Southern Cross University has received $380,000 funding for a prestigious research fellowship in the latest round of Australian Research Council grants.

The Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship has been awarded to the university to support a research project by Dr Andrew Rose to develop a new approach to explain the behaviour of chemical reactions in soils, sediments and waters.

The work will be done through Southern Cross GeoScience, a new research centre of the University.

Professor Neal Ryan, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), said he was delighted with the funding, which demonstrated the university’s strength in this field of research.

“These national fellowships are highly competitive and sought after. It is a real indication of the growing reputation of the university and the work we are doing in Australia and around the world,” Professor Ryan said.

“We are involved in a number of research projects, including acid sulphate soil studies in the Murray-Darling region, which have a considerable impact on management practices in Australia and internationally.”

Professor Leigh Sullivan, director of the Southern Cross University GeoScience research centre, said the funding would lead to a much-improved understanding of the chemistry of the environment and our understanding of critical issues such as ocean acidification, nanotechnology and environmental contamination.

“This project is about developing a new paradigm for understanding the chemistry of what happens in soils, sediments and waters,” he said.

“It’s aimed at deriving a better understanding of the fundamental behaviour of natural environments.

“This covers all sorts of problems ranging from soil degradation and environmental contamination through to climate change.”

Professor Richard Bush, co-director of GeoScience, said Dr Rose, originally from the Lismore region, was currently working with the University of New South Wales and had selected Southern Cross University to undertake this new research project.

“Southern Cross GeoScience is a leading international centre in environmental research and Dr Rose was attracted to Southern Cross University to join this team. Dr Rose’s research, as well as advancing the research activities of Southern Cross Geoscience, promises to provide a new understanding of the chemistry that will be needed to answer some our most pressing environmental problems,” Professor Bush said.