THE JOYCE W. VICKERY SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH FUND
Grants from the Joyce W. Vickery Research Fund are intended to support worthy research in those fields of the Biological Sciences that fall within the range of interests of the Society, especially natural history research within Australia.
Applicants need not be members of the Society, but other things being equal, members will be given preference.
The Society envisages that grants would normally be used for items such as travel within Australia, equipment, photographic and other expenses, but not for subsistence, travel to conferences, or thesis preparation.
Grantees are required to make a report to the Linnean Society at the end of the project and to justify their expenditure. Any publication arising from work supported by the Joyce W. Vickery Scientific Research Fund should include an acknowledgement to that effect.
Any type material generated by studies supported by these grants should be lodged in the collections of an appropriate scientific institution.
Applications must be typed on the Fund's application form and may be accompanied by no more than three (3) pages of additional information, plus references and a list of the applicant's relevant publications over the previous five years. The form is obtainable from this wesite, or it can be sent to you by contacting the Secretary as detailed below.
The Society's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into once successful applicants have been announced.
Advice to Applicants: Unsuccessful applicants usually fail beacuse of inadequate explanation of what hypothesis is being tested, or why the project is important, and how it would add to knowledge in that particular discipline. The proposed budget must also be fully justified. Students are strongly urged to seek help from their supervisor, or someone versed in in the art of writing grant applications, if they are doing this for the first time. It would also be wise to have the application reviewed before submission.
Deadline: The deadline for applications will be 1st March each year; however, in exceptional circumstances, applications for genuine emergency support may be considered at any time.
Appeal For Donations
The Council of the Linnean Society of NSW is keen to increase this form of direct financial support to the scientific community - to professionals, students and amateur researchers alike. The only way it can do this is by increasing the capital of the JOYCE W. VICKERY SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH FUND and thus augmenting the interest used for direct support of scientific research.
The Linnean Society seeks donations from individuals, institutions or organisations sympathetic to the purposes for which the fund is currently being used. All such donations, which are tax-deductible, will be gratefully received by the Linnean Society of New South Wales and used to support original scientific research in Australasia. Give yourself a tax break and help a struggling research student, as most of the funds go to students. Please make cheques payable to the "Linnean Society of NSW". Click here to download a donation form.
Dr. Joyce Winifred Vickery M.B.E. (1908-1979)
Joyce Vickery, one of Australia's leading botanists and a pioneer Australian woman scientist, spent most of her working career (before and after retirement) at the National Herbarium of New South Wales, Royal Botanic Gardens. Joyce Vickery (appointed Assistant Botanist in 1936) actively supported the new Chief Botanist, R.H. Anderson, in raising the standards of one of Australia's oldest and most important botanical centres.
Her appointment broke new ground in several ways. Joyce Vickery was the first woman to be appointed as a scientific professional officer in the NSW Public Service and she flatly refused to accept the lower starting salary for a female officer. She held out for, and gained, a more appropriate higher salary based on qualifications rather than sex!
Dr. Vickery was an ardent early supporter of the Nature Conservation cause in N.S.W. and was closely involved in the campaign to set up the then Kosciusko State Park, Elouera Bushland Reserve (now Berowra Valley Bushland Park) and Muogomarra Sanctuary. Her practical support included a generous donation of an adjacent block to enlarge the Elouera Reserve.
As an interesting sidelight, Dr. Vickery's botanical knowledge was put to good use in the forensic field in the notorious "Bradley Case". Her presentation of evidence led to the conviction of the murderer of young Graham Thorne based on the evidence of plant fragments associated with his dwelling. This forensic contribution was later recognised by the award of an M.B.E.
In 1960 Joyce Vickery also received the Clark Medal of the Royal Society of N.S.W. in recognition of her many contributions to botanical science in Australia.
History of the Fund
The fund began in 1952 with a donation of 10 pounds from Mr Armstrong of Nyngan after he read an article in the Graziers Association journal. The research fund remained static until 1971 when the Linnean Society received an anonymous donation of $1000. From then until 1978 two anonymous donations of $1000 were received annually. It became an open secret that the donor was none other than Dr. Joyce W. Vickery, a member of the Linnean Society since 1930 and an active Council member since 1969 and latterly its Honorary Treasurer, 1971-1978.
