Making a difference 2020-2021

Making a difference Outcomes of ARC supported research 2020–21

The Australian Research Council acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past, present and emerging. Please note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this publication may contain the names or images of deceased persons.

ISSN (Print) 2209-6000 ISSN (Online) 2209-7414

Published: August 2021

©Commonwealth of Australia 202 1 All material presented in this publication is provided under a CCAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence www.creativecommons. org > Licenses > by-nc-nd/4.0with the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, the Australian Research Council (ARC) logo, images, signatures andwhere otherwise stated. The details of the relevant licence conditions are available on the Creative Commons website as is the full legal code for the CCAttribution BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence www. creativecommons.org > licenses > by-nc-nd 4.0 legal code. Requests and enquiries regarding this licence should be addressed to ARC Legal Services on +61 2 6287 6600. Images: Cover: Credit: Curtin University. Inside cover: Turquoise watercolor wave. Credit: iStock.com/Anna Rodionova. Contents page: ' Contents ' : The Figueira Brava cave on the Portuguese coast was used as a shelter by Neanderthal populations over the course of twentymillennia. Credit: Pedro Souto. EmpoweringAustralian industry: The tuneable emission colour of a solution of various bromide-based perovskite nanocrystals under UV light. Credit: DrWenping Yin. Advancing social and cultural outcomes : Soda pop. Credit: iStock.com/carlofranco. Discovery and fundamental research : Viewof one of the excavation areas at Figueira Brava cave. Credit: João Zilhão. First Australians’ collaborations and knowledges : NAIDOCWeek. Credit: Curtin University. Responding to COVID-19 : ProfessorWarwickMcKibbin AO, CEPAR Chief Investigator, Director of Policy Engagement andANU. Node Leader Credit: ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research . Improving health and wellbeing : Beach. Credit: iStock.com/magedepotpro. U nderstanding the natural world : Associate Professor Adriana Vergés measuring crayweed. Credit: John Turnbull. Scheme Information: Backgroundwith turquoise watercolor. Credit: iStock.com/Anna Rodionova.

THE AUSTRALIAN RESEARCH COUNCIL The Australian Research Council (ARC) is a

The ARC evaluates the quality of Australian university research through the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) program. ERA is an evaluation framework that identifies research excellence in Australian universities by comparing Australia’s research effort against international benchmarks. ERA assesses quality using a combination of indicators and expert reviewby research evaluation committees. The ARC is also responsible for administering the Engagement and Impact (EI) assessment. EI assesses the engagement of researchers with research end-users and shows howuniversities are translating their research into economic, social, environmental, cultural and other impacts. Assessments are made by expert panels of researchers and research end-users using narrative studies and supporting quantitative indicators.

non-corporate Commonwealth entitywithin the Australian Government. The ARC’s purpose is to grow knowledge and innovation for the benefit of the Australian community through funding the highest quality research, assessing the quality, engagement and impact of research and providing The ARC funds research and researchers under the National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP). The NCGP consists of 2 elements – Discovery and Linkage. Within these elements are a range of schemes structured to provide a pathway of incentives for researchers to build the scope and scale of their work and collaborative partnerships. The majority of funding decisions under the NCGP advice on research matters.

are made on the basis of peer review.

A MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO Welcome to the fifth edition of the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Making a difference publication, where we showcase a year of ARC-supported research from universities from all around the country, and across the full range of research disciplines. The range of research on display in this publication gives a snapshot of the extraordinarilywide variety of research that ARC funding support enables, and the exciting outcomes and new knowledge that results from the hardwork of our world-class research sector. This year, 2021, marks 20 years since the ARC became a statutory agency responsible for Commonwealth research grants administration. Previouslymanaged by the Department of Education and the National Board of Employment, Education and Training, or ‘NBEET’, the ARC came into its ownwith the passage of the Australian Research Council Act 2001 . The legislation that created the ARC contained advisory functions, establishing us as a source of expertise and knowledge for Government and for the research community, as well as setting the funding caps for our research grant schemes. The ARC’s Discovery and Linkage programs, and

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their flagship schemes, Discovery Projects and Linkage Projects, date back to this moment. The dual nature of our funding – for fundamental discovery or ‘blue sky’ research, as well as collaborative research that facilitates linkages within universities and outside the university sector – continues today as an important balance of our research investment. All kinds of research effort are supported through our portfolio of funding schemes, and the research featured in this publication is funded through both the Discovery and Linkage streams. This year’s Making a difference also covers the period when the impacts of COVID-19 began to seriously impact the research community, andwe have worked hard to support the many researchers who have experienced difficulties during this time. Border controls and lockdowns have had countless flow-on effects, impacting both fieldwork and lab work, as well as the ability of PhD students and other researchers to return from overseas. But the silver lining is that some research teams have been able to turn their skills to combat these new challenges, or seize opportunities that emerged as circumstances rapidly evolved. This year, we have included a new section that showcases some of these individuals and teams whowere able to transform

their research programs to tackle the new challenge of COVID-19. I am proud of the speed and skill withwhich our entire research sector has been able to contribute in so manyways to Australia’s response to the global pandemic. We hope you enjoy this year’s publication, for the variety of research projects on display, as well as the demonstrable outcomes which are only possible through the efforts of our amazing research community. I congratulate everyone whose research is highlighted in this year’s publication, though of course there is always so much remarkable research activity that we don’t have room to capture. Thank you all for ‘making a difference’, by your contributions to Australia’s research and innovation effort .

