Three projects led by researchers from the University of Wollongong (UOW) have received funding in the first round of Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects scheme for 2023.
The funding program is designed to support collaborative research that is fundamental to transforming industries, building communities, and strengthening the Australian economy.
Professor Kerrylee Rogers will lead a team that seeks to examine how vulnerable coastal wetlands are to multiple climate change stressors, including bushfires and sea-level rise.
“The Black Summer fires (2019-2020) burned extensive areas of coastal wetland that are not typically associated with fire impact. These wetlands rely upon plant growth and sediment delivery to respond to sea-level rise, processes which may be impacted by fire,” Professor Rogers said.
“Our work will seek to quantify the distribution and severity of fire impact along the coast so that we can develop fire management tools, which will aid the sustainable, long-term management of coastal wetlands in a changing climate.”
With more than 20 years’ research experience in coastal wetlands, Professor Rogers will work closely with UOW bushfire expert Associate Professor Owen Price on the intersection of their fields of expertise. By integrating fire ecology and wetland science approaches, the project seeks to determine the resilience of coastal marshes to the impacts of both fire and sea-level rise.
Working alongside practitioners in the NSW Government’s Department of Planning and Environment and Department and Primary Industries will ensure the outcomes of the research are relevant and applied.
Dr Nicolas Flament is the Chief Investigator in a research alliance between the UOW, British mining company Anglo American, and De Beers diamond mining and exploration, that will investigate the link between supercontinents, mantle upwelling, and associated mineral resources.
The project results will be openly available in a new digital framework that will reduce cost and risk, and improve efficiency for frontier mineral exploration. It will target mineral resources, including rare earth elements and nickel. The project may contribute to uncovering new mineral resources in Australia and to locating new deposits of minerals that are essential to the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Distinguished Professor Willy Susilo will lead a team that includes UOW academics Dr Dung Duong, Dr Yannan Li and Dr Partha Sarathi Roy to develop innovative techniques to construct cryptographic primitives and explore their applications to secure cloud computing.
Post-quantum cryptography (PQC) is an emerging field of research that has attracted significant attention from governments and industries worldwide to combat arising future quantum computer attacks.
Cryptographic group actions are a new and promising candidate for PQC with significant mathematical complexity.
The project will develop secure and innovative techniques based on group actions, with their applications to cloud security opening up a whole new range of opportunities for Australian industries to provide secure cloud services with guarantees for long-term security.
UOW’s Professor Penny Van Bergen is also involved in a University of Western Sydney led project that will investigate conversational techniques known as “elaborative reminiscing” as a tool for aged care staff to practice relationship-based care in their day-to-day interactions with older clients. The team will deliver an evidence-based, low-cost and high-impact staff training program with demonstrated outcomes and provide tools to immediately enhance staff and client relationships, increasing wellbeing of people in aged care.