Local student receives research grant
La Trobe University PhD student, Vicki McCartney, has received a $9,750 grant from Parks Victoria for research conducted on the peatlands at the Bogong High Plains near Falls Creek. Vicki, who has been studying at the Albury-Wodonga campus since 2006, is excited about the support.
‘I am so passionate about the peatlands, these are unique ecosystem that requires research in order to conserve the rare species that occur only in these environments,’ she says.
Vicki will be documenting Bryophyte Pools, which are the first collection pool for water that comes out of the mountains. She has surveyed three areas on the Bogong High Plains in relation to hydrology and vegetation with a view of understanding the impact that the climate has on the water and life within the pools.
‘We are investigating the groundwater age, the mechanisms of groundwater recharge and how particular plants survive during snow cover or extended dry periods. There are 32 sourcewater pools on the Bogong High Plains which have been found so far from this survey,’ she says.
Originally from Beechworth, Vicki began studying at La Trobe as a mature-age student in 2006. After completing a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management and Ecology at La Trobe, she has completed an honours thesis which also focussed on the bryophytes on the Bogong High Plains.
‘I have always loved plants and when I was accepted into university it gave me the opportunity to learn more about them. When I finished my honours, I was keen to expand on the topic through my PhD and after two years I’m finding it more interesting every day,’ she says.
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