The Environment Institute congratulates the following Future Fellows!
Future Fellow: Dr Simon Baxter
Summary: Sustaining crop yield and maintaining food security is a significant worldwide concern. This project aims to strengthen insect pest control strategies and improve bio-insecticide use in agriculture through better understanding of the mode of action of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticides. It aims to improve their efficacy and evaluate opportunities to develop bio-insecticides based on plant saponins. This will assist in determining the risk of insecticide resistant moths migrating to Australia, and within our borders. This project aims to provide opportunities to improve transgenic Bt-crops and Bt- sprays, provide commercial development of new bio-insecticides, and develop optimal control strategies for major Australian migratory pests.
ARC funding: $769,527 over four years
More about Simon’s research.
Future Fellow: Associate Professor Lian Pin Koh
Summary: Growing global demands for water, food and energy will continue to intensify land-use conflicts, contribute to carbon emissions, and exacerbate threats to biodiversity. Consumption needs to be balanced with environmental protection. This project aims to frame the issues of food security, rural development, carbon emissions and biodiversity loss from the perspective of ecological and economic theory. It will use cutting-edge analyses to assess the implications and trade-offs of alternative land-use and development scenarios that reflect key socioeconomic and environmental priorities in Indonesia. Based on these analyses, decision-support tools will be developed to help Indonesian policymakers reconcile these objectives to achieve more sustainable development.
ARC funding: $879,112 over four years
Lian Pin’s blog: Conservation Drones.
Future Fellow: Dr Damien A Fordham
Summary: Current forecasts indicate that human-driven climate change will likely cause widespread biodiversity loss. However, climatic shifts during the Quaternary (2.6 million years ago to present), similar in magnitude to those projected for the 21st century, did not apparently cause extensive extinctions (with the exception of the megafauna). This project aims to use models linked to past responses imprinted in species genes to resolve whether the disparity between observed and predicted extinction rates comes from models over-predicting species loss due to climate change. It will use this genetic- demographic approach to improve predictions of biodiversity responses to global change by establishing the biological and environmental determinants of extinction.
ARC funding: $770,684 over four years
More about Damien.