shed some light on the little-known social dynamics of the species. Kerryn will undertake a two-year study in Etosha National Park, Namibia, documenting the interactions of 135 female giraffes.
The expansive 2000 sq. km Macquarie Marshes in north-western NSW support a variety of native birds. River regulation, however, has led to a reduction of the localised flooding upon which river red gums depend. University of NSW student Alice Blackwood is investigating the possible effects of their decline on bird-habitat quality.
Investigating fireplaces in regional Australia
Lynley Wallis and other researchers from Flinders University in Adelaide will undertake a highly innovative project to investigate archaeological fireplaces in rural Australia. The team will use cutting edge technologies such as ground penetrating radar to probe the sites.
Fireplaces are found throughout semi-arid Australia, but are under great threat from pastoral activities and erosion. They are highly valuable because they can be dated, allowing scientists to address questions about the timing of Aboriginal occupation as well as providing information about past environmental conditions. This project brings together leading scientists from the US and Australia, also working collaboratively with members of indigenous communities and pastoral owners.
Pim Bongaerts – Centre for Marine Studies (JCU)
Exploring the unknown deep reefs of the Coral Sea
Stewart Nicol – University of Tasmania
The unusual reproductive behaviour of Tasmanian echidnas
Christina Zdenek – Australian National University
Individual voice identification and conservation of Palm Cockatoos (Probosciger aterrimus)
Isobel Booksmythe – Australian National University
The costs of interspecific territory
Richard Milner – Australian National University
Is bigger always better in a fiddler crab?
Shaun New – Australian National University
Vision and the evolution of communication in lizards
Read about other projects that we’ve sponsored: