ARC success for EI Researchers!

In the ARC Funding round announced this morning, Environment Institute researchers received: 1 Discovery Indigenous,1 DECRA,1 Linkage Infrastructure Equipment and 5 Discovery Grants.

Congratulations to Environment Institute leaders and members involved with the following successful ARC grants.

Dr Ray Tobler has been awarded a Discovery Indigenous for the ongoing Aboriginal Hair Project with the SA Museum which was awarded a Eureka Prize in October this year.

The project will use genetics to reconstruct the peopling and diversification of Sahul – the landmass connecting Australia with New Guinea at the time of colonisation. A recent landmark study has revealed that people first arrived on Sahul ~50 thousand years ago, and have remained largely genetically isolated from subsequent migrations thereafter.

Dr Vicki Thompson was awarded a DECRA for a project on the role of epigenetic modifications in tiger snake adaptation.
It aims to investigate mechanisms underlying animal adaptation to future environmental change by examining the molecular basis for phenotypic plasticity in snakes.

Dr Jonathan Tyler, EI Deputy Director Prof Bronwyn Gillanders, Dr John Tibby were successful in their LIEF bid for to establish a facility for mass spectrometry and sample preparation to enhance Australian capacity to analyse the stable isotope composition of silicate minerals.

Profs Steve Cooper and Andy Austin were awarded their Discovery project which investigates: Adaptation to life in the dark: genomic analyses of blind beetles.
This project aims to utilise a unique Australian model system based on multiple, independently-evolved subterranean water beetles to explore the adaptive and regressive changes in the genome that occur when surface species colonise subterranean habitats.

Dr Lee Arnold was awarded a Discovery to determine the nature, timing and causes of megafaunal extinction in arid Australia using an extensive fossil necropolis at Lake Callabonna.

Dr Damien Fordham ARC Future Fellow, and Associate Professor Jeremy Austin were successful in their Discovery project on to integrate biotic information from fossils and ancient DNA of vertebrates into computational models to establish ecological processes that drive the structure and dynamics of geographical ranges and regulate the severity of species extinction rates from global change.

Dr Kate Sanders leads a Discovery grant with Dr Bruno Simoes, a Marie Curie Fellow, which uses  the diverse visual systems of snakes and lizards to shed light on the process of gene loss in degenerative lineages, and discover the mechanisms that compensate for gene losses in taxa with secondarily evolved visual capabilities- providing a case of evolutionary re-innovation in complex traits

Dr Martin Breed was awarded a Discovery grant with the University of Western Australia on seagrass adaptation and acclimation responses to extreme climatic events. This project aims to advance our understanding of how temperate marine plants in their northern limit will respond to the effects of synergistic stressors from extreme events combined with climate change. The project will study Shark Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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