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$1m Australian Research Council Future Fellowship to investigate chemical pollution in coastal waters - 05/06/2017

Prof Isaac Santos FF Southern Cross University researcher Professor Isaac Santos, who is based at the University’s National Marine Science Centre in Coffs Harbour, has been awarded a prestigious Australian Research Council Future Fellowship.

Professor Santos relocated to Australia in 2009 after completing his PhD in the USA. He has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in the USA, a Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg Fellowship in Germany, a Research Institute for Humanity and Nature Fellowship in Japan, and the Cronin Award by the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation. The Cronin Award is an international award given once every two years by the largest global federation of coastal scientists. Professor Santos has also received Southern Cross University awards for outstanding contributions to student learning and community engagement.

Southern Cross University will receive funding of $1,016,000 over four years, one of the largest Future Fellowships announced by the Minister for Education and Training, the Hon Simon Birmingham today (June 5).

The Future Fellowships scheme supports research in areas of critical national importance by giving outstanding researchers incentives to conduct their research in Australia. The aim of Future Fellowships is to attract and retain the best and brightest mid-career researchers.

Professor Santos will use the funding for a research project investigating the sources of chemical pollution in Australian coastal waters, including the iconic Sydney Harbour and the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland.

“This project aims to resolve whether groundwater polluted decades ago is now seeping out along shorelines, and driving coastal water quality. This project is innovative because it will challenge common assumptions about the sources of chemical pollution to Australian coastal waters using our cutting-edge analytical techniques developed in the last five years,” Professor Santos said.

“This research will guide the future management, rehabilitation and protection of some of our most valuable coastal waterways.”

This interdisciplinary project builds on the National Marine Science Centre’s recognised excellence in the fields of Fisheries and Oceanography, and will allow Southern Cross University to further establish the new discipline of Ecohydrology.

“This is an individual grant but can only be achieved with a large collective effort,” said Professor Santos.

“I appreciate the incredible support from my University colleagues and my students who inspire me every day. I share the creation process with many of these colleagues who create an outstanding work environment to enable this research.

“Winning this prestigious grant validates my decision of building a career at the NMSC in Coffs Harbour. It shows how Southern Cross University can punch above its weight in disciplines such as Fisheries, Oceanography, and now Ecohydrology.”

Southern Cross University Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Geraldine Mackenzie congratulated Professor Santos on receiving the Fellowship.

“This was the only Future Fellowship in the field of Oceanography in Australia this round, showing SCU NMSC’s leadership in this field,” Professor Mackenzie said.

“This is an outstanding achievement and recognition of the world-class research Professor Santos is undertaking. This is his third prestigious ARC fellowship and his 16th large ARC grant, having recently concluded a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award.”

Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker also congratulated Professor Santos.

“He has a well-established and expanding network of collaborators and is a leader in his field with a rapidly growing international reputation. We are genuinely thrilled with this outcome,” Professor Shoemaker said.

“Professor Santos has also developed unique infrastructure and attracted excellent external researchers and students to Southern Cross University to form a critical mass of collaborators.”

Photo: Professor Isaac Santos.

Media contact: Sharlene King, media officer, Southern Cross University, 02 6620 3508 or 0429 661 349.

For further information, please contact:
Communications and Publications
Southern Cross University
PO Box 157 • Lismore NSW 2480 • Australia
T +61 2 6620 3508 • e