The Morrison Government is backing a new era of environmental science, announcing the universities and research centres that will host four ‘mega’ research hubs in the next phase of Australia’s National Environmental Science Program (NESP).
Research will be prioritised to meet the most pressing environmental management and policy needs, with an emphasis on climate adaptation, threatened species, protected places, and waste impacts. The Environment Institute has researchers who’ve received funding as a part of the The Marine and Coastal Hub.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the new structure will bring together an exciting range of scientists in each field along with ‘on-ground’ stakeholders and Traditional Owners to tackle our most complex environmental challenges.
“We are investing a further $149 million in a flexible approach across the new hubs that informs policy and drives shared learning,” Minister Ley said.
“It is an investment that will build on the $145 million funding to date that has seen almost 400 successful science projects that are shaping policy and delivering practical environmental outcomes.
“From award winning research into shellfish reef restoration, to Crown of Thorns Starfish control, DNA ‘tracking’ of threatened species, and collaborations with international technology companies to support remote ecosystems in Kakadu, the first phase of NESP has been breathtaking.
“Over the next 7 years, the next phase of the program will see larger hubs, working collaboratively across our four priority issues, while researching practical, environmental science strategies within their own field.”
The Marine and Coastal Hub will deliver research to underpin management of Australia’s marine and coastal environments harnessing a broad range of research expertise, across estuaries, coast, reefs, shelf and deep-water environments.The Hub will be jointly hosted by the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre in Cairns and the University of Tasmania, and will be jointly led by Professor Damien Burrows from James Cook University and Associate Professor Alan Jordan from the University of Tasmania.
The Hub consortium includes research institutions like CSIRO, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Integrated Marine Observing System, Bioplatforms Australia, University of Melbourne, University of Wollongong, University of NSW, Sydney Institute of Marine Science, University of Queensland, James Cook University, Charles Darwin University, University of Western Australia, University of Adelaide, Flinders University, Marine Innovation South Australia, government agencies and museums.