Joyce Vickery's long-term aim was to revitalise a fund which could actively support scientific research in the natural sciences and achieve some worthwhile objective for the Society. She envisaged a time when the capital invested would produce sufficient interest to support good scientific research projects. Following her death in May 1979 the Linnean Society's Scientific Research Fund received a substantial boost of almost $34,000 from Joyce Vickery's estate, raising the capital to a level where the fund could become operational.
Shortly afterwards, by unanimous decision of Council, the fund was renamed the JOYCE W. VICKERY SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH FUND in recognition not only of her financial generosity but also her many years of active support for the Society.
Since 1980 the Society has made available annually, in individual grants
to research workers throughout Australia, a proportion of the interest
from the capital invested in the Joyce W. Vickery Scientific Research Fund.
The remainder is reinvested to increase the capital and to try to maintain
the value of the fund against the effects of inflation. How successfully
this has been achieved can be judged from the following figures:
|Year||Capital invested ($)||No. grants||Total Awarded ($)|
Current Awards (2011):
BASMYHR, Maria Gulbrandsen. Department of Biological Sciences,
PROJECT: Exploring the unknown—Investigating subterranean biodiversity using molecular tools.
Outline: An investigation of the evolutionary patterns and processes affecting the genetic diversity and population dynamics of the unique and poorly known invertebrate faunas of groundwater habitats (stygofauna) in three aquifers of different geologies across NSW.
BARRY, Katherine. Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie
PROJECT: Nutritional ecology of mating and sexual cannibalism in praying mantids.
Outline: Previous studies demonstrated that when food quantity given to females is reduced the frequency of cannibalism of males during mating increases. This study examines how food quality (high protein vs high lipid diets) affects both mating/cannibalistic behaviour and fecundity in females
CALLANDER, Sophia. Research School of Biology, Australian National
PROJECT: Keep your enemies close: can your neighbours affect your attractiveness?
Outline: Collective territorial defence behaviour in fiddler crabs may have evolved to avoid the costs of renegotiating boundaries with new, potentially larger neighbours. This study investigates another possible benefit of such behaviour associated with the synchronous claw waving activity used by males to attract females: do larger clawed males keep their smaller-clawed neighbours so as to appear more attractive to searching females?
COOKE, Belinda. Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie
PROJECT: Assessing impacts of climate change adaptation on a sandy beach, NSW.
Outline: The ecologically important invertebrate meiofauna of sandy beaches are under threat from both sea level rise and climate change adaptation strategies for protecting coastal property. This study will examine the diversity and population dynamics of these invertebrates, first determining the spatio-temporal scales over which meiofauna naturally vary, then using these outcomes to test the hypothesis that beach management processes alter meiofauna diversity and spatio-temporal dynamics.
GAWRYSZEWSKI, Felipe M. Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie
PROJECT: The unusual camouflage strategy of the Australian crab spider Stephanopis altifrons (Thomisidae).
Outline: Spiders of the family Thomisidae are ambushing sit-and-wait hunters with camouflage colour patterns and colour change ability. A peculiar method of camouflage in the bark dwelling species Stephanopis altifrons involves the placement of bark debris on the body. This study will examine the natural history of this species with emphasis on bark adornment behaviour, including active attachment, cuticular hair structure, camouflage effectiveness; bark colour discrimination; and presence and role of body colour change.
GIBBONS, Kerry Lynne. Plant Systematics, University of Sydney
and National Herbarium of NSW.
PROJECT: Molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of Mitrasacme (Loganiaceae) and related genera
Outline: This systematic study examines a widespread group of mostly endemic tropical and temperate herbs. It aims to increase understanding of interspecific and intergeneric relationships and the evolution of morphology and life history within the genus Mitrasacme s. lat. Morphological characters currently used to define species and genera will be tested against independent DNA sequence data. Given the geographic distribution of Mitrasacme s. lat., this study should contribute significantly to the understanding of the historical biogeography of the Australian flora.
