SOUTHERN Cross University researchers are delighted after the university was granted almost $1 million by Australian Research Council.
The university's Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry Research has been awarded two grants totalling $510,000 for two projects led by Dr Isaac Santos.
One of the grants, a $260,000 ARC Discovery grant, will be used in a three-year project examining whether underground estuaries are a source or sink for greenhouse gases.
Director of the centre, Professor Bradley Eyre said the grant will fund research salaries, scholarships for PHD students, field studies and lab work.
"There are different types of ARC grants and the Discovery grant is the most prestigious research grant.
"This grant is particularly important for the centre and the university because it's one of the ways the university's research profile is measured. It's an indicator that we are doing world-class research at SCU."
The centre has also been awarded a $250,000 ARC LIEF grant to fund cutting-edge equipment needed for the research.
"So basically the ARC understands that for your research you need the latest equipment and technology," said Prof Eyre.
"It keeps us internationally competitive and some will be the only equipment of its kind in Australia."
More than 1000 university research projects across Australia are being supported by $310 million in ARC grants.
Prof Eyre said the grants confirm the university's biogeochemistry area is a national and international leader.
"People tend to send their kids off to universities in major cities because they think regional universities are not at the same level.
"But these research grants show that in our field we are better than any other university in Australia and we are internationally recognised in this area."