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Associate Professor O’Toole and his colleagues have been invited to be part of the recently announced CSIRO Flagship Coastal Collaboration Cluster.
The other members of the Deakin team are:
The aim of the cluster, which is being led by Curtin University of Technology, is to "develop approaches to better connect science with governments, communities and industries" in meeting the challenges facing coastal areas.
As well as Deakin and Curtin, the cluster will involve researchers from:
Associate Professor O’Toole said the program was a true collaboration – not just in name, but in nature.
“Being involved with the cluster is a great opportunity for collaboration across Deakin faculties and schools as well as with other universities in Australia,” he said.
“The members of the Deakin team represent a truly interdisciplinary approach to the research – we have experts in marine science, politics, environmental and wildlife management, economics, coastal policy, and sociology.”
The Deakin researchers are working on the Knowledge Systems theme with colleagues from the University of Tasmania.
“This is a major three-year research program that defines itself as seeking to help Australians sustain our coastline for future generations by enabling them to make better use of the knowledge produced by scientific research,” Associate Professor O’Toole said.
“In the knowledge theme we will focus on specific coastal issues to try and draw out how different knowledge frameworks are created and used. This will help us to understand how the processes involved in knowledge exchange between stakeholders and groups affect decision making about coastal management.
“For instance, we will be looking at issues such as how economic factors affect the ability and willingness of decision-makers to act on the basis of scientific and other evidence about climate change.”
The Deakin researchers and their colleagues from the University of Tasmania will primarily be studying and comparing knowledge systems in three regions: Victoria’s Portland Basin and the Huon-Derwent area and Cradle Coast in Tasmania.
The cluster is funded through CSIRO’s Flagship Collaboration Fund, which facilitates involvement of the wider Australian research community in addressing the nation's most significant challenges and opportunities. Flagship Clusters are three-year partnerships between Flagships, universities and other public research agencies.