KEYSE, Judith Asha. School of Integrative Biology, University
PROJECT: Realised population connectivity between marine protected areas in Rovinia Lagoon, Solomon Islands
Outline: In cooperation with the Rovinia people, a series of marine protected areas have been set up to help foster the sustainable use of marine resources. To determine how well this program is working an assessment of biotic connectivity between the MPAs will be made by examining larval dispersal patterns for 4 species (selected for their ecological or economic importance). The use of predictive mapping, incorporating larval life cycle and behavioural data and hydrodynamic data, will enable predictions of larval dispersal. Genetic markers and similarity data will be used to refine dispersal data between populations. This information can then be used to identify areas that are major larvae sources or sinks for conservation priority.
LINDSAY, K. Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University.
PROJECT: The feeding behaviour of Sydney's last White-fronted Chats: Does the quantity of insect prey available determine where chats feed in their saltmarsh habitat?
Outline: Habitat change in a remnant saltmarsh may threaten the survival of the locally endangered White-fronted Chat. Even within this restricted habitat the chats are observed to be selective about where they forage. This project aims to determine if variation in food availability influences foraging behaviour by observing and recording fine scale habitat usage by chats, and measuring spatial and temporal variability in insect abundance at feeding sites. The results may assist in conserving the saltmarsh community so as to maximise chat feeding habitat.
MILLS, Penelope Joyce. School of Biological Sciences, University
PROJECT: Systematics of the Australian gall-inducing scale insect species-group Apiomorpha minor.
Outline: Apiomorpha is an endemic scale insect genus (form galls on Eucalyptus hosts). It shows an enormous range of chromosome variation between and within species, and molecular data has shown that some described species are cryptic-species complexes. This study aims to sample the Apiomorpha minor species-group over its full range (SE Qld to western Victoria), identify the number of biological species present and describe them using morphological, molecular and chromosomal analyses, and determine what chromosomal changes have occurred within the species group.
O'HANLON, James. Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie
PROJECT: The chemical basis of ant attraction and its function as an egg dispersal strategy in Phasmatoidea
Outline: Myrmecochory is a symbiotic relationship between some plants and ants—the ants respond to a food reward on the seed by carrying seeds away into the protection of their nests. A similar relationship exists between some phasmids and ants. This study will investigate the evolution and function of this dispersal strategy in phasmids including a study of the chemical signals involved, and the role of mimicry and convergence in egg and seed resemblance.
SMISSEN, Pete. Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne.
PROJECT: Testing processes explaining the phylogeography of the tree goanna (Varanus varius)
Outline: Evolutionary processes used to explain current biogeographic patterns in vertebrates of eastern Australia are largely attributed to two key processes: vicariance and dispersal with expansion—the former being more prevalent with wet tropics species, the latter with non-rainforest species. Relatively few studies have examined the historical biogeography and phylogeography of east coastal forest and woodland vertebrates. The tree goanna will be used as a model for investigating biogeographic patterns and dispersal in non-rainforest species in eastern Australia. The results will also aid conservation of this important predator by identifying the most genetically diverse populations (Environmentally Significant Units) in the range of the species.
THE BETTY MAYNE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH FUND FOR EARTH SCIENCES
Grants from the Betty Mayne Scientific Research Fund for Earth Sciences were made for the first time in 1998. Awards from the Fund are governed by the following rules:
1. The Betty Mayne Scientific Research Fund for Earth Sciences has been established to provide financial assistance to support short term original research projects in all aspects of geology, including (but not necessarily restricted to) the fields of regional geology, tectonics, structural geology, stratigraphy, sedimentology, geomorphology, palaeontology, biostratigraphy, igneous and metamorphic petrology, geochemistry, mineralogy, economic geology and meteoritics.
2. Applications will be accepted from postgraduate students at recognised Australian Universities who are undertaking full-time or part-time higher degree studies with a geological emphasis. Students enrolled in Honours degree courses at recognised Australian Universities, whether full- or part-time, may also be considered for an award. Applications are also encouraged from amateur or professional geologists, whether in employment as such or not, who can demonstrate a level of achievement in original research in Earth Sciences, for example through a record of publications on the subject.
3. Projects proposed for support do not have to be restricted to Australian locations or specimens, but, given the Society's interests in the natural history of Australia, they must demonstrate a strong Australian context.
