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 Towards Novel Biomimetic Building Materials: Evaluating Aboriginal and Western Scientific Knowledge of Spinifex Grasses

Principal AERC Staff:
Prof. Paul Memmott - Team Leader

Refer to Staff Profiles for more detail on Memmott.

Other UQ Chief Investigators:
Dr Susanne Schmidt
Expertise in Plant Ecology and Ecophysiology, focus nutrient cycling. Dr Schmidt's research is at the interface of ecology and bioproduction systems combines fundamental and applied research of plants and ecosystems in sustainability, global change, and ecosystem function. She teaches plant biology and ecology at undergraduate levels and supervises postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers. Dr Schmidt leads several large research projects which link university and industry.

Dr Darren Martin
Associate Professor Martin is a materials scientist with broad interests and experience in biomaterials, structure-property relationships in nanostructured materials, polymer technology and polymeric nanocomposites. His research within AIBN deals with polymer-clay nanocomposites for medical and non-medical applications, mechanical aspects of tissue engineering, and the health and safety surrounding engineered nanoparticles. He has a patent on novel compliant, resilient polyurethane nanocomposite elastomers.


Other Chief Investigators:
Dr Rod Fensham
Dr Fensham's research relates to the ecology and conservation of native vegetation. He disseminates his finding through publishing as well as through conservation planning, policy and practice. Dr Fensham was awarded the 2005 Sherman Eureka Prize for his research that contributed to regulations that phase out broadscale land clearing in Queensland.

Professor Richard Hyde 

The project contributes to an environmentally sustainable Australia by examining the potential value of a hitherto ignored natural resource and assessing its usage with sustainable harvesting.  Aboriginal knowledge and Western science will be combined to identify potential technological applications for a widespread but uniquely Australian resource.  The project promotes the well-being and health of Aboriginal people through seeking out a new economic enterprise for remote area groups.  This project examines the material properties of spinifex, specifically for new building industry applications, both in its natural state and replicated as a synthesized biomimetic material.

Call for Expressions of Interest for PhD Research Supplementary Stipends in Materials Engineering, Botany and Ecology, Architectural Science (pdf)