Dr Belinda Cash is involved in an innovative program, the Leadership in Healthy Ageing program, which has been designed to teach leaders of health and aged care services in North East Victoria about the latest research findings in that space. She is also the Deputy Lead of the University’s new cross faculty Ageing Well Research Group which includes some 30 academics across the University.
Dr Jonathon Howard in partnership with the Inland Rivers Network has developed a citizen science website where concerned community members can record and show where major fish deaths have occurred in the Murray Darling Basin. The website site http://bit.ly/fish-kill-map was launched in June. Jonathon describes the site as a ‘one-stop shop’ for the community. People can can lodge different types of reports: ‘verfied reports’ that map the location and photographic evidence; ‘non-verified’ reports that lack the photographic evidence; and ‘media reports’ for those events not-directly observed.
A pilot study, which was supported by an ILWS minor equipment grant, is underway in Orange. The study, led by Professor Kevin Parton, is in response to concerns about wood-smoke pollution during the winter months in Orange. A new low-cost electronic particle counter which can measure the most health damaging particles, PM2.5 and PM 10, has been taking hourly readings, both inside and outside residences since April this year. The researchers are hoping to secure funding to develop the pilot study into a full-scale study to clarify the level of particulate pollution in Orange, to compare indoor with outdoor levels, and hence obtain a clearer picture of health effects.
Dr Jen Bond, a member of the Hume Regional Deer Forum, has secured $9953 from CSU Green for the project Oh deer: exploring the narratives of human-deer conflict in North Eastern Victoria. The project will involve a desk-top study utilising historical, media and social media dazta, as the basis of empirical research with key informants in the deer management space. The project is a scoping study for a broader human-deer conflict project.
Institute Adjunct Professor Peter Waterman, in line with the 2014 SEGRA Challenge: Sustaining Remore Regional Towns and Communities, and the 2017 SEGRA Challenge: Regional Knowledge Hubs & Linking Education, Training and Workplaces,
In collaboration with a school colleague, Dr Jessie Lymm, who is interested in fringe publications, or "zines", is working with The Bidgee School at Wagga which has a Wagga Wagga City Council grant to run a workshop in 2019 around youth literacy and non-traditional publications. “A former student has also got some money to run a zine fair in Wagga so it will tie in nicely with that,” says Jessie. Another project, with a Masters student, is to to build a digital library of the student media publications from CSU and its pre-curser institutions. “This one is also focused on non-traditional media in a regional setting,” says Jessie. This project has received $8000 in CSU Student Services Amenities Fee funding.
Dr Jessie Lymm is collaborating with the Museum of the Riverina on its history projects about LBGT memory in Wagga Wagga and the surrounding region. “There’s been some papers come out of that and an exhibition, and I’ve developed some great partnerships with the museum,” says Jessie. “This has now extended to partnerships with the Hunter region – a gay history community group- and the Lismore region.” Following on from this work, along with colleagues from the Melbourne, Newcastle and Lismore, Jessie took part in a panel discussion at the Queer Legacies, New Solidarities conference, November 22-24, Deakin Downtown, Melbourne, around the value of regional LGBT collections. The conference was presented by Deakin Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Australian Women’s and Gender Studies Association & the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives.
Dr Jessie Lymm, Paul Grover from the School of Education, and Institute Adjunct Associate Professor Bruce Pennay secured a $10,000 CSU Learning and Teaching Grant this year to develop not only curriculum material but a 3D walkthrough of the Bonegilla Migrant Experience, near Albury-Wodonga. “This will create a different type of access to an important regional space for memory,” says Jessie. “I’m really interested in this idea of our national memory not just resting in national institutions like the National Archives and the National Library but in regional institutions such as the Albury Wodonga Library Museum, the Bonegilla Migrant Experience and the Museum of the Riverina."