Professor Sue Thomas Chief Executive Officer Australian Research Council

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EMPOWERING AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY 5 Centre of Excellence giving solar energy a twist

DISCOVERY AND FUNDAMENTAL RESEARCH IgNoblePrizefor researchusing 37 intoxicatedworms

ADVANCING SOCIAL AND CULTURAL OUTCOMES

Using film to tell the story of our national history

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It’s all in the coating – creating longer lasting steel products

Kicking caffeine 22

Rare ringgalaxycaptured 11 billion light-years away

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Teen mental health study Research explores the stress of unaffordable housing market on older renters Shells, bones and fishhooks tell a story of sea level change Netflix: an entertainment gamechanger Internet of Things improving Australian lives

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Studyof rat skulls reveals an unexpectedlysimple recipefor adaptive success Neanderthalswereas familiar withthe sea asmodernhumans Hugenewdataset reveals chemical dataon600,000stars UnlockingMacquarie Island’s geological secrets What opal fossils tell us about giantAustraliandinosaurs Howthehumanbrain processesvisual information

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8 Harvesting humanwaste for green energy 10 Future is fully chargedwith newbattery technology

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Making tall timber buildings fire safe

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Increasing the safety of coal miners The future humanities workforce

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FIRST AUSTRALIANS’ COLLABORATIONS AND KNOWLEDGES 50 Ancient food debris tells the story of 65,000 years Graffiti records the stories of conflict 53 Recording the stories carved in ancient boab trees 54

IMPROVING HEALTH AND WELLBEING

UNDERSTANDING THE NATURAL WORLD Tick saliva protein could one day help treat inflammatory diseases

RESPONDING TO COVID-19

The changing workforce under COVID-19

74 Artificial Intelligence

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improving the study of brain disease 76 New research reveals the damaging role of a superbug in the gut 77 World-first 3D printed chest reconstruction implant 78 Tiny tech gets to the heart of disease 80 Insectwings might be the newweapon against ‘superbugs’ 81 ‘Smart’wound dressing technology

Economic modelling of 66 COVID-19 scenarios Rolling out a paper-based medical gown 67 ARC-supported researchers at the forefront of the race to understand COVID 69

86 The treewhose sting is like a spider bite

Cell gatekeepers could be the key to better crops Heatwaves around the world increase Restoring underwater leafy habitats Warmer ocean temperatures affecting baby sharks

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Healing land and people with biodiversity research Dating Gwion Gwion rock art figures in the Kimberley First underwater Indigenous sites found onAustralian seabed

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Effects of COVID-19 on globalisation and migration

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Animal responses to bushfire

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Centre of excellence giving solar energy a twist

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7 It’s all in the coating – creating longer lasting steel products 8 Harvesting humanwaste for green energy 10 Future is fully chargedwith newbattery technology 12 Making tall timber buildings fire safe 14

Increasing the safety of coal miners The future humanitiesworkforce

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Credit: iStock.com/moisseyev.

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RESEARCH INTO SOLAR CELL TECHNOLOGY AT DIFFERENT NODES OF THE ARC CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE IN EXCITON SCIENCE IS LEADING TO A NUMBER OF NOVEL TECHNOLOGIES AND METHODS WITH COMMERCIALISABLE OUTCOMES.

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The ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science (Exciton Science) has several research teams working at different Australian universities with international partners looking into possibilities for transforming light into energy – and energy into light – for innovative renewable energy solutions, including solar technology, energy efficient lighting and security systems. One Exciton Science research project, featuring Elham Gholizadeh as lead researcher and supervised by Chief Investigator Tim Schmidt at The University of New SouthWales (UNSW), has made a breakthrough in light conversion that could potentially impact solar photovoltaics, biomedical imaging, drug delivery and photocatalysis. The team has been able to ‘upconvert’ low energy light into high energy light, which can be captured by solar cells, in a newway. Most solar cells are made from silicon, which restricts the range of light that can be absorbed. This means that some parts of the light spectrum are going unused bymany current devices and technologies. To extend the sensitivity range of these devices, the team has turned low energy light into more energetic, visible light that can be absorbed by silicon. Contributing researcher Professor Jared Cole fromRMIT University says that using oxygen to transfer energy is a breakthrough that goes against the grain for that particular atom. ‘Oftenwithout oxygen, upconversionworks well enough. However, as soon as you allowoxygen in, the process stops working,’ Jared said. ‘It was the Achilles heel that ruined all our plans, but now, not only have we found a way around it, suddenly it helps us.’ CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE GIVING SOLAR ENERGY A TWIST

Meanwhile, at the Monash University-based team at Exciton Science, researchers are adapting solar energy technology in a different way. The team has adapted a technology that’s being used to improve solar power – synthetic nanocrystals based on a perovskite structure – and turned it into a detection method. ‘Perovskite nanocrystals have proved to be a very efficient light emitter,’ says lead researcher DrWenping Yin. The researchers discovered that perovskites change colour within seconds of coming into contact with a common, although toxic, agricultural fumigant, which could previously only be detected using expensive laboratory instrumentationwith long delays. ‘The underlying detection method can be readily expanded to detect a range of other pesticides and chemical warfare agents,’ says senior research leader Professor Jacek Jasieniak, at Monash University. The next steps are toworkwith industry partners at Australia’s national science agency CSIRO and the Department of Defence to develop the technology for use by defence force personnel and first responders.

