Researchers in our Albury Wodonga campus are happy to present their latest research, followed by an opportunity to ask questions.
For those in Melbourne who would like to view these talks, please go to BS 1 Room 201 from 1 pm to 2 pm. Video conferencing facilities have been set up.
Dr Michael Shackleton
DNA Barcoding Australia’s Macroinvertebrate Fauna
DNA barcodes can be used as a rapid and reliable way to identify organisms. Currently, there is much interest in incorporating DNA barcoding methods into freshwater macroinvertebrate surveys as a cost-effective way of generating high-resolution data. A major bottleneck in implementing DNA barcoding is the need for a comprehensive reference database that matches DNA barcodes to reference specimens.
Recently the Aquatic Invertebrates of Australia (AIA) DNA database was erected to serve as an open access reference database, but is, as yet, far from comprehensive. I will discuss how Australia is tracking in respect to the global effort in DNA barcoding, where our major gaps in data are, and how the AIA can help improve our efforts.
Professor Nick Bond
Informing conversation of river ecosystems in the face of hydroelectric power development in Peru
Nick Bond has more than 20 years’ experience working on aquatic ecosystems. His primary research interests are in the effects of flow variability on stream biota, and integrating this knowledge into catchment scale restoration and environmental flow planning. His work has informed multiple aspects of water management in Australia, especially within the Murray-Darling Basin, and he has also worked on rivers in Asia and South America.
His work in Peru will be the focus of his talk.
|29 August||Dr Aleicia Holland|
Dissolved organic carbon quality in Australian Freshwater and its effect on metal toxicity
Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) plays an important role in the environmental toxicity and chemistry of aquatic ecosystems, and this interaction is driven by both the composition and concentration of the DOC present. DOC composition depends on the source of the organic carbon to the aquatic environment, and as such is often defined as: allochthonous (terrestrially-derived), and/or autochthonous (microbially-derived).
DOC often consists of three main dominant components (humic acids, fulvic acids and proteins). DOC can also be characterised based on its aromaticity, and molecular weight. It is widely accepted that DOC influences toxicity of contaminants such as metals in aquatic environments in a concentration dependent manner.
However, information regarding the effect of differences in DOC composition on metal toxicity is still poorly understood. Given that no two waterways contain the same DOC, this poses a significant challenge when trying to estimate toxicity of a certain metal. Information regarding the types of DOC commonly found within Australian and Brazilians waters and their effect on metals is currently limited.
This talk will focus on the effect different Australian and Brazilian DOC’s have on toxicity of metals such as Cu and Ni within freshwaters.
Dr Gavin Rees
Life on the rocks and logs in rivers: its key to the river’s ecology
Often, people figure that the things that grow on the rocks and logs of rivers is little more than slime that is slippery and annoying when you try and walk over river rocks.
Researcher at the Murray-Darling Freshwater Research are particularly interested in what’s in that slime (or biofilm as we call it) and how the biofilm organisms respond to environmental conditions, particularly different and modified flow conditions. The more we examine what’s there, the more we have come to learn that biofilms are an important community of organisms , and that biofilms have an important role in providing the necessary food resources for larger organisms such as fish.
Assoc. Professor Irene Blackberry
Co-designing future rural dementia care: what is the role of technology to support carers?
Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia. There are nearly 500,000 Australians being diagnosed with dementia and the number is projected to increase. Dementia places a substantial demand on carers. Our research is directed towards supporting carers of people with dementia and the rural communities in which people with dementia age-in-place. Carers in rural communities are targeted because this group is often disadvantaged and have less access to support services.
This presentation will highlight our innovative and collaborative research program in improving dementia care in rural communities using technology including Delphi-based community consultation, development and trialling of service navigation and networking (SENDER) smartphone app, mapping and network analyses of dementia services and our work in progress to establish a virtual dementia friendly communities across 12 rural communities in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia will be presented.
|30 August||Dr Sue Hodgkin|
Rural Workforce Challenges in Community Aged Care
The Australian community aged care sector is facing a growing workforce crisis, particularly in rural and regional areas. Its predominantly female workforce is ageing, and recruiting younger, skilled workers is proving difficult.
The service sector too, is proving highly complex and diverse as a result of contemporary aged care service reforms as well as ongoing difficulties in providing services to the growing numbers of older people living in Australia’s rural areas. Despite these multiple challenges, there is a gap in research that explores how rural aged care services manage their day-to-day requirements for skilled workers across the diverse service sector.
This presentation will discuss a research project funded by the IRT and in partnership with Riverina TAFE. It examines service managers' conceptualisations of the barriers faced in attracting a suitable community care workforce.
|31 August||Dr Clare Wilding|
Well Ageing Vision and Engagement (WAVE): community consultation and supporting well-aging in Wangaratta
In partnership with Northeast Health Wangaratta, the John Richards Initiative has been undertaking a community consultation with older people and service providers in Wangaratta and its surrounding small townships and rural areas. There have been four stages of community consultation asking older people and service providers about what is important to them to keep healthy and well as they age and how can older people be supported to age well? We received 260 postcard responses from older people and people who care for older people.
More than 60 people participated in two world café meetings. Interviews were completed with 29 service providers working in 14 organisations in Wangaratta. Fifty older people from the small townships of Whitfield, Eldorado, and Peechelba/Boorhaman and 60 older people in Wangaratta participated in community meetings. We found that older people need and want information about health and community services, opportunities for social participation, housing, and actions they can take to enhance their health. They also need services that are affordable, easily accessible, and locally-available.
The next phase of this project will be to establish and evaluate an information and education hub targeted for older people.
|31 August||Dr Jennifer Jones|
The widow’s might: Marriage, widowhood and female family economic headship in the Australasian colonies, 1859-1899’
Jennifer will talk about how migrants to the Australian goldfields managed female family headship before and after widowhood, in the context of separate ‘spheres ideology’ and in isolation form traditional sources of support.