4. In awarding grants, the Council of the Society will assess:
6. The total amount of Fund money available for awards in any year will depend on interest income received by the Fund over the preceding year. Not more than 50% of this income will be distributed as grants; the remainder will be capitalised to increase the Fund. Individual grants will not normally exceed the level of equivalent awards from the Joyce W. Vickery Scientific Research Fund (currently $2500 for members and $1500 for non-members, subject to Council review). Money awarded must be used for research purposes, which may include the purchase of equipment, laboratory, photographic or other consumables, and fieldwork or travel within Australasia. Requests for subsistence, travel to conferences, or thesis preparation expenses, will not be supported.
7. The Council will take into account other sources of research funds currently held or applied for by the applicant. While financial support from other sources will not ordinarily exclude award of a grant from the Betty Mayne Scientific Research Fund for Earth Sciences, a grant from this Fund cannot be held concurrently with one from the Joyce W. Vickery Scientific Research Fund.
8. Applications must be made on the form specific to the Betty Mayne Scientific Research Fund for Earth Sciences available from this website, obtainable from the Secretary of the Society by telephoning (02) 9662 6196 by email at email@example.com, or by writing to the address below. The form may be accompanied by no more than three (3) typed pages of additional information, plus references and a list of the applicant's relevant publications over the previous five years.
9. Successful applicants are required to make a written report to the Society no later than 12 months from receipt of their grant, detailing progress of the project, briefly outlining research results, and justifying expenditure of the award money. Any publication arising from studies supported by the Betty Mayne Scientific Research Fund for Earth Sciences must acknowledge that support. Type material, representative sample collections, relevant analytical data, and figured or mentioned thin sections, must be lodged in a state or national museum or university collection.
10. Intending applicants are strongly urged to seek assistance from their supervisor or an appropriate colleague with experince in writing research proposals, and to have their application reviewed before submission.
11. The Council's decision in regard to the award or non-award of grants from the Betty Mayne Scientific Research Fund for Earth Sciences is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
12. Deadline: The deadline for applications will be 1st March each year; however, in exceptional circumstances, applications for genuine emergency support may be considered at any time.
Betty Florence Mayne (1930-1991)
Betty Mayne was born in Young, NSW, on 13 April 1930. She was educated at the Presbyterian Ladies College, Pymble, prior to joining the nursing profession in which she served for some years.
In 1982, Betty retired from nursing and undertook extensive overseas travel. On returning to Sydney she became interested in the study of earth science and soon became a very keen and knowledgeable amateur mineralogist. She joined what was then the Friends of the Geological and Mining Museum (FOGAMM) Inc, serving as Vice President and in other executive positions. Betty was also a member of the Mineralogical Society of NSW Inc; she became its President in 1990, and organised the very successful Annual Seminar for the Mineralogical Societies from the rest of Australia.
Betty was a keen collector of minerals from worldwide locations, as well as gathering fossils and petrological specimens from around Australia. She was actively adding to her extensive collection up until her untimely death in July 1991.
Betty's will stipulated that her collection was to be sold at auction, with the proceeds to be evenly divided between the 2 societies so closely associated with her earth science interests. The Mineralogical Society of NSW has used its share of these funds to purchase mineral specimens for the Australian Museum collections.
The Friends of the Geological and Mining Museum, more recently The Earth Exchange Museum Society (TEEMS), also purchased specimens for the collection of the latter museum. However, with closure of the Earth Exchange in September 1995, TEEMS invested its share of the Betty Mayne bequest pending winding up of the society. After consideration of various options, the TEEMS council decided that donation of the accumulated capital to the Linnean Society of NSW to establish "The Betty Mayne Scientific Research Fund", the purpose of which is to assist students of the earth sciences, would be a fitting memorial to perpetuate the memory of their fellow geologist.
The Betty Mayne Scientific Research Fund commenced with a donation of $36,216.05 from TEEMS, which the Linnean Society of NSW has supplemented with an additional $35, 000 from reorganisation of its own funds. These amounts have been invested, with the intention of 50% of interest earned to be disbursed in the form of research grants to be first awarded in 1998.
