Outcomes of the 2016 McCoy Seed Fund for collaborative projects with Melbourne Museum

December 15 / 173

Five McCoy Seed Fund collaborative projects and two successful Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) scholarships have been awarded to foster multidisciplinary research projects between Museum Victoria and the University.

The McCoy Project is a joint initiative between the University of Melbourne and Museum Victoria which fosters innovative and high impact research projects that leverage the strengths of the two partners. Thirteen high quality proposals were received for the McCoy Seed Fund 2016, of which five have been approved for funding. The University also offered two Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarships (APAs) to enable greater student participation between the two institutions.

The five successful collaborative projects that will start in 2016 are:

Indigenous Engagement with the Donald Thomson Collection 

Collaborating Researchers Dr Susan Lowish (UoM) and Dr Philip Batty (MV) will connect items in the Donald Thomson Collection with the communities of their makers, triggering memories, providing insights and generating new ideas to form a bridge to the last remaining living persons to have met Thomson during his expeditions to Australia’s Western Desert region between 1957-1965. 

Exploring the unseen: near-infrared imaging to reveal thermal adaptations in butterflies

Collaborating Researchers Dr Devi Stuart-Fox (UoM) and Dr Ken Walker (MV) will apply state?of?the?art imaging technology to understand how butterflies have adapted the colour and reflective properties of their wings in response to variable climatic conditions. 

Interpreting and Enabling Child and Family Engagement in Museums

Collaborating Researchers Associate Professor Neryl Jeanneret (UoM) and Dr Liz Suda (MV) will develop a framework to guide and inform museum educators/facilitators about how best to engage and connect with children and families.

Investigating the strength of natural invertebrate teeth: searching for new advanced materials

Collaborating Researchers Professor Kenong Xia (UoM) and Dr Stuart Mills (MV) will identify the strongest biologically made material on the planet, and use it to investigate mineral-organic protein-based polymer frameworks that help animals create super tough teeth, hopefully leading to the development of biomimetic materials that are strong and tough enough for new engineering applications.

Establishing a multi-purpose Wildlife Pathogen Biobank and corresponding database of wildlife pathogens

Collaborating Researchers Professor Geoff McFadden (UoM) and Dr Jane Melville (MV) will investigate variation in important wildlife pathogens among Australia’s mega-diverse but increasingly threatened species, using genetic approaches, and establish a framework for a collection of wildlife pathogens at Museum Victoria.

The two successful APA scholarship projects that will start in 2016 are:

Cross Cultural Encounters: museum objects and the making of meanings. 

Collaborating STRAPA Supervisors Dr Andrew Jamieson (UoM) and Dr Elizabeth Bonshek (MV) will determine the role museum objects play in the facilitation of new learning and the awareness of multiple perspectives in a cross cultural context.

Parks, playgrounds, promenades, pageants and piazzas: the changing ideas of designed public spaces in Melbourne 1850-2000 

Collaborating STRAPA Supervisors Professor Julie Willis (UoM) and Dr Richard Gillespie (MV) will examine the changing nature of designed public space in Melbourne 1850-2000. The public spaces of leisure and spectacle formed an important part of the increasingly sophisticated Australian city, reflecting social change and different sectors of the Australian community. 

Details of the next round of the McCoy Seed Fund will be announced mid-2016.


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