Dr Alexandra Knight and Associate Professor Ben Wilson are working with landholders from the Corowa District Landcare Group and the Holbrook Landcare Group to investigate the soil habitats that burrowing frogs use and the relationship between soil health and burrowing habitats. The project Sustaining soils and earth-dwelling fauna in cropping and farming landscapes of the Murray-Darling Basin is funded by a $10,000 CSU Sustainability Research Seed Grant. It aims to find correlations between agricultural production practices and sustaining soil habitats for macrofauna, particularly the diverse range of burrowing amphibians which occur on private lands throughout the MDB. It will involve testing soil characteristics at sites known to contain populations of suitable macrofauna, and interviews with farmers to determine how farming practices sustain both soil health and amphibian populations.
The project team for the Women in Regional Trades: Understanding Resilience project hosted an industry consultation in Wagga Wagga on April 11.The study, which has received funding from the Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences, is being conducted by ILWS members Dr Donna Bridges, Dr Larissa Bamberry and Associate Professor Branka Krivokapic-Skoko, together with Dr Stacey Jenkins and Research Assistant Dr Elizabeth Wulf. The project is investigating why some women prosper in traditionally male-dominated occupations and industries while others do not. Another industry consultation meeting was held in Bathurst, May 10, with a third industry consultation meeting held in Albury, October 12. This event had 27 attendees - including five tradeswomen and women apprentices from the local area; Training Services Australia; Supporting and Linking Tradeswomen (SALT); Albury City Council; Sarina Russo Apprenticeships; SafeWork NSW; TAFE; Regional Development Australia; small business representatives in the automotive, painting and decorating and carpentry areas. Also, as part of the project which started in February, the research team have run focus groups interviewing women working in the trades as well as representatives from government, TAFE and employers.
A research team led by Associate Professor Maree Bernoth has conducted a year-long project focused on encouraging the inclusion of older people in teaching ageing. The project, OPTEACH (Older People Teaching and Empowering Aged Care and Health Students) has been funded by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services. A website has been developed which contains information and support material for older people, educators (TAFE, university, clinical) and managers to encourage and support them as they introduce older people to teaching and learning situations. The project was conducted in partnership with Nambucca Valley Care, Navorina Nursing Home in Deniliquin, Holy Spirit Nursing home in Dubbo and Riverina Institute of TAFE.
Following Drs James Van Dyke and Geoff Heard’s $8000 CSUGreen Sustainability grant (awarded last June) Project Lifeboat: a conservation plan for declining turtles, the team have completed this autumn’s turtle assessment at the CSU Albury campus.
Dr Alexandra Knight together with the Corowa District Landcare Group have received a $40,000 grant from the NSW Environment Trust, for the project "Sounding the Chorus for Frogs in Corowa’s Wetlands."The project involves recording the Sloane’s Froglet song (which Alexandra wrote); developing a teachers’ education package based on good scientific evidence; visits by scientists to six schools in the Corowa district over the next two years; and wetland planting days with scientists, including Alexandra, presenting.
Institute Adjunct Professor Peter Waterman is one of the main researchers behind the Secure Safe Domestic Water project, now in its third year. In February and March, Peter spoke at public meetings and workshops in Far West NSW (Broken Hill, Thyme on Argent, White Cliffs, Wilcannia, Menindee, Pooncarie and station properties) on the importance of all Australians having access to adequate and safe domestic water.
Associate Professor Dirk Spennemann is investigating the lives (and deaths) of Indian hawkers in the Southern Riverina and North-East Victoria in the late 1900s and early 2000s.
Associate Professor Maree Bernoth is involved in a 12 month project funded by a NSW Family and Community Services “Liveable Communities” grant, to investigate the inclusion of older people in the teaching of ageing with industry partner Naorina Village, Deniliquin.
Institute Adjunct Professor Jay Punthakey is working on a project in the mid North coast of NSW looking at improving water supply to various coastal communities.
Since 2014 Institute Adjunct Richard Loyn has been researching the effects of flooding on black box woodlands in North West Victoria for the Mallee CMA as part of the Living Murray Initiative. In 2017 the study was expanded to include waterbirds and bush birds as part of a project with La Trobe University and MDRFC.
As part of the ‘Building knowledge of Country and measuring its health’ project funded by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, ILWS and CSU's Faculty of Science, community workshops were held in Griffith, Deniliquin and Moama. These information sessions provided an opportunity for CSU researchers and NPWS to meet with Indigenous communities and explore with them various aspects of Country and why environmental monitoring is important. These information sessions are the first in a three phase project and use rich pictures/mapping to understand how the communities interact with Country and see themselves working on Country into the future.
