Marine Sponge Bio-monitors

Novel bio-monitoring tools for water quality in Darwin Harbour

Bio-regional planning and development in Darwin Harbour is currently compromised by the absence of an integrated systems approach to monitoring and the lack of monitoring tools for routine biological assessment.

Researchers from CDU, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and Museum and Art Gallery of the NT (MAGNT) have made an exciting discovery that has the potential to result in the development of a novel bio-monitoring management tool for Darwin Harbour.

Spheciospongia vagabundaThe team has discovered that a common sponge species called Spheciospongia vagabunda contains very high levels of four heavy metals.  The levels accumulated are higher than other sponge species at all sites, but levels are higher at sites affected by sewage effluent discharge.

The metals - cobalt, nickel, zinc and cadmium - are also common in industrial waste and some of these are known to be very toxic to marine life. Somehow this sponge can resist the toxic effects of these metals.

We propose to do more research to understand how this sponge can accumulate such high levels of metals and under what environmental conditions.

If our initial observations hold true and exposure to lower metal levels in pollution means lower levels of metal accumulation, then this sponge will be a powerful bio-monitoring tool.

In addition, we would develop DNA monitoring tools that target key indicator genes. This test would require tiny samples of sponge and would
compliment an integrated monitoring program.

We seek your co-investment in this research

The Australian Government’s Australian Research Council Linkage-Project scheme invests in high quality research that has cash and in-kind support from industry.  This is a competitive process so only the best proposals
are funded.

We ask that you consider co-investing in this research. Support needed is in the order of $20,000 per year for each of three years which would allow us to leverage up to five times that amount.

Proposals are due November 2010 and for more information about the scheme please contact any of the people listed below.

Dr Jenny Carter

Office of Research and Innovation - CDU
Phone: 08 89466708
Email:  jenny.carter@cdu.edu.au

Professor Karen Gibb

Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods - CDU
Phone: 08 89466705
Email:  karen.gibb@cdu.edu.au

Professor David Parry

Australian Institute of Marine Science-AIMS
Phone: 08 89209240
Email: d.parry@aims.gov.au

Commercial researcharrow

Our researchers can undertake commercial research projects of all sizes to help you find solutions to your problems and meet your goals. 

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Our researchers can undertake commercial research projects of all sizes to help you find solutions to your problems and meet your goals. 

 

Whether you have an immediate problem that needs solving, or are considering a long-term investment in research and development to meet your future organisational needs, we can work with you to develop a customised solution.

 

For further information about possible opportunities or to discuss potential research projects with us, please contact our Research Grants and Business Development team.

Research partnershipsarrow

Sometime a range of expertise is required to find the most appropriate solutions to research problems...

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Sometime a range of expertise is required to find the most appropriate solutions to research problems.  At Charles Darwin University, we believe in pooling our expertise with expertise from government, private enterprise and the community to tackle big issues so that our research outputs and outcomes can make a wider and more significant impact.  Through forming research partnerships, we can seek input from a range of sources and include differing viewpoints so that, together, we can make a real difference.

 

If your organisation is interested in forming a research partnership with our University or has a research problem that needs addressing, please contact our Research Grants and Business Development team.

Training partnershipsarrow

At Charles Darwin University we have many active training partnerships to not only provide our current and potential students with a wide range of training options but also to enable organisations to offer on-the-job accredited training solutions for their staff. 

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At Charles Darwin University we have numerous active training partnerships to ensure we can offer our current and potential students a range of different training opportunities that we would be unable to offer on our own.  We also have training partnerships with a many organisations that enable such organisations to provide on-the-job accredited training to their staff through third party delivery agreement arrangements. 

 

If you would like to discuss potential training partnerships with Charles Darwin University, please contact our Research Grants and Business Development team for further information.

Cooperative Research Centresarrow

Charles Darwin University is an active partner in the Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation (CRC REP) and the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre (PB CRC).

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The Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) program is an Australian Government Initiative administered by the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. The CRC program supports end user driven research collaborations to address major challenges facing Australia. CRCs pursue solutions to these challenges that are innovative, of high impact and capable of being effectively deployed by the end users.

Charles Darwin University is an active partner in the Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation (CRC REP) and the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre.  The University has previously participated in CRCs for Desert Knowledge, Bushfires, Sustainable Tourism, Tropical Savannas Management and Aboriginal Health.  These CRCs had a range of successful outcomes and have now concluded or evolved into Institutes and the like.

CDU/NT Government Partnership Agreementarrow

Charles Darwin University and the Northern Territory Government have formed a Partnership Agreement which aims to provide sustainable outcomes for the Northern Territory.

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Projects conducted by CDU and the NTG under this Agreement are expected to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

 

(a) increased CDU student enrolments
(b) increased participation in CDU by Indigenous Territorians
(c) building local teaching and research staff in the Northern Territory
(d) building local capacity to meet the needs of the NTG in areas including but not limited to research, evaluation, education and training
(e) leveraging research investment from sources external to the Northern Territory, such as the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council
(f) partnerships with Territory businesses to increase research and development investment
(g) shared human resources
(h) shared infrastructure.

Collaborative partnershipsarrow

The Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Linkage Projects Scheme provides an opportunity for Organisations to partner with Charles Darwin University to leverage Commonwealth funding for high quality, relevant research that involves risk or innovation.

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The Australian Research Council's (ARC) Linkage Projects Scheme provides an opportunity for Organisations to partner with Charles Darwin University to leverage Commonwealth funding for high quality, relevant research that involves risk or innovation.

Benefits include:

  • Access up to 4 times your cash contribution through Commonwealth funding to help solve your research problem
  • Demonstration of your organisation's involvement in formal, independent, peer-reviewed  research
  • Staff development through direct collaboration
  • Recruitment opportunities from the next generation of high quality, highly trained University research scholars
  • Access to leading edge research expertise, knowledge, facilities, laboratories and equipment
  • Possible eligibility for Australian Government Research and Development tax concessions
  • Method of funding Research and Development beyond testing phase.

 

CDU has recently been awarded three ARC Linkage Projects from the Australian Government in its 2012 funding round.  To find out more about the successful projects, click here.

 

For further information about becoming a Partner on an ARC Linkage Project, please download our Collaborative Research Opportunities: Information for potential partners brochure or contact our Research Grants and Business Development team.

Current Opportunities

 

What we can do for you

  • Contract research
  • Consultancies
  • Needs analyses
  • Commercial research
  • Course design & customisation

Partnership Opportunities