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Research stories

The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Research sector.

Tasmania’s 'blue-sky' future

Tasmania's blue sky economy - Huon Aquaculture group

A transformative 'blue economy’ research centre will further secure the future for the thousands of Tasmanians who rely on the ocean’s wealth – including father and daughter, Steve and Tori Percival.

22 May 2019, Edition 205

Devil S.O.S.

More and more people across the world are joining in the fight to save Tasmania’s Devils. The latest is Columbus Zoo in Ohio, which has just taken delivery of three adorable devils – males, Mustard and Sprout and female, Thyme. The United States zoo is one of seven in the country that now has devils.

18 May 2019, Edition 205

MS research leads the way

Tasmania’s world-leading research into multiple sclerosis [MS] has been given a big shot in the arm with a $10 million funding boost for the Menzies Institute for Medical Research. The Federal Government funding will help Menzies, an institute of the University of Tasmania, continue its ground-breaking work which has spanned 20 years. In collaboration with other researchers at the University and around the world, the Institute has been responsible for many breakthroughs in the disease, including understanding the link between UV exposure and lack of vitamin D in MS risk. The Menzies Institute Director, Professor Alison Venn, said the funding would make an enormous difference towards better prevention, treatment and ultimately a cure for the disease: “What we are trying to achieve with our collaborators is translational research that will improve the outcomes and quality of life of those who live with MS.” Tasmania has the highest prevalence of MS anywhere in Australia. 

23 April 2019, Edition 204

Balloon threat for seabirds

Tasmanian scientists have identified balloons as the highest-risk plastic threat to seabirds, and they are 32 times more likely to kill than the ingestion of hard plastics. The research is a collaboration between the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, CSIRO and the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre. Scientists looked at the cause of death of 1,733 seabirds and found that one third had ingested marine debris. Furthermore, a seabird ingesting a single piece of plastic had a 20 per cent chance of mortality, which rose to 50 per cent for nine items, and 100 per cent for 93 items. Scientists also found that while hard plastic accounts for most debris ingested, it is far less likely to kill than soft plastics, such as balloons. Research leader, Dr Lauren Roman said: “Balloons, or balloon fragments, were the marine debris most likely to cause mortality, and they killed almost one in five of the seabirds that ingested them.”

19 March 2019, Edition 203

Tassie shines in Japan

Premier Will Hodgman has returned from his trade mission to Japan calling it “an important opportunity to showcase the best of our state and support Tasmanian businesses in this key export market". 

19 March 2019, Edition 203

Artificial kelp reefs unlock secrets

Artificial reefs could help preserve Tasmania’s famous giant kelp forests, with scientists hoping the reefs may shed light on why seaweed ecosystems are being degraded around the world. Researchers from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) in Hobart built an array of artificial reefs off Tasmania’s East Coast where kelp forests have been impacted by climate change and invasive sea urchins. They want to test how adult kelp, at different densities and sizes, modify their physical environment and influence juveniles. Lead researcher, Dr Cayne Layton, said: “Increasingly kelp are being threatened by stressors such as ocean warming, urbanisation and pollution … We built a series of artificial reefs and transplanted kelp at different densities and patch sizes, recording how the environment within these patches differed and how that influenced the juvenile kelp.”

14 February 2019, Edition 202

Engineering cousins’ global exposure

Two young engineering cousins are putting Tasmania on the international stage. Former Launceston College student Isaac Brain, and his cousin Mitch Torok, from Rosny College in Hobart, won the engineering category in a prestigious national accolade – the 2019 BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards.

14 February 2019, Edition 202

Boost for MS research

Tasmania continues to lead the way with research into Multiple Sclerosis (MS), with the announcement of two new projects at the University of Tasmania’s Menzies Institute for Medical Research. Alice Saul will explore the effects of diet on MS. 

14 February 2019, Edition 202

Home batteries light up future

The potential for home battery systems to balance the supply of electricity, thereby replacing the reliance on large generators, is the focus of a research project valued at $1.8 million being led by the University of Tasmania (UTAS).

14 February 2019, Edition 202

Views sought on GMO-free status

Leatherwood tree with bee

Brand Tasmania Partners are being urged to have their say on what our GMO-free status means for Tasmania’s brand. Read more

19 December 2018, Partner Connections

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Tasmania's Stories Edition 204

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Tasmania is an island of difference in a sea of sameness. That makes us special and unique. Please enjoy your April newsletter.

25 April 2019, Edition 204

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