Hawkesbury academics at Western Sydney University's Research Week 2017

The EucFACE research project, based on Londonderry Road at WSU Hawkesbury.
The EucFACE research project, based on Londonderry Road at WSU Hawkesbury.

HAWKESBURY academic Dr Thomas Jefferies will be explaining his research into how microbes can improve the health of the environment, in Western Sydney University’s Research Impact competition next week.

The competition is part of the university’s annual Research Week, which is celebrating research performed by its academics in the areas of environmental sustainability, education and aspirational change, health and wellbeing, and urban living and society.

Dr Jefferies from the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment will have five minutes and one PowerPoint slide to explain his current research project and how it is impacting communities.

“I will be talking about how we can use microbes to improve the health of the environment in a similar fashion to how we are understanding the role of the human ‘microbiome’ in our health. I’ll be focusing on aquatic habitats in Western Sydney (including the Hawkesbury Nepean),” he told the Gazette.

Dr Thomas Jefferies doing some sampling work for his project on microbes.

Dr Thomas Jefferies doing some sampling work for his project on microbes.

“I will  be using the example of our large ‘citizen science’ approach to profile the Indian Ocean microbiome (www.indigovexpeditions.org) and talking about how we can apply this principle locally.”

Mr Jefferies will be competing against 11 other WSU academics from different campuses and a range of schools and institutes including arts, law, culture and society, medicine, midwifery and psychology.

Watch the Research Impact competition in action at the WSU Parramatta campus on Tuesday, October 24 from 3pm to 5.30pm in the Peter Shergold Building (level 9, Room 3 and 4). 

Hawkesbury climate change experiment

A host of other events are scheduled for Research Week, including the EucFACE Public Symposium on Monday, October 23 from 1 to 4pm, which will showcase findings from Australia’s largest climate change experiment.

EucFACE (Eucalyptus Free-Air CO2 Enrichment) is based in remnant Cumberland plain woodland on Londonderry Road near WSU’s Hawkesbury campus.

A network analysis of the Parramatta river microbiome (the different colours indicate that each location has a unique group of microbes) - part of Dr Thomas Jefferies' work on microbes.

A network analysis of the Parramatta river microbiome (the different colours indicate that each location has a unique group of microbes) - part of Dr Thomas Jefferies' work on microbes.

The experiment aims to assess how rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) will affect our fragile forest ecosystems.

The gum trees are in greenhouses with CO2 at levels they expect in the future, to see if climate change kills the trees.

The results of the experiment will inform effective forest management strategies into the future.

The Symposium will be held at Parramatta South campus, Building EA, Ground Floor, Room 18.

Click here for the full Research Week Events Calendar.