Sustainability research

Australia-China Wetland Network Research Partnership (ongoing)

Australia-China Wetland Network Research Partnership (ongoing)

Australia-China Wetland Network Research Partnership is a joint project between the Collaborative Research Network (CRN) of Federation University Australia and the Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGLAS). The project is funded by Australia-China Science Research Fund (ACSRF) with the aim of developing a scientific co-operation between Australia and China in understanding the impacts of climate change and human disturbances on ecology and hydrology of lake and river systems of both countries. Read more >

Paleoclimate research in the Murray-Darling Basin (2011-2014)

Peter Gell contributed to a major research project with the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation examining the incidence of drought over the last 2000 or more years in the Murray-Darling region.

Read the paleoclimate studies relevant to natural resource management in the Murray-Darling Basin, on the South Eastern Australian Recent Climate History website (pdf, 18mb).

Further information
Prof Peter Gell
Email: p.gell@federation.edu.au

Victorian farmer typology for climate adaptation (2012-2013)

The aim of this project was to further develop and document the farmer typology methodology by using an 8-item rather than 14-item survey instrument to collect data from the Victorian Farmer Survey on Climate Change 2011 to derive a 2011 farmer typology based on climate change adaptation attitudes and behaviours.

Read more about the Victorian farmer typology for climate adaptation project.

Recent Victorian drought and its impact (2009-2013)

This project has sought out the sediment records from lakes that are most likely to be responsive to the past variations in effective moisture, such as past drought events, and analysed them to quantify climate variation over thousands of years to the highest practical resolution. It is clear that there have been several severe, long lasting droughts over the last 5000 years, and that they have resulted in considerable change to the ecology of lakes. This report considers the evidence that, at the millennial scale, the present state of lakes is highly unusual, if not unprecedented.

Read The Recent Victorian Drought and its impact publication (pdf, 1mb).

Further information
Prof Peter Gell
Email: p.gell@federation.edu.au 

Victorian farmer survey on climate change (2011-2012)

The primary aim of this project was to investigate the attitudes and knowledge of Victorian farmers towards climate change, climate variability and greenhouse gas emissions on their farming enterprises and to track the changes that have occurred in attitude, knowledge and on-farm actions since the 2009 benchmarking survey.

Read more about the Victorian farmer survey on climate change.

Global wetland change (2014-2017)

Peter Gell's recent proposal to lead a PAGES working group entitled Transitions in Global Aquatic Systems (TriGAS), has been provisionally accepted by the PAGES Executive Committee. This group of wetland change scientists from over 20 countries will assemble records of wetland change from across the globe, with a focus on first human impact, first industrial impact and maximum human impact on wetlands, as well as evidence for regime shifts and early warning systems of change.

Further information
Prof Peter Gell
Email: p.gell@federation.edu.au 

Optimisation of a post-combustion CO2 capture plant in brown coal-fired power stations (2011-2015)

Amine solvent based post-combustion CO2 capture (PCC) is likely to be the first carbon capture technology to be deployed on a large scale worldwide. However before the technology can be implemented, a better understanding of the dynamic behaviour and optimisation of process conditions is required through process modelling.

Read more about the Optimisation of a post-combustion CO2 capture plant in brown coal-fired power stations project.

Small scale heat and power plant (2015)

The aim of this project is to build and demonstrate a residential-size CHP (combined heat and power plant) which utilises solar heat to generate sufficient electricity for household and make hot water available for cooking and other purposes.  Such a plant would make it possible for those around the world who are deprived from accessing the grid to generate their own electricity.  Besides those in remote Australia, this applies to about 600 million people in India, 350 million in China and more in Africa.

Read more about the Small scale heat and power plant project.

Battery storage software for households (2013-2015)

Assoc Prof Peter Vamplew is collaborating with Dr Adam Berry and Tim Moore (CSIRO Energy Technology) and Assoc Prof Doug Creighton (Deakin University) on a project to develop intelligent software to control local battery storage for household solar power systems. An inherent limitation of solar power is that production is highest during daytime hours, which may not coincide with the time when the household is actually consuming power.

Read more about the Battery storage software for households project.

 

Restoration of warm temperate rainforest, Gippsland (ongoing)

Dr Wendy Wright is working with HVP Plantations Pty Ltd on a long term ecological monitoring project, tracking the outcomes of an ecological restoration project at Macks Creek in the Strzelecki Ranges in Gippsland.

Read more about the Restoration of warm temperate rainforest project.

Visualising Victoria's Groundwater (ongoing)

This project aims to adapt new technologies and leverage high capacity broadband to visualise Victoria’s groundwater systems which will contribute to groundwater research and ultimately, the sustainable management of groundwater resources. The project budget of $2.23 million combines funding granted by the Victorian Government via the Broadband Enabled Innovation Program (BEIP) with financial and significant in-kind contributions from partnering organisations. 

Visit the Visualising Victoria's Groundwater (VVG) website.

Waterbirds for Barrick Gold at Lake Cowal (ongoing)

Peter Gell has undertaken tri-annual surveys of waterbird populations, and breeding activity, at Lake Cowal in NSW since 1992 for Barrick Gold. This has provided great insight into the changing patterns of birds that use a wetland through wetting and drying cycles.

Further information
Prof Peter Gell
Email: p.gell@federation.edu.au

Water Research Network (ongoing)

The Water Research Network is centred at the Mt Helen Campus of Federation University Australia. Our Network was established in late 2014 when the water research strengths of the Collaborative Research Network (CRN), Water in Drylands Collaborative Research Program (WIDCORP) and the Centre for Environmental Management (CEM) were merged. Our members have extensive expertise and connections through scientific, management and policy organisations, locally and globally.

Visit the Water Research Network website.

