Breadth of Deakin's research evident in latest Future Fellowships success

Research news

02 August 2023

Deakin University researchers have received more than $2.65 million in funding through three new 2023 Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowships scheme grants.

Dr Helen Young, Dr Yamini Narayanan and Dr Yichao Wang received the four-year fellowships in a competitive year for the scheme.

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Alfred Deakin Professor Matthew Clarke says Deakin’s 2023 success demonstrates the depth of talent across the University.

‘Deakin researchers working across very different areas of expertise – in this case medieval history, geopolitics and nanobiotechology – have received well-deserved financial support from the ARC to pursue research that is of benefit to our country and the world,’ he says.

‘This signals that not only does Deakin have incredible breadth to our areas of research capability, but also incredible depth in our early-mid career talent pool. We have a lot of future research leaders amongst our ranks.’

One hundred Future Fellows across Australia will share in more than $97 million Future Fellowship funds in 2023. The scheme supports outstanding mid-career researchers to undertake high quality research in areas of national and international benefit.

Deakin’s success projects are:

Dr Helen Young
The politics of medievalism: persuasive narratives
Faculty of Arts and Education

This project aims to understand how narratives about the medieval past help form identities and spread ideologies in the present, across the political spectrum, time and national borders. It aims to generate new knowledge about medievalism and its persuasive power.

It will shed new light on extremist exploitation of popular culture using an innovative interdisciplinary approach, digital analysis, and engaged partnerships.

This research will enhance capacity to identify extremist messaging and create new grassroots programs promoting political tolerance and resilience to extremist propaganda and far-Right ideology, generating social and cultural benefit by strengthening Australian security, social cohesion and national values.

Dr Yamini Narayanan
Animals and geopolitics in South Asian borderlands
Faculty of Arts and Education, Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI)

The project evaluates the impact of animals on the politics of South Asian borderlands, which are exposed to climate change, species decline and intensifying nuclear state rivalry.

Using a comparative multispecies ethnography of India’s borders with Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, it will study the role of animals in reinforcing or subverting the power of sovereign states. Expected outcomes are new analytical and conceptual tools to understand these overlooked actors in geopolitics and the links between foreign, security and transboundary conservation policies.

This knowledge has potential application in demilitarisation and cooperation around transborder animal flows, benefitting security, ecosystems and Australian interests in South Asia.

Dr Yichao Wang
Nanobionic sensors for Real-Time Plant Health Monitoring
Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment

This project aims to develop nanosensors to detect and monitor plant health in real-time by measuring stress molecules. The project will create new knowledge on functional materials with unique optical, electronic and thermal properties as well as their bio-nano interactions with plants.

The expected outcomes of the project will provide insight into how localised nanosensors target organelles in living plants to generate signals that can be picked up by portable devices to report on plant health.

Functional nanosensors will enable smart farming, precision agriculture and contribute to future agronomic research, further strengthening Australia’s position as an international leader in nanobiotechnology.

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ARC Future Fellowships support outstanding mid-career researchers to undertake research in areas of national and international benefit.

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ARC Future Fellowships support outstanding mid-career researchers to undertake research in areas of national and international benefit.

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