Tag Archives: collision

Early Career Researchers

Early career researchers take the stage

The Showcasing Early Career Researchers Competition celebrates good research that is well communicated. Entrants were asked to submit a 30-second video conveying the aim of their research. Five finalists were selected from 41 entrants to attend the 2017 CRC Association Annual Conference in Canberra, to give a 5-minute presentation. An audience vote at the Collaborate Innovate conference determined the winner. 

Meet the five Showcasing Early Career Researchers finalists and see a 30 second snapshot of their work. 

WINNER 2017

JULIE BEADLE – The HEARing CRC

HEARING LOSS IN OLDER ADULTS

early career researchers

Many older adults struggle to understand speech in everyday noisy situations, even when they perform well on traditional hearing tests. For my PhD, I am investigating how age-related changes in cognitive functioning contribute to this all too common situation. I aim to develop a listening test that is reflective of communication in real life and examine how age and cognitive skills like attention and memory are related to performance on this test.

Watch Julie’s video

FINALISTS 2017 

JACQUILINE DEN HOUTING – Autism CRC

TOO ANXIOUS TO ACHIEVE

early career researchers

Around 40% of autistic people experience anxiety, and autistic people also tend to underperform academically. In the non-autistic population, a link between these two issues has been found.

In my research, I am using assessments of anxiety and academic achievement with a group of autistic students, to identify whether the same link exists within the autistic community. These findings could inform support options for autistic students, allowing for improved mental health and academic outcomes.

Watch Jacquiline’s video

DORIS GROSSE – Space Environment Research Centre

MANAGING SPACE DEBRIS

early career researchers

Several 100,000 space debris objects orbiting Earth are threatening to collide with and destroy our satellites networks. To prevent those collisions, a ground based laser can be aimed at the debris objects moving them out of the way with the help of photon pressure. The atmosphere, however, distorts the laser beam. The Adaptive Optics system that I am building compensates for those distortions so that the laser beam can be focused correctly on the object in space and hence preventing collisions.

Watch Doris’s video

TOMAS REMENYI – Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems CRC

TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE

Early career researchers

The Climate Futures Team translates fine-scale, regional climate model output into useful, usable tools that are used by decision makers in industries across Australia. Our focus is on working closely with industry during research design, and throughout the process, to ensure the outputs of our research are directly relevant to our stakeholders and align with their decision making frameworks.

Watch Tomas’s video

MELISSA SCOTT – Autism CRC

WORKPLACES FOR ALL

Early career researchers

Despite people with autism having high levels of skills and the desire to work, they remain unemployed. Many employers are hesitant to hire people with autism due to their lack of confidence and knowledge about autism. To assist employers to better understand autism and their specific needs in the workplace, the Integrated Employment Success Tool (IEST) has been developed. The IEST is a practical “tool kit” with strategies to help employers tailor the workplace for success for people with autism.

Watch Melissa’s video

This article on the Showcasing Early Career Researchers Competition was first published by the CRC Association. Read the original article here.

Out of this world

The secrets of Earth, the Moon and Mars are being uncovered by detailed studies of zircon crystals in ancient rocks.

John Curtin Distinguished Professor Simon Wilde and Associate Professor Alexander Nemchin, with colleagues from Curtin’s Department of Applied Geology, undertake in situ isotopic analyses of zircons and other chemically complex materials.

To do this they use Curtin’s two Sensitive High Resolution Ion Micro Probes (SHRIMPs) in the John De Laeter Centre for Isotope Research.

“The oldest zircons on Earth, the Moon and Mars – which are all close to 4.4 billion years old – have been dated using the Curtin SHRIMPs,” says SHRIMP Manager Dr Allen Kennedy.

While Wilde primarily focuses on terrestrial zircons, Nemchin – who divides his time between Curtin and the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm – has analysed zircons from the Moon and Mars.

“Previous research in the seventies discovered abundant zircon in many lunar samples delivered by the Apollo missions,” Nemchin says. “So we used zircon samples from the Moon to gain a better understanding of how to interpret our terrestrial zircon data.”

The results were illuminating: “We found the currently oldest known zircon on the Moon with an age of 4.417 billion years
– which provides the youngest limit to the formation of the lunar magma ocean.” This vast ‘ocean’ of partially melted rock
is thought to have swamped the Moon shortly after it formed.

In addition, Nemchin and his international collaborators, including NASA, identified a series of features in zircon grains that allow major lunar impact events to be dated.

They have also developed novel methods of analysing phosphates from the Moon with a precision close to a few million years. “Together, this resulted in our questioning of the terminal lunar cataclysm hypothesis.”

Out of this world embed 300
Zircon research by a team at the John De Laeter Centre for Isotope Research found that dramatic changes on Mars 1.7 billion years ago resulted in its barren landscape today.

Also known as the Late Heavy Bombardment, the lunar cataclysm concept was put forward in the 1970s. It suggests that asteroids barraged the Moon for a short time approximately 3.9 billion
years ago, causing much of the cratering seen today on the lunar surface and having geological consequences for Earth.

Nemchin’s results instead suggest multiple cataclysmic spikes of impacts occurred throughout the history of the Solar System, separated by relatively quiet periods.

The team also dated zircon found in an ancient Martian meteorite known as Black Beauty, which was discovered in the Sahara Desert in 2011 by Bedouin tribesmen.

After they determined that the meteorite’s zircon crystals were 4.43 billion years old, the team took precise measurements that provided additional ideas about how the Martian atmosphere has changed through time.

They found that water on Mars was more abundant when the crystals formed, but something dramatically changed prior to 1.7 billion years ago, leaving the barren Martian desert that persists to this day.

– Ben Skuse