Monash University Antarctic research boosted with ARC DECRA funding win

Monash University’s Faculty of Science has been awarded $1,745,019 under the ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) scheme with more than half of this amount allocated to increasing the University’s capability in ice sheet research in coming years.

The Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan announced $84 million for 200 new research projects to be funded under the DECRA scheme.

Monash University received $7,076,818  for 17 awards for 2021. Of this the Faculty of Science received $1,745,019 for four awards with $840,116 allocated to two climate scientists for Antarctic research.

“It has been an extraordinary year and on behalf of the Faculty I congratulate all of our talented and committed researchers,” said Faculty of Science Dean, Professor Jordan Nash.

“Our world-class researchers are driven to make a global impact with their work and I am particularly delighted to see an emphasis this year on climate science with support for research on insights into ice sheet loss in Antarctica,” he said.

The DECRA scheme supports early-career researchers by providing resources to focus on advancing their research, and the opportunities to build important connections and knowledge.

Each DECRA recipient will receive salary support for three years and up to $50,000 in additional funding per year for other costs essential to their project.

A full list of the 2021 ARC DECRA recipients and their projects is available on the ARC website at:

The grants awarded in the Faculty of Science include:

Dr Jessica Walsh (School of Biological Sciences) $442,638 for the project ‘Road to recovery: evidence-based conservation of threatened ecosystems’. This project aims to develop novel decision-support tools to cost-effectively recover threatened ecosystems, through landscape-scale, evidence-based ecological restoration.

Dr Richard Jones (School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment) $411,073 for the project ‘The characteristics and controls of ice sheet loss on centennial timescales’.

This project aims to unearth the characteristics and controls of Antarctic ice sheet loss on timescales of 100s to 1000s of years. The polar ice sheets are getting smaller at an accelerating rate in response to a warming climate, but modern observations are not yet sufficient to determine whether current ice sheet loss marks the start of irreversible retreat.

Dr Felicity McCormack (School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment) $429,043 for the project ‘From creeping to sliding: controls on Antarctic Ice Sheet flow processes’.

This project aims to provide new insight into how ice flow processes influence Antarctic ice loss - a serious unsolved problem in predicting how much Antarctica will contribute to sea level rise. Using a state-of-the-art ice sheet model and real-world glaciological observations, this project expects to generate new knowledge of the mechanisms, and environmental and climatic conditions that control ice flow.

Dr Veronika Chobanova (School of Physics and Astronomy) $462,265 for the project ‘Challenging the Standard Model with the LHCb experiment’. This project aims to reveal the existence of elementary particles never observed before or of new forces of nature by studying data collected by the LHCb experiment. LHCb is situated at the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider.

Media enquiries:
Silvia Dropulich
Marketing, Media & Communications Manager, Monash Science
T: +61 3 9902 4513 M: +61 435 138 743