Wetland change (ongoing)

Professor Peter Gell and Federation University Australia research students are examining the long term history of wetland ecosystems to better understand their trajectory of change to gain insights into the magnitude of human impact and their resilience to climate variability. The research is focused wetlands on Kings Billabong and Psyche Bend Lagoon near Mildura, Moorna Lake near Wentworth, the Gunbower system near Kerang and the Anglesea Estuary.

Further information
Prof Peter Gell
Email: p.gell@federation.edu.au 

Monitoring and managing ecosystem function on the steep slopes of the Lower Jinsha River Valley, Sichuan, China (2012-2017)

Dr Wendy Wright is working with colleagues at Sichuan University in China to assess ecological function along a section of the Jinsha River Valley in Sichuan Province, China. The combined effects of a rain shadow and föhn winds in the area cause an unusually dry climate. Most of the hill slopes are used for agricultural production but small patches of natural habitat remain, often at higher elevations and along watercourses.

Read more about the Monitoring and managing ecosystem function on the steep slopes of the Lower Jinsha River Valley, Sichuan, China project.

Strzelecki koala population, distribution and health (2013-2016)

Dr Wendy Wright, Dr Fiona Hogan and Assoc Prof Jenny Mosse are working with PhD candidate Ms Faye Wedrowicz on a study of the Strzelecki koala, using genetic analysis of DNA sourced from koala scats to assess the population’s health and conservation importance of this population. Preliminary results suggest the Strzelecki population is distinct from other Victorian koalas and that there may be deeper genetic structure within the koalas of Strzelecki bioregion.

Read more about the Strzelecki koala population, distribution and health project.

Leadbeater's possum recovery program (2014-2015)

In January 2014, the government accepted recommendations from the Leadbeater's Possum Advisory Group on ways to support the recovery of the Leadbeater's possum, whilst maintaining a sustainable timber industry. The Leadbeaters Possum Implementation Committee produced a series of recommendations in relation to publishing a range of historic, current and future research, information and data on aspects of the Leadbeater’s possum population, habitat and management online.

Read more about the Leadbeater's possum recovery program.

Travellers' Trails: An exciting journey in sustainability for secondary students (2013-2014)

A project developed by the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation (CeRDI) visualising staff commuter patterns was adapted and trialled as a classroom exercise for collecting sustainability data. One of the aims of the Travellers’ Trails was to extend participants' understanding of the impact of different modes of travel on carbon emissions, relevant to their school community.

Visit the Travellers' Trails: An exciting journey in sustainability for secondary students webpage.

Sustainable land use, Sovereign Hill (2012-2014)

Peter Gell and Birgita Hansen have completed a multi-disciplinary project for the Sovereign Hill Trust examining the carbon assets of its property Narmbool. This has been developed into a computer game where students can allocate tracts of the Narmbool property to sheep, forests or wetlands and accrue income from stored carbon and wool.

Further information
Prof Peter Gell
Email: p.gell@federation.edu.au

Catchment restoration: Landholder perceptions of riparian restoration (2011-2012)

The aim of this project was to investigate farmer perceptions of riparian restoration and the benefits they received from doing it on their farms.

Federation University Australia researchers involved in the project were Michelle Graymore and Imogen Schwarz (Wimmera Research Group). Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority and Centre for Environmental Management were project partners.

Read more about the project in the Catchment restoration: Landholders perceptions – Pilot study 2012 (pdf, 1mb).

Further information
Dr Michelle Graymore
Email: m.graymore@federation.edu.au

Australia-China Wetland Network Research Partnership (ongoing)

Australia-China Wetland Network Research Partnership is a joint project between the Collaborative Research Network (CRN) of Federation University Australia and the Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGLAS). The project is funded by Australia-China Science Research Fund (ACSRF) with the aim of developing a scientific co-operation between Australia and China in understanding the impacts of climate change and human disturbances on ecology and hydrology of lake and river systems of both countries.

Visit the Australia-China Wetland Network Research Partnership website.

Reviewing the role of women in forest governance in Nepal (2013-2016)

Federation University Australia researchers, Dr Wendy Wright and Dr Soma Pillay are working with the Nepalese Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation and PhD student, Ms Radha Wagle, to review the role of women in the forest bureaucracy in Nepal.

Read more about the Reviewing the role of women in forest governance in Nepal project.

Building local government change agents for resilient and sustainable communities (2012-2014)

This project will provide local government staff with the research, training and support to assist them to deliver behaviour change programs to address their social, economic and environmental sustainability priorities. The project will build the capability of the local government staff to enable them to become change agents in their communities.

Read the Building a better community reports from each local government area involved in the project.

Read more about the Building local government change agents for resilient and sustainable communities project.

Understanding 2011 Grampians natural disaster, addressing the risk and resilience (2013-2014)

This research aims to document the impacts of the 2011 floods and landslides in the Grampians region on individuals, businesses and community organisations, and representatives from government and non-government organisations (including emergency services organisations). The research will provide insight into the social, economic and environmental impact following the 2011 floods and landslides and to integrate these into a consolidated inventory.

Read further information about the project on the Grampians Natural Disaster Research website.

Regional sustainability indicators framework for South West Victoria (2010-2012)

Research was conducted to develop an agreed set of sustainability indicators and a framework for reporting on the sustainability of South West Victoria, in the form of the Great South West Community Report Card.

Read more information about the report card on the Great South West Community Report Card website.

Valuing environmental services in Indonesian rattan forestry industry (2014-2017)

Dr Wendy Wright is working with PhD student Afentina Hut and other colleagues at Monash University to develop and implement an approach to quantify the social, environmental and economic benefits of rattan agroforestry in Indonesia.

Read more about the Valuing environmental services in Indonesian Rattan forestry industry project.