• Helping reduce Australia's carbon footprint
  • Making it easy to create virtual universes
  • NCI joins NeCTAR Research Cloud


Joanne Whittaker is a Research Fellow at the School of Geosciences in the University of Sydney. She conducts research investigating Earth-ocean system phenomena including understanding interactions between upper mantle convection patterns and the manner with which they interact with the newly forming lithosphere of ocean basins.

Nicky Wright is fascinated by the earth’s geologic history. She is currently researching paleogeography throughout the Phanerozoic and combines GPlates, an open source plate tectonic software, with the online global Paleobiology Database to reconstruct past environments. "I am learning how to unravel the secrets of past worlds..."

Sabin Zahirovic is a PhD candidate at the School of Geosciences in the University of Sydney conducting research on the plate tectonic history and evolving geography of our planet through geological time. Sabin has studied the history of the collision between the Indian and Eurasian continent that was responsible for the uplift of the Himalayas and Tibet.

Maria Seton is an Australian Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Geosciences, University of Sydney. She works in the field of plate tectonics and geodynamics, reconstructing the configurations of the continents and ocean basins over hundreds of millions of years using GPlates, a Virtual Geological Observatory prototype.

Dr Shelley Wickham is a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School in the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Working in Associate Professor William Shih’s lab, the entire lab uses an open-source electronic lab book. Shelley shares her research story.

Associate Professor Martin Sevior performs experiments with the world's highest intensity and energy particle accelerators in Japan and at CERN in Switzerland. He shares his research story. 

Izabela Ratajczak-Juszko is a Research Fellow at the Climate Change Adaptation Programme of the Global Cities Institute at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. She shares her research story.

We are interested in showcasing researchers and how they might potentially use Nectar. Why not share your research story with us and how Nectar may help you? Please fill in this form or email communications@nectar.org.au

As a final year veterinary student, Chairman of the NeCTAR project Board, Dr Graham Mitchell AO wrote an essay on the thymus gland - and has been hooked on immunology ever since. Today he is one of Australia's top biological scientists and holds an Order of Australia.

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Human communication scientists can now study speech, language, text, and music on a larger scale, thanks to Alveo, a virtual laboratory funded through NeCTAR.  Alveo was officially launched in June 2014 and brings together data collections, analysis tools, and workflow in a common environment.


NeCTAR welcomes National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) to the NeCTAR Research Cloud, and congratulates the NCI team on commissioning their public cloud node of 3200 new high-performance CPU cores in early April 2014 to join the exising capability provided by the University of Melbourne, Monash University, the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation, and eResearch South Australia.


The Theoretical Astrophysical Observatory (TAO) empowers astronomers to build complex customised views of the Universe, all from the comfort of their own computer. Swinburne Associate Professor Darren Croton, said: “TAO makes it easy and efficient for any astronomer to create these virtual universes. It's the culmination of years of effort that is now at the fingertips of scientists around the world... using TAO it might take a few minutes to create a mock catalogue of galaxies, versus months or even years of development previously.”


In today’s globalized economy, goods and services can pass through complex supply chains before reaching final consumers. A car may use iron ore from Western Australia, electronic parts from China, be assembled in Japan and involve thousands of inputs. The Australian-first NeCTAR funded Industrial Ecology Virtual Laboratory is unravelling supply chain mysteries and helping reduce Australia's carbon footprint.


The nearly 100 particle physicists at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics at the Terascale (CoEPP) in Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide, are working with collaborators around the globe to understand what the universe is made of and how it started. CoEPP scientists face the challenge of keeping up with the growing demands for storage and high throughput computing. The NeCTAR Research Cloud together with RDSI funded storage and the new AARNet 4 backbone network are helping to provide the solution.


The NeCTAR Research Cloud expects a large expansion in 2014 with capacity trebling to around 30,000 CPU cores thanks to more research cloud nodes joining the federated effort and existing cloud nodes expanding their offerings.


NeCTAR welcomes eResearch South Australia (eRSA) to the NeCTAR Research Cloud and congratulates the eRSA team on commisioning 1700 new CPU cores in February 2014 to join the existing capabiity provided by the University of Melbourne, Monash University and the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF).


Across Australia, extensive networks and communities of medical researchers have studied endocrine disorders, yet previously, there was no common software infrastructure to connect them. The NeCTAR funded Endocrine Genomics Virtual Laboratory (endoVL) uses the NeCTAR Research Cloud to empower clinicians to securely and easily access bioinformatics data. It is now used by 45 cancer centres globally.


When University of Melbourne’s e-Research Director Professor Richard Sinnott tasked his first ever Cluster and Cloud computing group of 50 students to use the NeCTAR Research Cloud to analyse real-time Twitter data around Australia - no-one dreamed Adelaide’s tweeters were the biggest fans of pop group One Direction or certain areas of Brisbane would tweet the most swear words.


Dr Roger Proctor, Director of the IMOS eMarine Information Infrastructure, says the NeCTAR Research Cloud is providing IMOS with new abilities to access data worldwide, in real time and with interoperability. “The scale of the NeCTAR Research Cloud means we are not constrained by resources. This is an entirely different way of working and thinking."


NeCTAR sponsored a larger booth at this year's eResearch Australasia 2013 conference, Brisbane October 20-25 enabling NeCTAR software tool and virtual laboratory projects to give brief demonstrations as to research impacts and all the new apps and software for researchers. Check out the photos. Do you recognise anyone?


NeCTAR is building eResearch infrastructure for Australian researchers in four areas: Virtual Laboratories; eResearch Tools; Research Cloud and secure and robust hosting service (National Servers Program). If you have a great software idea why not host it on the NeCTAR Research Cloud? Collaborate with your research communities and software support experts to see what is possible.


NeCTAR is proud to announce the full release of the new Virtual Geophysics Laboratory (VGL). For geophysicist Dr Carina Kemp it is a game changer. “The speed at which we can now carry out our geophysical inversions was not possible before... using the VGL, it does the cropping and any pre-processing, like re-projecting the data, on the fly and we can complete our work in a matter of hours, instead of months."


The NeCTAR Research Cloud is located at eight different organisations around Australia, yet operates as one cloud system.


Researcher Lauren Gawne has just completed a linguistics PhD thesis. She is not necessarily a technical person, yet has embraced the technologies of the NeCTAR cloud and by doing so, says it has created many online benefits, cost savings, efficiencies and collaborations.


There are currently 1504 people using NeCTAR's Research Cloud and 409 have Virtual Machines in the cloud. Users of NeCTAR's Research Cloud have been filmed around Australia and made into short videos. These stories are growing in number. To view the vox pops go to: https://nectar.org.au/vox-pops-people-using-nectar-cloud

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