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Marine pollution expert heads AIMS in Darwin

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02 March 2009

A world renowned chemistry researcher with long standing research interests in the Northern Territory has been appointed head of AIMS in Darwin.

Professor David Parry starts work today (Monday 2 March 2009) at the Arafura Timor Research Facility (ATRF) a joint facility of AIMS, the Australian National University (ANU) and Charles Darwin University. He has joined the Institute from Charles Darwin University where he ran the Tropical Futures: Mineral Program on strong inter-disciplinary principles.

Professor Parry brings a wealth of achievement in marine and coastal environmental chemistry, with particular emphasis on aquatic pollution, and is set to take AIMS Darwin into a new era with a growing focus on fundamental processes in the regional marine environment. At CDU his work in the past seven years has also included the use of natural and constructed wetlands to remediate contaminated waters around mine sites and industrial areas. This multifaceted research has included using bacteria to treat acidity and remove other harmful substances.

He already has long established research connections with AIMS scientists and will build upon these and extend the Institute's work in an area of great importance to AIMS' research goals.

Professor Parry was a foundation member of staff at the University College of the Northern Territory in 1986, forerunner to Charles Darwin University, and has been involved in teaching, research, leadership and management since then. He will bring invaluable connections with CDU into his new job at AIMS, strengthening an already fruitful relationship.

"My plan is to continue to build up the AIMS presence in the Northern Territory and introduce new or expanded programs of research in marine environmental processes, across the Top End and the Gulf of Carpentaria and to do this in collaboration with the other key research providers in tropical Australia including colleagues at Charles Darwin University and the Northern Territory government agencies," Professor Parry said.

AIMS CEO Dr Ian Poiner welcomed Professor Parry's appointment and the experience and connections he brings.

"The AIMS research effort in Darwin is of great strategic importance to the Institute," Dr Poiner said. "Our mission is to carry out tropical marine research in the national interest and Darwin is integral to ensuring the scope of our mission can be achieved. David's role in this is going to be crucial into the future."

The ATRF is a joint venture between AIMS and the Australian National University (ANU), funded by an Australian Government Major National Research Facility infrastructure grant. The Charles Darwin University and NT Government are also represented on the ATRF Governance Group.

It was created to support world class scientific research into the resources and peoples of the Arafura and Timor seas region through the provision of infrastructure and the constructive engagement of national, Territory and State departments, industry sectors and overseas northern neighbours.

Professor Parry takes over from Dr Mark Meekan, an expert on marine megafauna such as whale sharks. Dr Meekan has relocated to AIMS' Western Australian facility to be closer to his primary research site at Ningaloo Reef.

For further information, please contact:

Professor David Parry

Phone: 0419 820 724 or 08 8920 9240

Ms Wendy Ellery , AIMS Media Liaison

Phone: 4753 4409; 0418 729 265

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