The second phase of the project will involve field sessions on Country, discussing particular environmental monitoring principles, ideas and exploring opportunities for future Indigenous environmental monitoring.
The third phase of the project will draw on these community exploration processes to co-develop training resources that equip communities for the aspects of environmental monitoring that they highlighted as important to them.
Professor of Rural Health, Linda Shields is involved in planning meetings to set up a longitudinal study of families living in rural areas. Partners of the proposed study will be CSU (lead), University of Sydney Rural Medical School and Notre Dame School of Rural Medicine. The study is being supported by the Mater-University Study of Pregnancy at UQ
Professor Dave Watson is leading a project in Melbourne which is part of the City of Melbourne's long-term management plan for its land and assets. The city is running a world-first trial in which creeping mistletoe seeds have been planted on 27 plane trees in downtown Melbourne. Creeping mistletoe is one of the few Australian mistletoes that can live off exotic hosts such as plane trees. Dave's former Masters student, Mel Cook from UTS, is involved in the project.
Dr Adam Frew and Dr Jodi Price have a new research project looking at elevated CO2, [a climate change impact] and the impact on mycorrhizal-plant-insect interactions looking at different Australian native plant species. That work will be done in collaboration with Dr Maarja Öpik at the University of Tartu in Estonia that Adam will visit for six weeks in September to undertake much of the molecular work associated with the project.
Dr Maggie Watson is leading two ILWS funded team pilot projects researching conditioned taste aversion (CTA). They are:
For the sugar glider project the team, which includes Dr Dejan Stojanovic from ANU, are doing a trial in Tasmania, where predation by sugar gliders is a real problem, to see if the gliders can be trained to think eggs taste bad. For the dingoes project, Maggie is working with NSW National Parks personnel in Port Macquarie with a CTA trial is underway.
Professor David Watson is leading a one year CSU Green funded project (nearly $10,000) Artifical tree hollows - thinking outside the box that is developing and trialling a new type of nesting box expected to perform better under extreme climate conditions than current wooden boxes. The team, a collaboration between ILWS and CSU Engineering is using detailed knowledge of traget specied to develop, field test and manufacture different 3D printed artifical tree hollows.
Institute Adjunct Professor Peter Waterman continued research activities associated with the Securing Safe Domestic Water (SSDW) project, which has came out of the SEGRA Challenge: Securing Adequate Safe Domestic Water for Rural and Regional Australia. In 2018 the project received a further $3500 ILWS Team Support to embed SSDW within the emrging regional development agedna of the Balranald Shire Council.
Dr Tahmid Nayeem has a small research project funded by CenWest and a small company called WabiSabie, a company which gives people the opportunity to customise their message before they pass away. He is helping it with the redesign of its website and target market.
Dr Tahmid Nayeem is involved in two social media research projects, one in relation to Australian audiences and service industries - customer engagement for water businesses; and another on branding research for non-profit organisations.
Dr Tahmid Nayeem is working with colleagues from Central Queensland University (CQU) on a project that aims to evaluate the customer engagement (CE) strategies of the 2018 Victorian water price review process. "We will use both primary and secondary data to identify the best practices in CE, to quantify the resources used and to evaluate Essentials Services Commissions (ESC) performance rating on the issue," says Dr Nayeem. "The findings will definitely help synthesise the key learnings of CE in the PREMO [Performance, Risk, Engagement, Management, Outcomes] process, which will benefit water managers, regulators and policymakers.”
Dr Donna Bridges is continuing to research women in the Australian military, her PhD topic, including women in aviation in the military.
Dr Donna Bridges and Associate Professor Susan Mlcek are continuing their research on gender and social work, a project which received internal CSU Funding, Faculty Compact Funding, in 2016.
