March news items
9th March - Scott and Annabelle safe home from Japan
Two of Southern Cross GeoScience's researchers have returned safely home from Japan, just days before the massive earthquake and tsunami hit the country. Dr Scott Johnston and Dr Annabelle Keene were in Tuskuba, Japan analysing samples using Synchrotron X-rays via the Australian National Beamline Facility at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organisation (KEK). This work was funded by a grant from the Australian Synchrotron research program.
These experiments build upon the work at East Trinity and aim to examine the interaction between arsenic-bearing jarosite and sulfides across a pH gradient. The data shed new light on the behaviour of arsenic and this work will further our understanding of how areas of acid sulfate soils will behave if inundated with seawater.
Scott and Annabelle, along with all staff and students at GeoScience send our deepest condolences to the team at the Photon Factory and are shocked at the scale of the devastation.
11th March - Shave for a Cure
Southern Cross GeoScience's lab trainee, Trent McIntyre was the driving force behind our participation in this year's Shave for a Cure. Every March thousands of people shave, colour and wax their hair to raise funds for the Leukaemia Foundation. It's one of Australia's biggest fundraising events, and this year GeoScience joined in the fun.
Every hour, someone in Australia is diagnosed with leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma. Every two hours, someone dies from one of these blood cancers. The money raised from Shave for a Cure is used by the Leukaemia Foundation to fund services to support patients and families living with leukaemias, lymphomas, myeloma and related blood disorders.
Trent, Assoc. Prof. Ed Burton and PhD candidate Peter Squire took the plunge, and had their heads shaved by Research Analyst, Michelle Bush. To date Trent has collected $1019 for their efforts.
17th March - Field trip to Peel
A team of Southern Cross GeoScience researchers have just returned from a field trip to Western Australia. The team, consisting of Prof. Richard Bush, Prof. Leigh Sullivan, Assoc. Prof. Andrew Rose, Dr Peter Kraal and Dr Mick Cheetham, visited the Peel-Harvey estuary as part of a current ARC Linkage Project. Southern Cross GeoScience in collaboration with Curtin University, University of Western Australia and a range of industry partners, is exploring the extreme geochemical environments that form in the estuary, south of Perth.
This estuary is a major holiday destination and a wetland system of proclaimed international significance for its conservation status and a migratory bird habitat. Unfortunately, poor land management and development has severely impacted the estuary. Once a highly productive fishery, the estuary is now regularly choked by massive algal blooms that trigger anoxia and result in the accumulation of thick layers of black organic ooze.
Although recognised as a major issue for many estuaries throughout the world, there is surprisingly little knowledge on the environmental processes involved. Through field studies, monitoring and laboratory simulations, this new project is seeking to develop a comprehensive model to describe the major processes and their dynamics.
28th March - Paul honours his deal
Southern Cross GeoScience broke through the $1,000 barrier in our 2011 Shave for a Cure fundraising, and true to his word Research Assistant Paul Cheeseman agreed to have his head shaved. Paul's well known mane was dispatched in front of his colleagues Monday afternoon. Congratulations to all involved.
Updated: 12 March 2012