CDU’s double delight with crowdfunding


Professor Sue Carthew … delighted with the support of 295 crowdfunding donors.

Professor Sue Carthew … delighted with the support of 295 crowdfunding donors.

Two biodiversity related research projects have received timely boosts following the success of Charles Darwin University’s first foray into online crowdfunding.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Sue Carthew said she was delighted the projects, involving the pygmy crocodile and the Lambalk glider, had surpassed their funding targets.

“Just as pleasing is that these projects have demonstrated wide community support for CDU and the work undertaken by our researchers,” said Professor Carthew, head of the Faculty of Engineering, Health, Science and the Environment.

“The projects provided CDU with an opportunity to showcase some of our research, and an opportunity for people in the community to engage with that work. 

“It was a successful exercise in raising the profile of the two projects and more broadly for the university.”

Conducted on the Pozible platform, the crocodile appeal (Tiny Toothies) received pledges of $12,008 from 126 supporters in 24 days, whereas the glider campaign (The Unknown Glider) received $15,517 in pledges from 169 supporters over 29 days.

Professor Carthew said about half of those who donated to The Unknown Glider campaign were Territorians, and many were from outside the scientific and research communities.

“While the largest individual pledges were $500, a large proportion gave between $5 and $25. Every little bit helped.”

Professor Carthew said significant advances would now be possible in both projects. 

Zoologist Dr Adam Britton and a team of researchers will travel to the remote Bullo River escarpment to survey the habitat for pygmy crocodiles whose numbers have decreased substantially since the arrival of the cane toad.

Funds for the Unknown Glider will be used to determine the taxonomic status of the marsupial, which looks to be a new species.

“Some of the funding will be spent on radio collars, which will help us better understand where and how the species lives. 

“We will also travel to London to compare living animals with the very first specimen collected in 1842, held by the British Natural History Museum.”

Professor Carthew said she was grateful to the online contributors and others who took an interest in the funding initiatives.

“The experience has given us the impetus to consider running other crowdfunding campaigns.

“We will go through a process to carefully identify an interesting and appropriate project that is likely to engage the community and attract online support.

“We would expect to do that this year.”

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