As part of his post-doc research position with the Faculty of Science Dr Keller Kopf is working on research questions around Murray Cod historical ecology, namely, whether or not useable DNA can be extracted from trophy Murray cod and museum specimens; and, what was Murray cod (an apex predator) eating before river regulation and the spread of invasive common carp. As part of this research Dr Kopf will be trialling the use of amino acid specific stable isotypes analyses to compare samples currently being collected throughout the Murray-Darling Basin, with the historical data from trophy and museum specimens.
ILWS researchers Dr Xiaoying (Sha sha) Liu, Professor Robyn Watts, Dr Julia Howitt and Dr Nicole McCasker are undertaking a glasshouse experiment to examine carbon and nutrient release and effects on dissolved oxygen (DO) following the inundation of different types of soils, grasses and crops from the floodplain.
Soil samples and plants for the experiment were collected from redgum forest and cropland that are adjacent to each other, but separated by a levee bank, on the Edward-Wakool floodplain. Forest soil, forest soil with leaf litter, and forest soil with wallaby grass were collected from the forest. Bare paddock soil, wheat stubble with paddock soil, and ryegrass with paddock soil were collected from the cropland. These samples were put into large pots and inundated with riverwater in the glasshouse at CSU Wagga Wagga campus. Carbon, nutrient and DO was sampled on day 1, 2, 4, 8, 12 and 16 following inundation.
Preliminary results suggest that both of the forest and the paddock systems are a significant source contributors of dissolved organic carbon and nutrients during floods. Research results will be shared with managers, landholders and other community groups.
Dr Wayne Robinson has assisted the South Australia Government’s revised description of the ecological character of the Coorong, Lakes Alexandrina and Albert Ramsar site with his report: Robinson, W. A. (2017) Setting refined waterbird LAC [Limits if Acceptable Change] for the Coorong, Lakes Alexandrina and Albert Ramsar site. Technical Report to DEWNR. November 2017.
Dr Richard Culas is working with a recipient of an Endeavour Post-Doc Fellowship on a project on Free Trade Agreements and their implications for Australian agricultural products trade and regional farm economies.
Dr Richard Culas is involved in a three year project (2018-2020) administered by the Graham Centre and funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia looking at the economic impact of IPM (Integrated Pest Management) on Australian horticultural (fruits and vegetables) crops.
Faculty of Science post doc, Dr James Turner, together with Associate Professor Dale Nimmo, has begun a three year study on how heat waves and diet affect folivorous mammals - the ringtail possum.
Dr Geoffrey Heard is working on a project looking at the change in the lifespan of frogs as a result of chytrid invading Australia. Together with Dr Ben Scheele, from ANU, they have been ageing frogs using skeletochronology, where they count the growth rings in a cross-section of bone using contemporary samples of bell frogs as well as specimens in museums.
Institute Adjunct Dr Jim Birckhead has begun a research project on an ethnography of standing stone Aboriginal heritage sites throughout the Pilbara and into the eastern desert areas of WA. The project is being funded through BHP's Heritage Research Division, Perth as part of BHP's community outreach and obligations. It is being developed over a number of phases.
The first desktop/archival phase has been completed with the resulting report - Birckhead, J. & Czerwinski, P. (2017) Ethnography of Stone Arrangements, Unpublished report, 36 pp for BHP Heritage Research, Land Access Solutions/Heritage WA, Perth. The next phase is liaising with researchers in WA and Tasmania, and visits to communities across the Pilbara to identify senior Traditional Owners who have the knowledge of these stone arrangements and the authority to speak for them.
Once identified, Jim will visit these sites with the appropriate elders to record their stories and the meaning of these sites. The final phase is to write a report of the research and to prepare journal and other research works based on the research.
Associate Professor Susan Mlcek, a social work educator and social scientist, heads a small research group at Bathurst within the School of Humanities & Social Sciences made up of herself, fellow ILWS member Dr Donna Bridges, a sociologist, and Dr John Healy, a social work educator. The three are exploring gender and indigenous issues including the gender spaces of social work.
A small Faculty grant was used to employ a research assistant to assist them with a literature review. From that initial activity evolved a co-operative enquiry research activity and a thematic analysis paper - 'What does it mean to be part of the gendered space(s) of social work?' Susan presented on the paper's topic at an international conference, New Directions in Humanities, in London in July.