(Left) The tuneable emission colour of a solution of various bromide- based perovskite nanocrystals under UV light. Credit: Dr Wenping Yin. (Above) PhD student Elham Gholizadeh working in the Molecular Photonics Laboratories at UNSW Sydney. Credit: UNSW/Exciton Science.

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IT’S ALL IN THE COATING – CREATING LONGER LASTING STEEL PRODUCTS BlueScope, a provider of innovative steel materials, products, building systems and one of the world’s leading manufacturers of painted and coated steel products, is drawing on expertise at the ARC Research Hub for Australian Steel Manufacturing (Steel Research Hub), administered by the University ofWollongong (UOW) to investigate complex manufacturing challenges for creating more durable building products. One of the critical challenges being addressed by a joint UOW-BlueScope-University of Queensland research team at the Hub is howto produce smooth, uniform, thin metallic alloy coatings on high-quality coated steel products. Coated steel products – such as corrosion-resistant metallic alloy coated steels – are important for Australian steel manufacturers, particularly in building applications that must withstand the demands of the harsh Australian climate for extended periods. Associate Professor Buyung Kosasih, a Chief Investigator with the Steel Research Hub, says that the research team has developed mathematical and numerical models that help to predict the coating process under different operating conditions. Metallic alloy coatings are applied to a strip of steel by first passing the strip through a molten alloy bath, such as in hot-dip galvanising; then, as the strip passes out of the bath, an air jet knife is used to blowor ‘wipe’ away the excess coating material to achieve the desired coating thickness and uniformity. A uniform coating is a more durable finish, less likely to corrode. Associate Professor Buyung Kosasih says that their mathematical model is the first that links instability of the air jet knife to potential non-uniformities in the coating surface. This has highlighted a critical operating threshold

that produces either a smooth or a rough coating finish of the metallic alloy coating. The team has now employed laboratory-scale experiments carried out at BlueScope facilities to assist in the selection of air jet knife operational and design settings in industry. The Steel Research Hub originally launched in 2015, with a second successful Hub awarded $5 million from the ARC in 2020, securing a further $23.4 million cash and in-kind from collaborating industry and other university partners. THE STEEL RESEARCH HUB HAS MADE A MEASURABLE IMPACT ON MAINTAINING AN ADVANCED, COMPETITIVE STEEL MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY IN AUSTRALIA, ONE THAT IS ABLE TO PROVIDE HIGH QUALITY, LOCALLY PRODUCED STEEL FOR CUSTOMERS IN RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION, DEFENCE, INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS.

Andrew Johnston and Buyung Kosasih, assessing the performance of the Mark I slotted air jet laboratory equipment. Credit: Paul Jones.

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HARVESTING HUMAN WASTE FOR GREEN ENERGY

we just mix them for around for a day or so,’ Associate ProfessorWang says. In an added bonus, recent experiments suggest this free-ammonia technology could also reduce the presence of antibiotic resistant genes in the sludge, and therefore in the environment, where they can negatively impact on human health. NAMED AMONG AUSTRALIA’S MOST INNOVATIVE ENGINEERS IN UTILITIES IN 2020 FOR HIS WORK, THE EUREKA PRIZES JUDGING PANEL NOTED THAT ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR WANG’S ‘CLOSED SYSTEM NATURE OF THIS INNOVATION IS PARTICULARLY POWERFUL. THIS IS A BREAKTHROUGH TECHNOLOGY THAT HAS DIRECT APPLICATION FOR COMMUNITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFIT.’

Associate Professor QilinWang is an ARC Future Fellow andwinner of the 2020 Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher for his work on a technology that could turnwastewater treatment plants into carbon-neutral energy generators. An environmental engineer with the Centre for Technology inWater andWastewater at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Associate ProfessorWang is workingwith partners to develop the energy recovery process for industry. 'My goal is to transform the energy-consuming and high emission sewage treatment process into a zero energy – or, even better, energy producing – low-emission process,' Associate ProfessorWang says. Treating humanwaste using current methods consumes a large amount of energy and also produces greenhouse gas emissions, while being a major expense for councils andwater utilities. While some treatment plants already produce what’s known as biogas, existing processes recover just 5-10%of the energy stored in sewage sludge. Associate ProfessorWang’s breakthrough is to recruit an unwanted by-product of the wastewater treatment process – ammonia – bymixing it inwith the sewage sludge to help transform some of its non-biodegradable components, and free up organics for biogas production. Laboratory experiments suggest the process could improve energy recovery from sewage sludge by four to six times. It’s also easy to implement, with no need for special equipment or inputs such as chemicals or external energy. ‘It’s a simple process. Sewage sludge is added into a simple mixing tank, to be joined by free ammonia. Then

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Associate Professor Qilin Wang. Credit: Kev Anastacio.

