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Statistical methods for detecting Antarctic ecosystems from space

Satellite images are a frequent and free source of global data which can be used to effectively monitor the environment. We can see how the land is being used, how it’s being changed, what’s there – even where animals are in the landscape. Using these images is essential, particularly for regions where data is expensive to collect or difficult to physically access, like Antarctica. In Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands, satellite images can be an easy and quick way to …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Mathematical Sciences
Research centre(s)
Centre for Data Science
Centre for the Environment

Using catastrophe theory to prepare for global warming in Antarctica

According to dynamical systems theory, crises occur because couplings within a system (geophysical, ecological and social) create instabilities. Nonlinear feedbacks means that relatively small changes in circumstances can cause a rapid change to the system state. For example, a small increase in tourism visitors could lead to the invasion of a new species. Or, a gradual change in the average global temperature could lead to the collapse of Antarctic ice-shelves.In the coming decade, the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic are likely to …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Mathematical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Centre for the Environment

Climate vulnerability of nut and pulse food systems in Australia

Arable land, water resources and biodiversity are under pressure from increased human populations and resource needs. On top of that, natural and agri-food systems are rapidly changing due to natural disturbances, with climate change likely to increase the impacts of extreme events like drought and wildfire.With climate change, negative impacts on agriculture are predicted with disruptions to food supply; many ecosystems have already been impacted by increased frequency and severity of extreme fire events; coral reefs will be threatened by …

Study level
Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Biology and Environmental Science
Research centre(s)
Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy
Centre for the Environment

Resolving uncertainty in decisions to improve agri-food system outcomes for people and nature

Despite efforts to monitor and manage declining species and ecosystems around the world, biodiversity is still not routinely included in mainstream decision-making and continues to decline at the highest rate in human history. Added to this is the problem that both natural and agri-food systems are complex networks that are continually changing due to human and natural disturbances, with climate change likely to increase the impacts of extreme events like drought, fire and economic shocks on these networks.Because of large …

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Biology and Environmental Science
Research centre(s)
Centre for Data Science
Centre for the Environment

The pulse of sustainability: Interventions to sustainably increase legume production and consumption

Legume-supported value chains, from production to consumption, provide benefits to people and nature that include improved ecosystem functions and resource use efficiency, as well as farmed animal and human health provisions. Environmental co-benefits of legumes include reduced nitrate leaching, increased food sources for pollinators, a greater structural diversity of farmland, and improved soil fertility. Despite the potential of legumes to improve the sustainability of cropping systems and enhance human health, the production and consumption of legumes in Australia is low.Multiple …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Biology and Environmental Science
Research centre(s)
Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy

Conservation is a noisy business: modelling the effects of stochasticity on wildlife management decisions

To conserve species in disturbed natural environments, we need to use mathematical models to predict the consequences of different interventions. Unfortunately, these models are based on partial information of complex systems, and the systems themselves are subject to substantial observational and process noise.We often use ordinary differential equations to describe ecosystems, like the classic logistic growth model:dn/dt = r n (1 - n / k)However, these models are deterministic, and they assume we know the values of the key parameters …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Mathematical Sciences
Research centre(s)
Centre for Data Science
Centre for the Environment

Modelling and managing uncertain Antarctic species networks

Antarctic ecosystems are complex, and data is limited since it is expensive to collect. Species interact in food webs which can be modelled as mathematical networks. The relationships between species are not always known, or we might know they interact but not how strongly. Noisy (or imperfect) data can be used to model these species interactions to give more certainty about how the ecosystem works as a whole – although the worse the data is, the less information it contributes. …

Study level
Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Mathematical Sciences
Research centre(s)
Centre for Data Science
Centre for the Environment

Capture and reuse of phosphate nutrients

Nutrients such as ammonium and phosphate species are essential in agriculture. However, release of excessive amounts of nutrients to waterways may result in eutrophication which can lead to toxic algae blooms, killing of fish and destruction of the environment.Compounding this issue is the fact that phosphate rock sources are gradually being exhausted. Hence, finding a means to capture and reuse phosphate species from sources such as wastewater treatment plants is potentially attractive.Consequently, this project involves the development of new phosphate …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Engineering
School
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

Evidence-Driven Policy Innovation for Urban Heat Islands

Extreme heatwaves and other extreme weather events are contributing to the fragility of cities and urban infrastructure, which requires urgent attention. Urban heat islands are an exemplar for metropolitan fragile areas, which exacerbate the impact of climate change and global warming on natural hazards, such as wildfires, storms, floods, and droughts, which pose a critical threat to Australian and international communities (Degirmenci et al., 2021). Decision support systems (DSS) can help city planners and policymakers to optimise their decision-making by …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
1097567
School
1097611
Research centre(s)
Centre for Future Enterprise

Low Cost Catalysts for Biofuels Production

As the world transitions from fossil fuels to biomass based fuels there is a corresponding drive to create new technologies to enable this situation to come to fruition. Biofuels represent one option in terms of mitigating the impacts of global warming. The conversion of biomass to biofuels typically requires a catalyst. Many different materials have been investigated, with zeolites showing considerable promise. However, zeolite catalysts can be expensive and thus there is a challenge to create new catalysts which are …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Engineering
School
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

Decision support for urban resilience

Extreme heatwaves and other extreme weather events are contributing to the fragility of cities and urban infrastructure, which requires urgent attention. Urban heat islands are an exemplar for metropolitan fragile areas, which exacerbate the impact of climate change and global warming on natural hazards, such as wildfires, storms, floods, and droughts, which pose a critical threat to Australian and international communities (Degirmenci et al., 2021). Decision support systems (DSS) can help city planners and policymakers to optimise their decision-making by …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Information Systems
Research centre(s)
Centre for Data Science

Decision support systems for mitigating urban extreme heat effects

Extreme heatwaves and other extreme weather events are contributing to the fragility of cities and urban infrastructure, which requires urgent attention (Kamruzzaman et al., 2018). Urban heat islands are an exemplar for metropolitan fragile areas, which exacerbate the impact of climate change and global warming on natural hazards, such as wildfires, storms, floods, and droughts, which pose a critical threat to Australian and international communities (Degirmenci et al., 2021). Decision support systems (DSS) can help urban planners and policymakers to …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Engineering
School
School of Architecture and Built Environment

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