Charles Sturt University, through the Institute, is one of the institutional members of the FAUNA (Future-proofing Australasia's Unique Native Animals) Research Alliance, a network which connects researchers and conservation "end user" practitioners from 47 organisations. Projects involving Institute members include:
Dr Peter Spooner, who has had a long term interest in Travelling Stock Routes and Reserves is currently writing a book on the Historic Development of Travelling Stock Routes and Reserves, something he has been working on since 2015. Dr Terry Kass and Mr Iain Marshall from NSW Land and Property Information have been assisting him with the project. Honours student Bryce Vella began a project commencing mid 2017 aimed at exploring the gazettement history of Travelling Stock Routes and Reserves in NSW. The project is co-supervised by Dr Prue Gonzalez from CSU's Port Macquarie campus.
Institute Adjunct Dr Venkat Pulla began working with social workers and NGOs following the earthquake in Nepal in 2015, later beginning a community narrative project with Tribhuvan University Rai, which has led to two papers on plazce of culture and resilience to earthquake trauma, with two colleagues from Tribhuvan University. The papers trace the earthquake Aftermath, the emergency disaster response of the state, international bodies' social work response, and the long-term challenges for land-locked Nepal.
Institute Adjunct Dr Patrick Cobbinah, a lecturer in the Department of Planning at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, is visiting the University of Michigan as a part of the 2018-2019 African Studies Center University of Michigan African Presidential Scholars Program (UMAPS). Dr Cobbinah has a six month academic fellowship to work on his project, “Urban Growth, Neoliberal Governance Failures, and Water Scarcity in Accra,” under the mentorship of Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning Larissa Larsen. He will remain in Ann Arbor through to February 2019.
The Australian Resilience Centre (Institute Adjunct Paul Ryan,) is one of the partners behind a new on-line platform Wayfinder, described as A Resilience Guide for Navigating Towards Sustainable Futures. The platform, which was two years in the making, was created in partnership with the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and the Resilience Alliance, and was launched in Stockholm, Sweden, in September. Wayfinder represents a major innovation in resilience practice. It is as a free and open online platform primarily designed for development practitioners, planners, and policymakers who are working with sustainable development challenges, but the approach can also be tailored to a wide range of projects and contexts. The platform was developed under the Sida funded centre programme on Guidance for Resilience in the Anthropocene: Investments for Development (GRAID).
Professor Margaret Woodward’s collaborative Lost Rocks (2017-2021) project with Justy Phillips was curated into the exhibition "The Habitat of Time" at the Casula Powerhouse, Sydney from April 19 to May 5. Margaret is one of the exhibition’s six artists. The event, which is part of an international research initiative led by Dr Julie Louise Bacon at UNSW Art & Design in collaboration with Foundation for Art and Creative Technology in the UK, explores how contemporary art and archival practices experiment with time and reimagine reality.
Associate Professor Dirk Spennemann’s photography is featured in a new Kiska Exhibit which commemorates a little-known Alaska battlefield of global significance, Kiska Island. A slice of Alaska World War Two history, the Kiska Exhibit includes both historic and modern images of Kiska’s battlefield landscape. The Kiska Exhibit, on at the Alaska Aviation Museum, opened on Thursday, April 12, 2018 and runs until January 27, 2019. May marks the 75th commemorative anniversary of US efforts to retake the Japanese-held islands of Kiska and Attu. Kiska is one of eight former World War Two sites in Alaska designated as National Historic Landmarks. The Kiska Exhibit, developed by the National Park Service, National Historic Landmark Program, is based on research by the NPS and USFWS, supported by the American Battlefield Protection Program and the Aleutian WWII National Historic Area, in conjunction with A/Prof Dirk Spennemann.