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The rechargeable Lithium-ion (LI) battery has become a ubiquitous technology that underpins our lives, powering our mobile devices and electric cars, as well as providing efficient storage for renewably-generated electricity. But there is still an enormous research effort underway to increase their efficiency and reliability, as the technologies of the future will have even greater thirst for the portable energy power of batteries. Professor Maria Forsyth, a former ARCAustralian Laureate Fellow at Deakin University, is Director of the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre in Future Energy Storage Technologies (storEnergy) and is determined that the next battery technology breakthroughwill have a manufacturing home in Australia. The research teams at storEnergy are workingwith LI local Australian comanies and organisations to push the frontiers of battery technology in different ways. Some teams are focussed on improving existing LI cells, to make them higher energy density. Other teams are exploring newbattery formulations, such as replacing lithiumwith sodium, which is more readily available and more environmentally friendly. ‘One of our partner companies, CALIX Ltd, based in Bacchus Marsh just outside Melbourne – whose expertise is in high surface area inorganic materials, such as oxides for the agricultural industry – is now exploring using their unique calcining method for the manufacture of oxide for more sustainable, high performance electrodes,’ says Professor Forsyth. FUTURE IS FULLY CHARGED WITH NEW BATTERY TECHNOLOGY

Professor Forsyth says that the current LI cell dates from 1992, and that the markets are now at the tipping point for decidingwhat the next generation of batteries will be andwhowill make them – driven by the need for new kinds of batteries with different properties. ‘I’m so excited for what is happening now in Australia, the forces are aligning, and there is real potential for the birth of a new industry from the translation of Australia’s research efforts,’ says Professor Forsyth.

Meanwhile, storEnergy Chief Investigator, Professor Jennifer Pringle at Deakin University, is workingwith BoronMolecular Inc. to develop the manufacturing processes for electrolyte (Above) Professor Maria Forsyth. Credit: ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre in Future Energy Storage Technologies. (Right) Advanced high energy density Lithium-metal battery in Ionic Liquid Electrolyte. Credit: storEnergy. components, including polymers and the special salts that go into batteries, to be up-scaled, and to make them cleaner and cheaper.

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WITH STRONG INDUSTRY INTEREST IN MAKING AUSTRALIA A WORLD LEADER IN BATTERY MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY, PROFESSOR FORSYTH AND HER TEAM AT STORENERGY ARE WELDING TOGETHER THE STRANDS OF RESEARCH, ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING EXPERTISE TO CREATE THE FOUNDATIONS FOR A VIABLE BATTERY INDUSTRY ON THESE SHORES.

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in the Engineering Design category for their ‘Suspended Remnants’ timber pavilion, in recognition of the structure’s outstanding design and innovation. The pavilion, a structure created from a collaboration between two Hub project teams, with additional research partners at Swinburne University of Technology, and Hyne Timber, showcased howunder-valued sawmill products can be turned into value-added timber structures. The team coupled inventory constrained designwith a form finding process called funicular modelling, famously used byAntoni Gaudi over a century ago.

MAKING TALL TIMBER BUILDINGS FIRE SAFE The ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub to Transform Future Tall Timber Buildings (ARC Future Timber Hub) is a leading timber research collaboration, administered by The University of Queensland, bringing together experts from industry, government, and academia who are committed to the future development of safe tall timber buildings in the Pacific region. The Hub's research team is advancing the science of tall timber construction including the development of design solutions for engineeredwood products such as Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT). Engineeredwood products have multiple beneficial qualities including having naturally-insulative properties, advantageous structural performance, sustainability, and aesthetic features. They also use sustainablymanaged plantations, and prefabricated construction technologies that minimise waste while enhancing building quality and performance. To ensure the fire-safe use of mass timber structures in tall timber buildings, researchers from the Hub have developed a design framework to define the conditions that enable the self-extinction of mass engineered timber. This is especially important for timber used in tall buildings, where there is a fear of massive conflagrations and fire-induced progressive collapse. With industry partners including Hyne Timber, XLam, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Lendlease, Knauf and Rockwool International, the team conducted a series of 6 large-scale compartment fire tests to validate the framework. Each test was equippedwith more than 500 sensors and a 14m-high buoyancy calorimeter used to acquire essential data for characterising the fire behaviour. Researchers from the Hubwere also among the winners of Australia’s 2020 Good Design Awards – the highest honours for design and innovation in the country – receiving a prestigious Good Design Award GoldAccolade

(Above) The winning Good Design Australia Awards team – Professor Jane Burry, Aurimas Bukauskas, Dr Joe Gattas, Kim Baber and Canhui Chen. Credit: ARC Future Timber Hub. (Right) PhD Student, Hangyu Xu, in front of the fire test room. Credit: ARC Future Timber Hub.

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THE ARC FUTURE TIMBER HUB IS BUILDING A BODY OF RESEARCH EVIDENCE TO GUIDE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CLEAR GUIDELINES FOR TIMBER-BASED CONSTRUCTION FOR TALL TIMBER BUILDINGS IN AUSTRALIA. THE RESULTS FOR FIRE TESTING HAVE NOW ENABLED THE VALIDATION OF THE PROPOSED DESIGN FRAMEWORK, OPENING THE WAY FOR PERFORMANCE-BASED DESIGN OF MASS TIMBER BUILDINGS BY FIRE SAFETY ENGINEERS.

