ARC success for five rising research stars


Five Macquarie researchers have been successful in the latest round of the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRA) scheme, announced on Tuesday 3 November.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Sakkie Pretorius, says it’s particularly pleasing to see four humanities projects funded.

“Through each of our future-shaping research priorities, but particularly Resilient societies, we strive to better understand ourselves and the cultures around us, so we can help build ethical, just and inclusive communities,” he says. “I congratulate all the successful recipients in the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Science and Engineering and look forward to seeing the positive impact of these projects.”

Congratulations to our DECRA recipients

Dr Regina Fabry  (Faculty of Arts)
$328,092 for ‘Living to tell, telling to live: Experience, narrative, and the self’

A robust sense of self is crucial for our mental wellbeing and in this project Dr Fabry will analyse the biological underpinnings of the human mind and define the core features of self-narratives, leading to a novel theory about the sense of self and enhancing our understanding of the power of self-narratives. 

Dr Ana Tanasoca (Faculty of Arts)
$374,686 for ‘The Common Heritage of Mankind: A Cosmopolitan Preservationist Ethic’

This project aims to provide the first systematic, unified moral framework for understanding the ‘common heritage of mankind’ principle of international law, which postulates that some assets are valuable for all mankind and hence should be preserved for perpetuity.  It will provide an important contribution to philosophical debates on intergenerational justice, cosmopolitanism, climate change, and humanitarian intervention and provide practical guidance to policymakers and stakeholders in reshaping global governance around this principle.

Dr Pierrick Bourrat (Faculty of Arts)
$441,200 for ‘Inheritance and the Emergence of Individuals: From Concepts to Practice’

This project aims to solve a fundamental problem in biology:  how entities at one level biological organisation (e.g. single cells) transition or evolve into entities at a higher level (e.g. multicellular organisms). The project will demonstrate that conceptual research by philosophers of biology can make an impactful contribution in biology and answer fundamental questions in this field.

Dr Monika Zalnieriute (Faculty of Arts)
$426,530 for Artificial Intelligence Decision-Making, Privacy and Discrimination Laws

Monika’s project aims to expand knowledge of the effectiveness of Australia’s discrimination and data privacy laws by drawing on empirical mixed methods and comparative US and EU experiences.  Monika was successful in securing her DECRA grant through her previous role at the University of New South Wales but recently joined the Macquarie Law School (welcome Monika!).

Dr Xuyun Zhang (Faculty of Science and Engineering)
$387,141 for ‘Scalable and Deep Anomaly Detection from Big Data with Similarity Hashing’

Anomaly detection – aiming to identify anomalous but insightful patterns in data mining –  is an important big data analytics technique, but existing detection methods suffer from either high computational cost or low detection performance. This project aims to develop a detection framework to advance detection performance and efficiency, bringing huge benefits to applications such as real-time predictive maintenance in smart manufacturing, and intrusion detection in cybersecurity.





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