Annual awards from the Betty Mayne Research Fund
Summary of the awards made from the Betty Mayne Research Fund since
|Year||Capital invested ($)||No. grants||Total Awarded ($)|
Current Awards (2011):
Recipient: Amy Macken (Flinders University of South Australia)
Project: Long-term variation in small mammal communities: the impacts of late Pleistocene climate change and implications for future management of species.
Synopsis: Long-term baseline data is being collected on small mammal occurrences and abundances in the Naracoorte region of southeastern South Australia. Turnover and extinction thresholds for small mammal communities and their resilience to past climatic and environmental change will be investigated. Sub-fossil material (~45000 to 740 yrs BP) of possums from deposits within the Wet Cave at Naracoorte Caves has been analysed to determine the relative abundance of various species over time. Five sedimentary units in the Wet Cave appear to correspond to differing climatic and environmental conditions in the past. Recently, 5 new charcoal samples have been acquired and funding to obtain two radiocarbon dates on these is requested.
Awarded: $1000 for radiocarbon dating.
Recipient: R. Armstrong Osborne (University of Sydney)
Project: Palaeozoic palaeokarst and relict cave sediments from Cathedral Cave, Wellington Caves, NSW, Australia: implications for regional geology and geomorphic history.
Synopsis: Potassium-argon (K-Ar) dating of clays at Jenolan Caves provided the first evidence for survival of ancient sediments in caves of eastern Australia. This is a demanding and expensive technique that only works on clay with sufficient potassium content. Dating of multiple particle sizes has great potential to elucidate the depositional history. In the case of Jenolan, K-Ar dating recognised large inherited grains of Devonian age, medium-sized syndepositional / early diagenetic particles of Carboniferous age, and fine, late-stage diagenetic particles of Late Permian and Middle Triassic age that grew while the Jenolan Caves were buried under the Sydney Basin. Two new, preliminary K-Ar dates obtained from palaeokarst and relict sediments in the Cathedral Cave at Wellington demonstrate the potential of this technique. A further 4 samples will be analysed to provide further age constraints on these cave infill sediments as part of a wider project involving XRD, SEM studies, isotopic analyses, palaeomagnetism, and strontium dating to fully understand palaeokarst formation at Wellington Caves.
Awarded: $1500 (emergency grant) towards K-Ar dating.
Recipient: W.B.K. Holmes (Hon. Research Fellow, University of New
Project: The Middle Triassic Megafossil Flora of the Basin Creek Formation, Nymboida Coal Measures, NSW, Australia.
Synopsis: The project aims to complete the documentation of fossil plants from Nymboida, the richest palaeobotanical site of Triassic age in Australia. So far, Keith Holmes has published eight papers in the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales describing significant parts of this flora. The funding sought will enable completion of this major project with preparation of one or two further parts, as well as ensuring the curation of previously described material.
Awarded: $ 1000 towards fieldwork, travel to inspect comparative material, photographic expenses, and transportation costs of specimens to Museum collection.
Recipient: Yong Yi Zhen (Palaeontology Section, Australian Museum,
Project: Late Ordovician conodont biostratigraphy and palaeobiogeography of Northeast Gondwana.
Synopsis: The project involves extensive systematic revision of two important Late Ordovician conodont faunas from Queensland: 1) the Fork Lagoons Beds, Emerald area, central Qld, and 2) the Carriers Well Formation and other Upper Ordovician units in the Broken River region of north Qld. Earlier incomplete studies suggested both faunas are late Katian in age, but possible occurrence of Amorphognathus ordovicicus implies that they may extend well into the Hirnantian (latest Ordovician). If so, these will be the youngest Ordovician conodont faunas known from eastern Australia, and thus will infill crucial gaps in the conodont biostratigraphic successions of this region, and enable a better understanding of the Ordovician biogeographic affinities of Northeast Gondwana. The project will extend over three years.
Awarded: $ 1500 towards fieldwork and SEM costs.
Further information and application forms for either grant can be obtained from the Secretary of the Society by telephoning (02) 9662 6196, by requesting it via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to the address below. Alternatively, print out the application form for the Joyce W. Vickery Scientific Research Fund or the Betty Mayne Scientific Research Fund for Earth Sciences, complete, and post to the address below to apply for a grant. Make sure that you enclose the required number of copies for the appropriate grant application.
Linnean Society of NSW,
PO Box 291