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INCREASING THE SAFETY OF COAL MINERS

steel, with a height of 1.5 metres to protect the full body of a miner. A cover plate is robotically attached to the honeycomb core with several hundredwelds. Through dynamic impact testing, the team assessed the energy-absorbing capacity of the panels and found that, evenwith 600 kg of coal dropped from a 5-metre height at a velocity of 9 m/s, the panels could absorb a significant amount of energywithout disintegration. Having demonstrated the effectiveness of the system, the researchers are now in discussionwith coal industry operators and coal industry equipment designers to generate interest in its further development and applications.

The ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Nanoscience-based Construction Material Manufacturing (the NanocommHub) is a multidisciplinary research hub that aims to transform the construction materials industry. Administered byMonash University, the NanocommHub has over 50 partners fromAustralian industry, research and higher education organisations. Chief Investigators, Associate Professor Ting Ren and Professor Alex Remennikov, both based at the University ofWollongong node of the Hub, have beenworking to create a newprotective system for continuous miners in underground coal mines. The project is intended to meet new industry standards that were put in place following a 2014 NewSouthWales coal mining tragedy inwhich two miners died 500metres underground. The men had been operating a continuous mining machine when hundreds of tonnes of coal collapsed on them. This tragedy sparked an investigation that determined that existing protective systems were inadequate, prompting tighter safety regulations. 'We wanted to design a newprotective system that could be installed on continuous miners as the last line of defence after all other mitigating measures fail,' explains Associate Professor Ren. 'Our aimwas to protect people working on these machines against the hazard of coal bursts while building roadways in highly stressed coal seams.' The researchers modelled the impact of ejected coal fragments and devised formulas to predict the dynamic load and kinetic energy of flying coal and the resulting impact on continuous miners. They then developed a prototype protective systemwhich could be readily assembled underground. The system they developed contained a number of energy-absorbing honeycomb panels made of very thin

(Above) Dynamic impact testing of the CM protective panel with a drop hammer system. Credit: Dr Xiaohan Yang. (Right) Credit: iStock.com/SIYAMA9.

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THE RESEARCHERS HAVE COLLABORATED WITH INDUSTRY PARTNER PETER HOLT OF IRONCLAD MINING MACHINERY TO DEVELOP A SYSTEM OF ENERGY ABSORBING PANELS THAT CAN BE READILY ASSEMBLED UNDERGROUND TO PROTECT CONTINUOUS MINERS FROM DANGEROUS COAL BURSTS. THE SYSTEM WAS SHOWCASED AT THE 2021 RESOURCE OPERATORS CONFERENCE AND GENERATED SIGNIFICANT INTEREST IN ITS APPLICATIONS.

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INTERVIEWS WITH LEADING FIGURES FROM ACROSS BUSINESS, GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION AND CREATIVE SECTORS ARE PROVIDING FIRST-HAND, INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC ACCOUNTS OF WHAT EMPLOYERS WANT FROM HUMANITIES GRADUATES, THE NEED FOR SKILLS-MIXING, ETHICAL AND CRITICAL THINKING, AND HOW THE HUMANITIES CREATE LEADERS WITH THE CAPACITY FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION, INSPIRATION, AND EMPATHY.

Credit: iStock.com/demaerre.

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THE FUTURE HUMANITIES WORKFORCE

How canwe best support the next generation of humanities researchers?What are the future knowledges and skills sets needed for Australia’s humanities workforce, within and beyond the university sector? Is this workforce diverse enough to cater for the future needs of our political, legal, economic and educational sectors? Research being undertaken by the Australian Academy of the Humanities’ Future HumanitiesWorkforce project , funded by the ARC’s Learned Academies Special Projects scheme, is tackling these questions as it develops a new and comprehensive account of Australia’s humanities workforce and a plan for its future. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the university sector andwider industries and workplaces. It has never been more essential to take stock of our graduates’ preparedness to adapt to changing research environments, digital disruption, increased interdisciplinary and cross-sector collaboration. Led by the Academy’s Immediate Past President and ARC Laureate Fellow, Professor Joy Damousi, (Australian Catholic University), the project’s team includes Professor Jane Lydon (The University ofWestern Australia), Professor GrahamOppy (Monash University), the Academy’s Director, Policy and Research, Dr Kylie Brass, and Project Researcher, Dr Iva Glisic. To date, the project’s consultations have identified priorities for gender andworkforce diversity and practical solutions to future-proofing Australia’s humanities-trainedworkforce. The project will publish its findings in late 2021, providing a springboard for further conversations about howwe build both timely and timeless skills to strengthen the working lives and livelihoods of Australians andAustralia.

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ADVANCING SOCIAL AND CULTURAL OUTCOMES

Using film to tell the story of our national history Kicking caffeine

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Teen mental health study

Research explores the stress of unaffordable housing market on older renters

Shells, bones and fishhooks tell a story of sea level change 29 Netflix: an entertainment gamechanger 31 Internet of Things improving Australian lives 33

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Credit: iStock.com/ Tashi-Delek.

