Research into plant forensics wins ARC Fellowship 

TIME CAPSULE: Dr Lucas Cernusak searches for climate change signs in plants.

Research by a Charles Darwin University Research Fellow into climate change and its impact on vegetation has been recognised with a prestigious ARC Future Fellowship.

The Research Fellow with CDU’s Faculty of Education, Health and Science, Dr Lucas Cernusak, has won a Level 1 Future Fellowship to be based at the Australian National University.

One of the leading researchers in Australia, Dr Cernusak has been using special equipment, including a state-of-the-art isotope ratio mass spectrometer, to record the different ratio of two carbon isotopes that act as a signal of climate change preserved in the plant like a time capsule.

He discovered the new use for stable isotope research in forensic science at a conference in Potsdam, Germany in 2009. The ISOCOMPOUND 2009 conference brought together the leading minds in this field and Dr Cernusak was one of two Australian researchers of the 20 international scientists invited to present their research.

Also receiving a Future Fellowship is former CDU PhD candidate, Dr Michael Bromley now based at San Diego State University.

The ARC Future Fellowships offer four-year fellowships of up to $141,000 a year to 1000 outstanding Australian and international researchers in the middle of their careers. The Fellowships encourage proposals from leading researchers working in areas of national priority.