Two climate change projects led by The University of Western Australia - one a study into reporting on climate change in the media and another focusing on the challenge of ancient soils under modern land use - have been chosen for funding by the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN).
Associate Professor Meng Ji is an early career researcher and world-leading scholar of translation and cross-cultural studies. Her WUN-funded project will examine how the media reports on climate change in Australia, Britain, China, and Japan. WUN universities that will be contributing to the project include Zhejiang University in China, and Sheffield, York and Leeds in the UK.
Assistant Professor Matthias Leopold from UWA's School of Earth and Environment is a soil scientist focusing on soils as geological archives. His WUN-funded project, which also involves UWA's Associate Professor Deirdre Gleeson, will provide for a network of specialists to work on establishing Critical Zone science in the southern hemisphere. This project will provide valuable information about the top layers of soil for agriculture, forestry and engineering.
UWA researchers are involved in eight other WUN collaborations:
- Associate Professor Rob Cover, a communications studies researcher at UWA's School of Social Sciences, will work with researchers led by Professor Steve Reid at the University of Cape Town, South Africa on a project looking at resilience in young people.
- Associate Professor Elisa Birch from UWA's Business School will work on a University of Auckland-led project, looking at students who are the first in their families to study at university.
- Professor Pat Dudgeon from UWA's School of Indigenous Studies androck art archaeologist Associate Professor Martin Porr will work with project leader Associate Professor Catriona Elder from the University of Sydney to develop an Indigenous Research Network.
- Assistant Professors Bryan Boruff, Julian Clifton and Natasha Pauli from UWA's School of Earth and Environment will work with Professor Eloise Biggs from the University of Southampton, UK who is leading a project, "A Spatial framework for Assessing Environmental Livelihood Security".
- Professor Erik Veneklaas from the UWA Centre of Excellence in Climate Change, Woodland and Forest Health will work with project leaders at the University of Shefflield on "Stomata: Sensors of Climate Change".
- Winthrop Professor Graeme Martin from UWA's School of Animal Biology will work with a team led by Professor Mark Eisler at the University of Bristol on global farm platforms to optimise grazing livestock production.
- UWA Associate Professor Ullrich Ecker from the School of Psychology and his PhD student John Cook will work with UWA Professorial Fellow Stephan Lewandowsky, also from Bristol University, on responding and adapting to climate change: recognising and managing uncertainty in the physical, social and public spheres.
- Meng Ji and one of her PhD students have also been funded to join the project "The Worldwide Challenge of English", led by Professor Andrew Lin at Sheffield University.
A total of 16 projects across all of WUN's Global Challenge research areas were awarded funding for projects to begin in early 2014.
UWA is a member of the WUN, a group of 18 research-intensive institutions spanning six continents. WUN members collaborate to accelerate the creation of knowledge and to develop leaders prepared to address the significant challenges and opportunities in the rapidly changing world.
Associate Prof Judith Berman (+61 8) 6488 8033 / (+61 4)21 122 478
David Stacey (UWA Public Affairs)(+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716