Environment Institute

Researchers from the Environment Institute have been honoured as finalists for the 2016 South Australian Science Excellence Awards. The awards recognise and reward outstanding scientific endeavour, including its application in industry and the advancement of science and mathematics education.

Science Excellence Awards

Professor Alan Cooper, Dr Kieran Mitchell and Professor Andrew Lowe

Our congratulations goes to Dr Kieran Mitchell, who has been nominated for PhD Research Excellence and Early Career STEM Professional. Dr Mitchell has been recognised for his achievement in marsupial evolution, high-throughput sequencing, bioinformatics, phylogenetics/modeling, and the use of cutting-edge research in DNA sequencing.

We also commend Professor Andrew Lowe who has been nominated for Excellence in Research Collaboration. Prof Lowe is a global leader in environmental monitoring and habitat restoration and has established a network of active research collaborators which extend to thousands of stakeholders across academia, government, industry and community.

A big congratulations to the nominee for South Australian Scientist of the Year- Professor Alan Cooper. Prof Cooper as been instrumental in transforming the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) into an internationally leading research centre, studying issues ranging from Aboriginal genetic heritage to the evolution of human diseases.

Special mention to Dr Jennie Fluin, who facilitates many important research partnerships with the Environment Institute, and has also been nominated in the Excellence in Research Collaboration category. Dr Fluin has been recognised for her involvement with the South Australian Natural Resource Management Research and Innovation (NRMRAIN) Network. The NRMRAIN connects regional NRM professionals and researchers from academic institutes to facilitate research into natural resource management in SA.

We wish all of the nominees good luck!

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Momentum is building for the construction of an underground tunnel that could help save the endangered southern brown bandicoot.

bandicoot by you li

The southern brown bandicoot is an endangered marsupial living in southern parts of Australia. The proposed tunnel would cross underneath Upper Sturt Road to connect bandicoot populations in Belair National Park and Mark Oliphant Conservation Park, thereby facilitating breeding.

The idea for this bandicoot superhighway follows published research led by You Li and Dr Jasmin Packer who uncovered the need for genetic diversity amongst bandicoots to maintain their population.

Various industries partners, state and local Government as well as the Sturt Upper Reaches Landcare Group Inc. have been instrumental in supporting the idea for a tunnel. The proposal has been featured in the Advertiser and ABC news.



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The Field Geology Club of South Australia, the Royal Society of South Australia and the Geological Society of Australia (SA Division) jointly present the 2nd Ralph Tate Memorial Lecture by Associate Professor Victor Gostin.


Human control of fire, some two million years ago, ushered in a totally new factor in the earth’s natural cycles. A further stage was the extensive development of horticulture and agriculture, followed by rapid increase in population. The burning of fossil fuels, industrialization and the advent of the atomic age have dramatically impacted our planet. Earth scientists now recognise our species as a powerful environmental agent of change – hence the term Anthropocene. However no consensus on its time limits has been achieved and it does not accord with standard stratigraphic practices.

Victor Govin

Associate Professor Victor Gostin has been researching, supervising and teaching geology and sedimentology at undergraduate and postgraduate levels since 1970. His scientific interests include the origins and evolution of the solar system and of life, meteorite impacts, earth history, environmental geo-science, and the effects of natural phenomena on the course of human history.

Title: The Anthropocene- Are humans the dominant force for change in our atmosphere, seas and land?
When: 7pm, Thursday August 4, 2016
Where: Mawson Lecture Theatre

There will be drinks and nibbles from 6.15 pm in the Field Geology Club room adjacent to the Mawson Lecture Theatre. Supper will be provided after the lecture.

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  As part of the Sprigg Geobiology Seminar Series, Professor Chris Turney from the University of New South Wales will present a seminar entitled “Testing the ocean bipolar seesaw: Using ancient New Zealand kauri (Agathis australis) to investigate the mechanisms of abrupt and extreme climate change”       Abstract Contrasting Greenland and Antarctic temperature trends […]

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Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, social media can be a bit of a mine field. There are so many people to follow, so many pictures to like and so many tweets to retweet. We’ve simplified things a little for you, giving you our top picks for who to follow on Instagram and […]

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The Palaeo Down Under 2 Conference is on in Adelaide this week, and for those that couldn’t make it, Monday’s keynote lecture is now online. Entitled “Catching the second Ediacara wave: ecology and biology of the Ediacara Biota as recorded in South Australia” this engaging research is presented by Prof. Mary L. Droser, of the University of […]

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Affectionately dubbed “Young Einsteins”, The Environment Institute’s Dr Zoe Doubleday and Jarrod Hodgson are featured in this month’s SALife magazine. Dr Zoe Doubleday recently made international headlines with her research on cephalopods. She talks about her meteoric rise to media stardom, juggling interviews with the BBC and New York Times. Jarrod Hodgson, ecologist and avian detective, […]

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Dr John La Salle, Director of the Atlas of Living Australia at the CSIRO will present a seminar entitled “The Atlas of Living Australia: supporting biodiversity discovery, documentation and analysis”. Abstract The Atlas of Living Australia is a globally recognised web based infrastructure to capture, aggregate, manage and analyse all classes of biodiversity data – as well as 470 […]

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Dr Zuzana Burivalova, postdoctoral research fellow from Princeton University, will present a seminar entitled “Using soundscapes to detect different degrees of tropical forest degradation”. Abstract Communities and indigenous people play a fundamental role in tropical forest management and they are often efficient at preventing deforestation. In Papua New Guinea, the majority of land is officially […]

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We regret to inform you that this seminar has been cancelled. Dr Jim Ascough, from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be presenting a seminar on USDA’s research on modelling, optimisation, data acquisition and cloud computing in the agricultural sector. Title: From Small Models to Big Data: A Long-Term Perspective on the Past, Present, […]

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