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Opportunity to work with world class scientists at summer school


Sharlene King
24 October 2012

Ever wanted to work alongside internationally renowned scientists on real world problems like food security, estuary and wetland sustainability, coral bleaching, and blue-green algae outbreaks?

Southern Cross University’s 2013 Science Summer School gives undergraduates or recent graduates the opportunity to team up with one of the University’s leading researchers to undertake a short science-based project over four weeks.

The program is open to all budding scientists and researchers, not only students or graduates of SCU.

“The SCU Science Summer School is a great opportunity to develop valuable field and laboratory skills, and experience what undertaking an Honours, Masters or PhD project is like,” said Associate Professor Andrew Rose from Southern Cross GeoScience and the Science Summer School coordinator.

The 2013 Science Summer School runs from January 7 to February 1 with the support of researchers from Southern Cross GeoScience, Southern Cross Plant Science, the Marine Ecology Research Centre, and the Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry Research.

Southern Cross University is continuing to develop its international research profile. The University’s field of geochemistry has the top rating of ‘well above world standard’, while the areas of earth sciences, agriculture and forestry are at or above world standard.

The Science Summer School is now in its third year at Southern Cross University.

“Last year we received more than 25 high quality applications from both across the country and overseas,” said Professor Rose.

“The Science Summer School is a wonderful showcase of the range of scientific research being completed right here on the NSW North Coast.”

There is no course fee charged to successful applicants taking part.

The 2013 Science Summer School projects include:

• 'Waxing on about rice quality’, supervisors Dr Daniel Waters and Dr Lei Liu (Southern Cross Plant Science)

• 'Getting to the root of adaptive variation in Tea Tree’, supervisors Dr Merv Shepherd and Dr Terry Rose (Southern Cross Plant Science)

• ‘Is Lyngbya majuscule distribution in Moreton Bay driven by groundwater inputs of dissolved iron?’, supervisors Dr Damien Maher (Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry Research) and Associate Professor Andrew Rose (Southern Cross GeoScience)

• ‘Antioxidant activity of native Australian plants’, supervisor Dr Hans Wohlmuth (Southern Cross Plant Science)

• ‘Tackling the seedy business of fertiliser waste’, supervisor Dr Terry Rose (Southern Cross Plant Science)

• ‘Environmental chemistry of coastal wetlands: Acid sulfate soils, element cycling, water quality and wetland sustainability’, supervisor Professor Richard Bush (Southern Cross GeoScience)

• ‘How will ocean acidification affect calcium carbonate formation rates?’, supervisor Associate Professor Andrew Rose (Southern Cross GeoScience)

• ‘Phosphorus dynamics in a eutrophied Australian estuary’, supervisor Dr Peter Kraal (Southern Cross GeoScience)

• ‘Green bands in corals: could this be the much sought after coral bleaching proxy?’, supervisor Dr Sander Scheffers (Marine Ecology Research Centre)

Full details of the projects and an application form can be downloaded from the Science Summer School website. Applicants will be ranked based on their academic record; demonstrated interest or capacity to conduct science based research; and the availability of research projects that match the applicants nominated preferences.

For further information call 02 6620 3519.
Photo: Collecting monosulfidic black ooze (MBO) from WA's Peel Harvey estuary was Bree Morgan, a joint Southern Cross University-University of Western Australia PhD candidate, at a SCU Science Summer School.