CBNS early career researchers recognised by the ARC with prestigious award
Grants and Awards | January 2, 2020

Congratulations to Dr Simona Carbone and Dr Stuart Johnston for each receiving a prestigious three-year award from the Australian Research Council (ARC).

The Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) scheme is a separate element of the Discovery Program, organised by the ARC . The DECRA scheme provides focused research support for early career researchers in both teaching and research, and research-only positions.
The objectives of the DECRA scheme are to:

  • support excellent basic and applied research by early career researchers
  • support national and international research collaboration
  • enhance the scale and focus of research in Australian Government priority areas
  • advance promising early career researchers and promote enhanced opportunities for diverse career pathways
  • enable research and research training in high quality and supportive environments

Dr Simona Carbone was awarded an ARC DECRA for her project: Functional insights into the roles of enteric glia.
This project aims to review our current definition of enteric glia populations, and our understanding of their communication mechanisms in the mouse and primate colon. It will generate new knowledge of enteric glia biology using advanced microscopy and image analysis. Calcium imaging and novel biosensors will measure cell signalling in enteric glia. It will provide the most comprehensive analysis of glia connectivity, morphology and receptor expression in the primate colon.
Expected outcomes include a detailed map of enteric glia and definitions of their basic biology. This project builds on the techniques and collaborations made by the candidate over recent years. This will benefit our basic understanding of enteric glia biology.

Dr Stuart Johnston was awarded an ARC DECRA for his project: From cells to whales: A mathematical framework to understand navigation.
This project aims to understand what drives the navigation of small and large organisms. To achieve this, the project seeks to develop a mathematical framework that unifies models of navigation, communication and uncertainty, for the first time. This is significant as navigation underpins fundamental behaviour such as migration.
Expected outcomes of this project include novel insights into the mechanisms underlying navigation, and new mathematical techniques required to construct the framework. The mathematical framework will be employed to explore and explain critical biological phenomena such as the impact of noise pollution on whale migration, and the conditions required for successful cellular navigation.