La Trobe receives $3.35m in ARC grants

La Trobe researchers have shared in more than $3 million in grant funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC).

The nine ARC Discovery grants, announced today by Minister for Education the Honourable Dan Tehan include projects researching Indigenous migration and its impact, the use of gold as a chemical catalyst and new methods in theoretical mathematics.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Industry Engagement) Professor Susan Dodds said the grants reflected the high calibre of La Trobe’s research experience and capabilities.

“This is a fantastic result for La Trobe and testament to the hard work of our researchers and their colleagues,” Professor Dodds said.

”"The diverse range of projects that have received a grant shows the strength of La Trobe’s research across many disciplines.”

The grants bring the total of ARC funding to La Trobe research to more than $6.6 million in 2019.

ARC Discovery grants - La Trobe-led projects

  • Dr Sarah Callinan, Dr Heng Jiang and Professor Robin Room (Psychology and Public Health) - $140,829
    Dr Callinan, Dr Jiang and Professor Room will investigate how price influences beverage choice in high-risk drinkers.
  • Associate Professor Jason Dutton and Associate Professor Conor Hogan (Molecular Sciences) - $370,000
    Associate Professor Dutton and Associate Professor Hogan will study the potential of gold as a chemical catalyst in the development of new medicines and diagnostic materials.
  • Dr Heng Jiang and Professor Robin Room (Psychology and Public Health) - $280,358
    Dr Jiang and Professor Room will examine trends in household expenditure on alcohol, tobacco, gambling and other goods and services over the past 30 years, and the association with socioeconomic inequality.
  • Professor Andrew Herries and Dr Matthew Meredith-Williams (Humanities and Social Sciences) - $408,000
    Professor Herries and Dr Meredith-Williams will investigate the use of woodworking and tools by early humans in Africa between 515,000 and 163,000 years ago - a critical period in the development of our species.
  • Professor James Whelan (Life Sciences) - $435,000
    Professor Whelan will look into ways to optimise plant growth by modifying the mechanisms that plants use to ”breathe” carbon dioxide.
  • Associate Professor Katherine Ellinghaus, Dr Sianan Healy, Dr Julie Andrews and Professor Alan Lester (Humanities and Social Sciences) - $490,000
    Associate Professor Ellinghaus, Dr Healy, Dr Andrews and Professor Lester will examine the movement and migration of Indigenous peoples from New Zealand and the Pacific to Australia, and how these migrations have an impact on sovereignty and identity across indigenous communities.
  • Associate Professor Conor Hogan and Dr Peter Barnard (Molecular Sciences) - $390,000
    Associate Professor Hogan and Dr Barnard will investigate new technologies to develop simple, low-cost chemical tests using portable sensors for molecules in things ranging from pollen to disease.
  • Dr Mumtaz Hussain (Engineering and Mathematical Sciences) - $405,000
    Dr Hussain will explore new theoretical techniques to test and resolve long-standing mathematical theories and problems.
  • Professor Marilyn Anderson (CI) (Molecular Sciences) - $430,000
    Professor Anderson will investigate ways to control fungal infections in plants by manipulating how fungal cell walls transmit information.

ARC Discovery grants – led by other universities

La Trobe also congratulates our researchers who have been successful in receiving grants for projects led by other universities. These include Professor Suzanne Fraser, Professor David Moore, Professor Shaun Collin, Professor David Winkler, Professor Karen Willis, and Dr Jillian Garvey.

Media contact: Dan Salmon – 0499 949 627 –