President and Vice-Chancellor
Professor Colin J Stirling
A natural evolution of our Brave Minds publication, the following pages are an opportunity to immerse yourself in some of the innovative work being undertaken by Flinders University’s researchers, who are changing lives and improving the world in which we live.
Delve into the hidden history of the very first humans with Associate Professor Mike Morley who specialises in micromorphology. He’s revealing ancient secrets captured in tiny fragments of bone and DNA, unlocked from the sands of time beneath our feet and carrying important messages for modern society.
Join Associate Professor Erin Symonds as she journeys from top to tail through the human gastrointestinal system in a quest to improve the detection and treatment of cancers that claim the lives of thousands of Australians each year.
Professor Raymond Chan is driving important research into the many health challenges resulting from the physical and psychological impacts of cancer diagnosis and treatment to help survivors lead fulfilling lives.
Turn your mind to the extraordinary work of Professor Cedric Bardy, who is bioengineering living brain cells in petri dishes in a race against time to find solutions to neurological riddles including childhood dementia, Parkinson’s disease and brain cancer.
Professor Kim Hemsley has made an important finding that holds immense promise in treating Sanfilippo syndrome, a form of childhood dementia – the key is in the eye. And Dr Stephanie Wong’s discovery that a lesser-known type of dementia can increase vulnerability to predatory financial scams has been the catalyst for improved diagnosis and support.
In the Northern Territory, Associate Professor Kootsy Canuto is driving structural change to support the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, while Luke Cantley has turned his attention to Aboriginal child protection and how culture, connection to country and connection to family can be maintained to keep children safe.
The challenges of our time take many forms. In all these areas and more, Flinders is transforming understanding, creating knowledge and finding solutions.
I hope you enjoy reading our inaugural Fearless Research, with its stories of endeavours that have put Flinders University on the map as the home of world-changing research.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robert Saint
It is a phrase we have heard more frequently over the past few years driven by an increase in uncertainty that is, in my view, without precedent in its diversity and breadth of impact, from climate to health, economics and politics.
From the broad issue of decarbonising our economy and improving sustainability, to once-in-a-generation weather events, the rising cost of living and having the resources to support a growing population, people around the globe are facing more challenges than ever before.
Flinders University is a strong advocate for the role of research in both informing and transforming the way we respond to evolving circumstances.
Not only does it help us recognise issues early, but it can help us develop and implement sustainable solutions that will ensure a better future for us all.
With our many talented researchers and innovators, Flinders University plays a pivotal role in this mission.
Be it investigating better ways of providing renewable energy now and into the future or using paleontological and archaeological research to better understand what the past can tell us about our future, Flinders University researchers will be instrumental in finding the solutions to our most pressing priorities.
As need expands, so too does our effort; Flinders’ research activity and income continues to grow – by some 70% in the last four years. Once again, 2022 will see us surpass our previous annual record of research funding from nationally competitive grants, and our strong history in building and maintaining leading partnerships has seen us continue to work closely with industry.
Our enormous success in research endeavours also provides fruitful for our international rankings, including the influential Times Higher Education rankings where we sit comfortably within the leading 350 universities globally. Our research successes are driven in part by our determination to be ranked within the top 1% of universities worldwide.
As you will see, the research that is showcased in this inaugural edition of Fearless Research continues to improve the lives of Australians and people around the world, ensuring that we are able to change the world for the better for generations to come.
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