ARC awards for 2013 related to the Pacific islands

The Pacific Institute at the ANU would like to recognise the significant effort of all academic and support staff who participated in ARC rounds in 2012 and congratulate all recipients of ARC Discovery Early Career Research Awards and ARC Discovery Awards for 2013. This post lists recipients of these ARC awards with research of specific relevance to Pacific island nations [text below is adapted from the ARC website]:

Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRA):

Bode, Dr Michael (Melb)
Understanding the ecological and economic implications of reef fish larval dispersal
Until we understand larval dispersal, the movement of reef fish during their juvenile stage, we cannot sustainably manage coral reef ecosystems. This project will use sophisticated mathematical tools to understand how larval dispersal influences the ecology and management of the Great Barrier Reef and a fishery in Papua New Guinea.

Flexner, Dr James L (ANU)
Mission archaeology and colonial encounters in Southern Vanuatu
The remains of Christian missions in southern Vanuatu are important heritage sites for  local communities, and for their place in world history as part of one of the final frontiers of European colonialism. This project explores these sites to produce a new picture of everyday life that includes the perspectives of missionaries and native people.

George, Dr Nicole L (UQ)
Gender violence, women’s empowerment and human rights in Melanesia: exploring the
French connection
This project examines the varied prevalence and acceptance of gender violence in Francophone and Anglophone Melanesian countries. It challenges the predominant view that the promotion of women’s human rights ideals, in isolation from broader  empowerment strategies, will encourage women to resist their exposure to this violence.

Reepmeyer, Dr Christian H (ANU)
Foundations of Island Southeast Asian maritime interaction: unravelling cause and
consequence for the transformation of past societies
The successful spread of Neolithic innovations across the world was one of the most important transformations in human history. This project combines the geochemical and technological analysis of stone tools to track the evolution of maritime colonisation in Island Southeast Asia, the foundation for the success of agriculture in this region. [NB: Christian notes that his research will seek evidence of social interaction in the immediate pre-Neolithic period in insular Southeast Asia and as such it has immediate significance for Lapita colonisation movements throughout the Southwest Pacific.]

Worthy, Dr Trevor H (Adel)
Evolution, breeding biology and extinction of giant fowl in Australia and the Southwest
New investigation of the extinct giant flightless Australian mihirungs and similar giant fowl of Oceania by analysis of fossils will reveal their relationships and resolve the evolutionary history of fowl globally. This project will provide insight into breeding strategies of these fossil species and the causes and impacts of their extinction.

Discovery Awards:

Aikhenvald, Prof Alexandra Y; Prof R M Dixon, Prof L de Vries, Prof W F Adelaar (JCU)
How languages differ and why
When languages interact, they become similar in certain ways. This project will explore the reasons for this, by examining why there are many languages of diverse structures in certain regions, focussing on New Guinea, Amazonia and north-east Queensland. The project will assist with understanding how language helps and hinders inter-ethnic communication.

David, Dr Bruno (Monash)
Before, during and after Lapita: 5000 years of cultural continuity and transformation at
Caution Bay, southern Papua New Guinea
Australia’s closest Indigenous neighbours in southern Papua New Guinea have long been thought to have been in contact with long-distance seafarers only in the last 2000 years. This project will document recent archaeological findings that are causing a radical rethink of ancestral connections between Australia and southern Papua New Guinea.

Dixon, A/Prof Chris F (UQ)
Black Americans and the Pacific War: African-American encounters with the South Pacific, 1941-1945
This project explores African Americans’ experiences in the Pacific War. By placing Black Americans’ experiences in a racially segregated military culture in the context of European colonisation of the Pacific, it will cast new light on issues of racial and national identity in a region of continuing significance to the United States and Australia.

Fitzpatrick, A/Prof Daniel J; Dr Rebecca J Monson (ANU)
Resilience and vulnerability in property systems: rising sea levels and local relocations in Solomon Islands
This project analyses local relocations caused by rising sea levels in Solomon Islands, in  order to support sustainable and inclusive resettlement of displaced persons in their home environments.

Paisley, Dr Fiona K (Griffith)
Worldly encounters: Australian internationalists and the future of world civilization in the twentieth century Pan-Pacific
This project investigates Australian contributions to debate about world citizenship through the role of citizen internationalists in the Pacific and asks what their encounters with a community of peers in the twentieth century reveals about the role of Australia in the history of internationalism in our region and beyond.

Rumsey, Prof Alan; Prof Francesca C Merlan (ANU)
Children’s language learning and the development of intersubjectivity
How do children learn languages? How do they learn to understand the intentions and perspectives of others, and coordinate their own with them? Based on research in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, this project will [help] answer these questions, showing how the two processes are related to each other by studying them in a cross-cultural way.

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