During April, ILWS members A/Prof Dale Nimmo, Dr James Turner, Dr James Van Dyke and Dr Maggie Watson, alongside ILWS PhD scholarship student Harry Moore and Karen Retra and Dr Damian Michael, competed in the month-long QuestaGame University bioQuest. QuestaGame is an app-based game that lets users all over the world win points by spotting, photographing and identifying wildlife. Submitting sightings also allows participating conservation partners, including The Wilderness Society, Invasive Species Council, Birdlife Australia, WWF and Ningaloo Coast World Heritage, to earn cash donations towards their work. Team registration was supported by a Grassroots grant from CSU Green, obtained by Professor Dave Watson. The CSU team found 224 different species, more than half of which were on the Albury campus, and won the "Most Valuable Team Ribbon or the team with the highest average number of points per player. Additionally, the team members were in the top ten in five of the six game categories including Top Spotters- Universities, Correct Identifications - Top Teams and Top Spotters (Individuals).
Adjuncts Rob McInnes and Nick Davidson continued their work as members of a "Ramsar Expert Team" supporting the bilateral project between the governments of Myanmar and Norway on Conservation of Biodiversity and Management of Protected Areas in Myanmar by facilitating a workshop in Yangon, Myanmar from 9-12 April 2018 on the "status and finalisation of management plans for selected protected areas". From the workshop discussions a guidance document providing Recommendations for management planning in protected areas in Myanmar is being prepared. During their visit Rob and Nick also discussed with Myanmar and Norway government representatives another component of the project: a draft set of Guiding Principles for a systematic approach to Ramsar Site identification and prioritisation for designation and a Provisional working list of Myanmar wetlands potentially qualifying as internationally important under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, which will be finalised later in 2018.
Institute Adjunct Dr Tony McDonald is a member of a multi-disciplinary team for a project which aims to offer small holder farmers across the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) improved capacity to produce and market “clean and green” produce. The project is promoting the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement’s (IFOAM) “Participatory Guarantee System” approach, a method to promote voluntary compliance with organic protocols. The team have been working with smallholder farmers across Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and the two southern provinces of PRC China. The broad strategy of CASP Phase II is to increase subregional agricultural competitiveness and agribusiness investment in the economic corridors.
Institute Adjunct Dr Patrick Cobbinah, who is with the Department of Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, is a member of the research team for the project Urban Growth, Neo Liberal Failures and Water Scarcity in Accra and Atlanta. The project has received US$10,000 funding and is investigating water governance regimes in Atlanta (USA) and Accra (Ghana), two rapidly growing cities —one from the global North and the other from the global South—that share similar histories of neoliberal water governance failure.
Institute Adjunct Dr Patrick Cobbinah is involved in a long term on-going project - Conservation and livelihood - that examines environment-development relations in Africa focusing on Ghana. The first phase of the project (which received some financial support from the Institute for data collection) was Ecotourism in protected areas in Ghana: benefits for few, costs to many.
Dr Richard Culas is involved in an ACIAR funded and Graham Centre administered project (2017-2020) looking at the economic impact of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) on sweet potato production in Papua New Guinea.
Professor David Watson, together with Dr Mike Craig, University of WA, ILWS social scientist Dr Jennifer Bond and ILWS PhD student Liz Znidersic are investigating the "call playback" issue and whether or not the impact on birds is detrimental. Many birders use Apps on their Smartphones to help identify birds. However birders and guides are now using the App to try and attract birds so that they can have a look at them. While on a visit to Colombia in Latin America mid-year, Dave and Mike spent time out in the field in with birding guides in the foothills of the Andes and found that they all used call playback.
Dr Julia Howitt and Professor Max Finlayson are involved in a volunteer international research collaboration which is investigating the carbon emissions from dry wetland and river sediments around the world. The global dryflux investigation is led by a team in Germany. A standard sampling protocol is being used.
Others in the Australian team are Dr Jason Condon from the Graham Centre and Dr Catherine Leigh from Griffith University. The Australian team has done two rounds of sampling. During the week June 5 to 9, Drs Howitt, Condon and Leigh conducted measurements of carbon emissions in the Wagga region. In October, Dr Howitt and Professor Finlayson took 30 samples across 5 sites – the David Mitchell Wetlands on CSU's Albury-Wodonga campus, the Wonga Wetlands out of Albury near the Murray, and three sites at the Winton Wetlands near Benalla in Victoria - over two days.
The CSU samples are the only ones from Australia and are included in samples collected from more than 225 sites in 17 countries on 6 continents.