INDICATIVE HIGHER DEGREE BY RESEARCH (HDR) STUDENT PROJECTS (As per ARC Grant, to be further co-designed with our participants)
Genetics for seed collection, production, and use:
Test the sustainability of seed collection from natural populations, the effects of seed farming on the genetic makeup of native seed batches and how it affects seed attributes within a restoration context.
Agronomics for seed production
Evaluate the adoption of agricultural techniques to active management of natural plant populations and seed farms to optimise seed production whilst managing selective and collection pressure.
Engineering solutions to seed processing and germination blocks
Develop technologies for streamlined and scalable cost-effective seed processing supported by novel dormancy breaking treatments for germination recalcitrant species.
Seed coating and pelleting
Develop new protocols to optimise precision seed delivery to site and incorporate novel plant growth promoters and microbial amendments into synthetic seed coats.
Plant species diversity and soil carbon
Evaluate how biodiversity can be effective in linking plant carbon inputs, soil carbon composition and the pathways and mechanisms of soil carbon formation and loss.
Monitoring soil carbon sequestration
Develop a statistically robust and cost-efficient method for monitoring soil carbon sequestration in biodiverse plantings, concurrent with soil carbon methodologies under the ERF.
Environmental controls of soil carbon sequestration
Use modelling and machine learning methods to research the effect of environmental and edaphic factors on soil organic carbon composition, capture and storage, plant diversity, productivity, and the interrelationships amongst these factors across ecological gradients.
Interventions to improve biodiversity value of carbon projects
Survey carbon projects established by Partner Organisations including managed regeneration, tree planting, plantation and avoided deforestation projects to inform standards for the industry.
Precision landscape formation
Research approaches for soil preparation that optimise soil moisture and accumulation/retention of nutrients and organic matter in the seed establishment niche.
Niche optimisation through microbial amendments
Research and develop the optimal conditions for plant establishment including ‘microwater’ catchment, evaporation control, nutrients, and the role of microbial inoculation
Honey markets from restoration
Guide the selection of species for restoration and conservation-optimised carbon revegetation for production of high-value “bioceutical” honey. Investigate relationship between soil traits and honey properties, and mechanisms for extended season and interseasonal honey production through customisation of species in the biodiverse plantings.
Community benefits of engagement in restoration
Quantify effects of improved livelihoods and improved economic opportunity on the socio-cultural health and wellbeing of communities as a driver for community engagement in, as well as ownership and stewardship of, restoration initiatives.
Integrating Traditional Knowledge with Western restoration science
Evaluate the importance and benefit of two-way, right-way approaches to integrating Traditional Knowledge and western science in restoration initiatives.
Skills pathways and economics
Document the productive capacity of Indigenous enterprise and its influence on skills pathways, Indigenous household income, welfare payments, individual and community health and wellbeing.
Value chains and market analysis
Apply whole-of-value-chain research and market analysis to Indigenous skills training and the Indigenous Restoration Economy within a sustainable livelihood framework.