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USING FILM TO TELL THE STORY OF OUR NATIONAL HISTORY Associate Professor TomMurray is an academic and film producer based at Macquarie University, whose screen production research has been supported since 2014 by a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA). Amajor outcome of the project is a feature-film documentary, which made its debut at the 2020 Sydney Film Festival. The Skin of Others is a story told through the extraordinary lives of two remarkable men: Aboriginal WW1 soldier Douglas Grant (c.1885-1951) and acclaimed Indigenous actor Balang Tom E. Lewis from the Murrungun people, who plays Grant in the film. The filmmovingly interweaves Grant’s experiences during two major conflicts of Australian andworld history: the FrontierWars that remade sovereign Aboriginal nation-territories into the Commonwealth of Australia; andWW1, a conflict that has providedAustralian histories with a foundational narrative of tragic heroism and national pride in the ANZAC story. Within this broad narrative Balang Tom E. Lewis demonstrates his incomparable ability to inhabit the skin of others, portraying Grant’s heroic actions inwar and peace in a lead performance full of empathy and understanding. ‘This is also the story of Australia, its violent past and its future potential,’ says Dr Murray. ‘It recounts a tragic national history of Australian colonial relations with First Nations people, explores the ways we tell the story of our nation, and ultimately dreams of a more reconciled and inclusive Australian future.’ Dr Murray has been awarded an ARC Future Fellowship for work on a newdocumentary-film history project The Mangatharra Road , which aims to demystifyAustralian pre-colonial isolation by demonstrating Indigenous Australia's connection to South-East Asian cultural and trading networks.

A SONG THAT DR MURRAY CO-WROTE WITH DAVID BRIDIE FOR THE DOCUMENTARY, CALLED ‘ THE BALLAD OF THE BRIDGE BUILDERS ’, WAS VOTED 'BEST ORIGINAL SONG COMPOSED FOR THE SCREEN' AT THE 2020 APRA SCREEN MUSIC AWARDS.

(Above) Actor Balang Tom E. Lewis as Douglas Grant in The Skin of Others . Credit: Tarpaulin Productions. (Right) Director and ARC DECRA recipient Associate Professor Tom Murray with actor Balang Tom E. Lewis in 2018. Credit: Tarpaulin Productions.

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KICKING CAFFEINE

Professor Kemps says that these trial methods will nowbe expanded to examine howto combat the attentional and approach biases of consumers towards energy drinks. SIDE-EFFECTS OF EXCESSIVE INTAKE OF THE HIGH CAFFEINE DRINKS, WITH OTHER STIMULANTS TAURINE, GUARANA AND GINSENG, CAN LEAD TO A RANGE OF NEGATIVE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CONSEQUENCES, INCLUDING ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, OR EVEN STRESS, PTSD AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE.

Energy drink consumption has been associatedwith physical and mental health problems, and yet is increasing worldwide – especially among young adults who account for about two-thirds of the market. While consuming the occasional energy drink is not problematic, some individuals may consume several every day, leading to the development of intolerance and serious withdrawal symptoms upon cessation. ARC-funded researchers have looked at ways to reduce or combat such problematic over consumption of energy drinks. Through an ARC Discovery Project, Psychologist Professor Eva Kemps and her research team at Flinders University

have used cognitive bias retraining – a form of computer-based training aimed at reducing

decision-making biases in consuming energy drinks – to test the effect on the decision making of regular consumers of energy drinks. More than 200 participants aged between 18 and 25 underwent a cognitive bias modification protocol aimed at reducing energy drink consumption by either decreasing the extent towhich energy drink cans capture the attention of regular energy drink consumers (attentional bias) or reducing the tendency for these consumers to approach energy drinks (approach bias). ‘By giving participants some simple techniques, we examinedwhether theywere able to moderate their bias toward choosing energy drinks over soft drinks and more healthy options, and perhaps reduce consumption before they become addicted,’ says Professor Kemps. There is some evidence that a reduction in bias can produce a corresponding reduction in consumption in terms of lower intake. However, so far neither attentional nor approach bias modification has been shown to translate into a significantly reduced energy drink intake.

Flinders University Professor of Psychology Eva Kemps researches mind, body and cognition. Credit: Flinders University.

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suicidal ideation and anxiety, and to inform targeted responses in policy and practice. ‘These could include peer-based programs to enhance social connectedness and parent skills training to improve parent-child relationships. Family environments and peer relationships have a critical role to play in adolescent mental health. It is also important to tailor protective strategies in line with regional, socioeconomic and cultural circumstances.’ The study is based on data collected in theWorld Health Organization Global School-based Health Surveys between 2003 and 2015. Participants were asked if they had seriously considered attempting suicide during the past 12 months, and if they had been soworried about something they could not sleep at night. ‘ADOLESCENCE IS A PIVOTAL DEVELOPMENTAL STAGE THAT EXERTS LIFE-LONG INFLUENCE ON HEALTH AND WELLBEING. MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES COME WITH ENORMOUS PERSONAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC COSTS IN LOST OPPORTUNITIES AND REQUIRES STRATEGIC EARLY INTERVENTION.’ PROFESSOR JANEEN BAXTER, DIRECTOR OF THE LIFE COURSE CENTRE.

