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Media engagements (newspaper articles, TV interviews, internet-based articles) relate to 33 publications in ISI listed journals where a member of the Programme is first author. Of these, 19 (58%) are cross-disciplinary collaborative publications from eight of the media interest topics (Table 4). For four research topics (drought, flooding, microbiology and water quality, and water and diet), both mono-disciplinary research teams and cross-disciplinary research teams have produced publications. For these topics, research first takes place in a specialised way by mono-disciplinary teams of researchers (leading to mono-disciplinary publications), before the research teams bring in new expertise through other researchers in the Programme to extend the research (leading to cross-disciplinary publications). For example, the impact of diet on water quality has first been investigated extensively by the aquatic chemists (Zessner et al., 2010), and has later brought in process engineering to explore nutrient dynamics (Thaler et al., 2013). Early work by the microbiology professor on Escherichia coli as a groundwater contamination indicator (Farnleitner et al., 2010) was later extended to capture aspects of hydrological dynamics by bringing in a hydrologist (Vierheilig et al., 2012) and a hydrogeologist (Vierheilig et al., 2013). These findings suggest that cross-disciplinary collaborations occur in response to the researchers’ quest for deeper understanding of topics that are of high societal importance. The societal importance of a topic may perhaps motivate researchers to engage with other specialisations in order to dig deeper into the topic.

Table 4.

Research themes covered by ISI journal publications for which a member of the Programme is first author that lead to media engagement by publication authors (e.g. newspaper reports or website articles) or directly lead to policy development.

Research theme leading to media interest or impact on policy and planningNumber of ISI journal mono-disciplinary publicationsNumber of ISI journal cross-disciplinary publicationsTotal ISI publications
Drought 
Education  
Flooding 
Foam  
Groundwater quality  
Microbiology and water quality 
Phosphorus recovery  
Socioeconomics of water management  
Soil moisture monitoring  
Wastewater reuse  
Water and diet 
Total ISI publications 14 19 33 
Research theme leading to media interest or impact on policy and planningNumber of ISI journal mono-disciplinary publicationsNumber of ISI journal cross-disciplinary publicationsTotal ISI publications
Drought 
Education  
Flooding 
Foam  
Groundwater quality  
Microbiology and water quality 
Phosphorus recovery  
Socioeconomics of water management  
Soil moisture monitoring  
Wastewater reuse  
Water and diet 
Total ISI publications 14 19 33 

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