Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant – Building resilient alpine environments with less snow

Deakin University has been awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant. This exciting new outcome adds to the two ARC Linkage Grants already awarded to Deakin in 2020.

The ARC Linkage Grants, support the development of long-term strategic research alliances between research institutions and industry partners, or other end-users with the aim of developing solutions to real world problems and research questions.

Dr Susanna Venn, CIE member from the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment is leading a team that aims to build resilience into alpine National Parks and Alpine Resorts to counter the effects of ongoing declines in snowfall.

Alpine environments depend on snow to regulate water flows, insulate vegetation, control soil erosion and promote proper ecosystem functioning. How these processes will operate in a snow-free future is unknown.

The team will determine how and where snow characteristics drive soil water availability for plants and which plant species have the best adaptation and regeneration potential under extreme conditions such as heat, frost and drought.

Benefits of the project include innovative land management and rehabilitation solutions, to safeguard Australia’s alpine areas under changing environmental conditions.

  • Project lead: Dr Susanna Venn
  • Project Title: Building resilient alpine environments with less snow
  • Awarded: $380,260
  • Other DU Chief Investigators: Dr Adam Miller, CIE member from the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment)
  • Other Collaborating Universities: Australian National University, LaTrobe University, RMIT
  • Partner Organisation(s): Royal Botanic Gardens and National Herbarium of Victoria, Southern Alpine Resort Management Board, Parks Victoria, Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board & Liz MacPhee Alpine Flora

In addition to this Deakin University award, it is worth mentioning another successful ARC Linkage Project on which Deakin University staff members are key participants:

  • Project title: Innovation in agricultural sector Green House Gas abatement in NSW
  • Led by: The University of South Australia
  • Deakin University participant: Professor Brett Bryan, CIE member and head of the Deakin University’s Planet-A Sustainability Science research group (Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment, School of Life and Environmental Sciences).