TEEN MENTAL HEALTH STUDY A global mental health study led byARC-supported researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course (Life Course Centre), administered by The University of Queensland, has found approximately one in five teenagers experience thoughts of suicide or anxiety. The study investigated data collected frommore than 275,000 adolescents aged between 12-17 years across 82 low, middle and high income countries. It found 14 per cent of adolescents had suicidal thoughts and 9 per cent had anxiety over a 12-month period. The study, led by Life Course Centre PhD student (now Research Fellow), Tuhin Biswas, showed that in every country, teens with fewer peer and parental supports and higher levels of parental control were more likely to report thoughts of suicide and anxiety. The risks were also higher for teens who had experienced peer conflict, victimisation, isolation and loneliness. ‘Our study shows many adolescents around the world, irrespective of their country’s income status, experience suicidal thoughts and anxiety, but there is high variation across countries and different continental regions,’ says Tuhin Biswas. Co-authors on the study included Life Course Centre Chief Investigator Associate Professor Abdullah Mamun and Life Course Centre Director Professor Janeen Baxter. Associate Professor Abdullah Mamun said mental health remained under-reported in many low-to-middle income countries due to social stigma, religious or cultural taboos, and inadequate mental health resources. Of the 82 countries in this study, 36 had no specific mental health policy. Professor Baxter says the study provides the evidence base to help identify protective factors against adolescent

Credit: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

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RESEARCH EXPLORES THE STRESS OF UNAFFORDABLE HOUSING MARKET ON OLDER RENTERS

Dr Power’s research findings present women’s experiences of housing insecurity and calls for urgent action to address rental affordability and security on a national scale. The report outlines five policy recommendations made with the intention of enabling single older women to achieve a reasonable standard of life, with basic housing and income security. ‘A FAILURE TO ENSURE SECURE HOUSING FOR ALL BRINGS RISK TO THE COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE,’ SAYS DR POWER.

Research by an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) recipient, Dr Emma Power, has found that older women are struggling in an insecure and unaffordable rental housing market. A combination of high housing costs and low incomes leaves many living in substandard housing and unable to afford necessities like food and energy bills. The researchwas conducted in three stages: a policy review of age-connected housing strategy in Australia; interviews with stakeholders in the ageing and housing sectors; and in-depth interviews recording the housing biographies and experiences of older women living across diverse housing contexts including private and social rental, shared housing, transitional and emergency housing, and homelessness. Dr Emma Power, based atWestern Sydney University’s School of Social Sciences and Institute for Culture and Society, says that older women’s experiences are a warning of the risks the current housing crisis poses to Australia's growing group of older renters. ‘Single olderwomen, aged 55 and over, are overrepresented amongst the asset poor in Australia. They are also one of the fastest growing groups of homeless people nationally,’ says Dr Power. ‘Many of the women in my research lived in degraded and low-quality housing or paid high housing costs which stretched their budgets, leaving them unable to buy nutritious food and manage utility bills.’ Dr Power says that while affordability and security are concerns for all renters, they are especially vital for older renters on low, fixed incomes facing uncertain futures in the private rental market. The number of older Australians who rent is also projected to increase over the next decade.

(Above) Dr Emma Power. Credit: Western Sydney University. (Left ) Credit: iStock.com/fizkes.

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‘IT IS NO SURPRISE THE SITE SEES SIGNIFICANT EVIDENCE FOR FISHING… NOT JUST THE BONES OF A WIDE VARIETY OF FISH AND SHARK SPECIES, BUT ALSO IN THE FORM OF SHELL FISHHOOKS IN DIFFERENT SHAPES AND SIZES,’ SAYS ARC AUSTRALIAN LAUREATE FELLOW, PROFESSOR SUE O'CONNOR.

Dr Kealy in the field. Credit: ANU media.

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SHELLS, BONES AND FISHHOOKS TELL A STORY OF SEA LEVEL CHANGE ARC-supported researchers fromThe Australian National University (ANU) have led the excavation of a cave – called Makpan – on the Indonesian island of Alor, making an exciting discovery. Shells, fish bones and fishhooks found in the cave showhowpeople once lived andwere rapidly adapting to climate change as theymade their way towards Australia tens of thousands of years ago. Makpanwitnessed a series of massive sea level highs and lows during its 43,000 years of human occupation, largely due to the climactic extremes of the last Ice Age. According to Dr Shimona Kealy fromANU, analysis of artefacts found at Makpan show how inventive and adaptive its early residents were. ‘When people first arrived at Makpan, they came in low numbers,’ Dr Kealy says. ‘At this time, the cave was close to the coast – as it is today – and this early community lived on a diet of shellfish, barnacles and sea urchin, with sea urchins in particular eaten in large numbers.’ Shortly after their initial arrival, sea levels began to fall. This increased the distance from the site of Makpan to the coast, and likely encouraged people to broaden their diet to include a variety of land-based fruits and vegetables. As the last Ice Age began towane about 14,000 years ago, Makpanwas once again within 1 km of the coast. The team, led byARCAustralian Laureate Fellow, Professor Sue O’Connor, used radiocarbon dating of preserved charcoal and marine shells to establish the times when people were occupying the cave. The findings showthat Alor was occupied around the same time as Flores to the west, and Timor to the east – confirming Alor’s position as a ‘stepping-stone’ between these two larger islands. The studywas supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH), which is administered by The University ofWollongong.

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‘INTERNET-DISTRIBUTED VIDEO SERVICES SUCH AS NETFLIX, HAVE COMPLETELY TRANSFORMED THE ENTERTAINMENT LANDSCAPE AND THE COMPETITIVE FIELD IN WHICH FREE-TO-AIR TELEVISION OPERATES, AS WELL AS TURNED THE DEFINITION OF ‘PAY TV’ ON ITS HEAD,’ SAYS PROFESSOR LOTZ.

Credit: Netflix.

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The research team analysed the libraries Netflix makes available in different countries and found differences that distinguish it from services such as Disney+ and others launching fromHollywood studios. As Netflix’s non-US subscribers have grown, so too has commissioning of movies and series from outside the US. The researchers explored howNetflix operates as a supplement rather than a replacement for national providers, especially public service broadcasters central to cultural storytelling. The team has also been tracking national policy approaches to streaming services and their implications. ‘It is difficult to appreciate whether some of Netflix’s peculiarity results from its global reach, business model, or distribution technology, but these are crucial questions to ask. And do these characteristics lead to the availability of stories, characters and places not readily available? If so, this is a notable benefit to audiences,’ says Professor Lotz. ‘We should also ask howthese characteristics affect opportunities available for writers, producers, and actors who might be rethinking the kind of stories that must be told to sell internationally.’

NETFLIX: AN ENTERTAINMENT GAMECHANGER

A team of researchers fromRMIT and Queensland University of Technology’s Digital Media Research Centre are collaborating on an ARC Discovery Project exploring the impact of global subscription video-on-demand platforms on national television markets –providing a research basis for media regulators to set a newmedia policy environment. Internet-distributed service Netflix is often portrayed as an entertainment behemoth crushing all competition and diminishing local content, but the research team has found that’s a simplistic view. Unlike old industry heavyweights in Hollywood, Netflix fosters local content for a global audience, and has produced content for more than 167 million subscribers worldwide. ‘Few recognize the extent towhich Netflix has metamorphosed into a global television service. Unlike services that distribute only US-produced content, Netflix has funded the development of a growing library of series produced in more than 27 countries, across six continents, including Australia,’ says researcher Professor Amanda Lotz.

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Credit: Shutterstock/sdecoret.

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INTERNET OF THINGS IMPROVING AUSTRALIAN LIVES

and enhance the delivery of services to regional and remote populations. It can also be useful to track and demonstrate sustainability in supply chains, such as low emissions products, andwill assist industry to create a greater trust in data,’ says Dr Finkel. The Chair of the study’s expert group, Professor Bronwyn Fox, says ‘Australians have wholeheartedly embraced digital transformation across a range of sectors such as manufacturing, mining, food and agriculture. To maintain our competitive advantage, it is vital that policymakers, industry and communitywork together to ensure we can continue to evolve and use IoT for the benefit of businesses and individuals in cities and regional Australia.’ ‘REFLECTING ON THE CHALLENGES OF 2020, IOT COULD HELP US MONITOR ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTERS, SUPPORT PANDEMIC MANAGEMENT AND ENHANCE THE DELIVERY OF SERVICES TO REGIONAL AND REMOTE POPULATIONS,’ SAYS DR ALAN FINKEL.

The Australian Council of LearnedAcademies (ACOLA), funded in part by the ARC Linkage Learned Academies Special Projects (LASP), has released a report highlighting the significant benefit Australia can derive from the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT describes the network of physical objects – ‘things’ – that are embeddedwith sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the Internet. Examples of these include home devices, health wearables, agricultural sensors, and autonomous factories and mines. It is estimated that there were 16 million IoT devices in Australia in 2018, and that by 2022 there will be 29 billion connected devices in the world, of which around 18 billion will be related to IoT. The ARC-supported study explores a range of applications across Australian cities and regions; to create an on-demand manufacturing sector, monitor carbon emissions in our supply chains, track energy usage in our homes, enhance telehealth to tailor patient care and support the monitoring and treatment of COVID-19 patients in their own homes. The report provides critical evidence of the IoT’s potential opportunities and challenges, and outlines practical measures for governments, industry and community. Australia’s former Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, who commissioned the report on behalf of the National Science and Technology Council, says the research examines how we can improve the waywe live through using technology. It also shows how industries can growby facilitating better processes and automation. ‘The Internet of Things could help us monitor environmental disasters, support pandemic management

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Credit: iStock.com/bjdlzx.

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DISCOVERY AND FUNDAMENTAL RESEARCH

37 Ig Noble prize for research using intoxicatedworms Rare ring galaxy captured 11 billion light-years away 38 Study of rat skulls reveals an unexpectedly simple recipe for adaptive success 39 Neanderthals were as familiar with the sea as modern humans 41 Huge newdataset reveals chemical data on 600,000 stars 42 Unlocking Macquarie Island’s geological secrets 44 What opal fossils tell us about giant Australian dinosaurs 4 5 Howthe human brain processes visual information 4 6

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Dr Ivan Maksymov's worm research may benefit neuroscience and robotics. Credit: Swinburne University of Technology.

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