Environment Institute
trapdoor spider burrow open

Professor Andy Austin was interviewed by Amanda Vanstone on the ABC RN show “Counterpoint”, as a result of the recent press coverage which featured in USA Today, which has a daily readership of 7 million.

Prof Austin spoke about his recent PLoS One, led by PhD candidate Sophie Harrison which challenges the previous theory the spiders arrived in Australia.

Genetic analysis shows the species converged only 2-16 million years ago, this paper proposes trapdoor spiders may have rafted across the Indian ocean in their silk sealed, climate controlled homes on or in debris washed out of African rivers to Australia.

Listen to the whole interview here, and read the media release.


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“Records of past climate which span decades through millennia are crucial for establishing baseline climate variability to place modern and future change in context. Such records provide new insights into the drivers of long term regional climate change and help constrain the probability of climate extremes. Our understanding of long term climate variability stems from a range of […]

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SA Scientist of the Year Finalist: Professor Bronwyn Gillanders Prof Gillanders has three main areas of research: calcified structures in fish such as their earbones, multi use management systems for the Spencer gulf and cephalopods. Read our exclusive Q&A with Prof Gillanders     Tall Poppy Winner: Dr Laura Weyrich Dr Weyrich works on Ancient DNA […]

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2017 Australian Climate and Water Summer Institute We are inviting applications for a competitive fellowship to participate in this prestigious event. Organised by a consortium of government and research organisations, the Summer Institute offers around 15 of the most talented students and early career researchers a unique opportunity to work closely with peers and experts […]

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The other side of scientific writing: increasing reader engagement and readership Publications are the universal currency for communication among scientists. But they are generally composed of dense, uninspiring language that can be laborious to wade through and difficult to understand. While objectivity and scholarship are cornerstones of scientific writing, there is another ingredient that is […]

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University of Adelaide researchers have shown that it may be possible to eradicate populations of invasive pest animals through the inheritance of a negative gene – a technique known as gene drive. Invasive pests cost agricultural industries around the world hundreds of millions of dollars and are a major threat to biodiversity and the environment. […]

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Pest species are not news to continental Australia: animals either deliberately introduced or brought here accidentally by boat have wreaked havoc for decades. Gene driving is a technique that aims to humanely spread a “faulty” gene through a population and triggers population collapse. Environment Institute Researchers Thomas Prowse, Phillip Cassey, Talia Wittmann and Paul Thomas suggests this […]

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Marine Biologist Professor Bronwyn Gillanders is nominated for South Australian Scientist of the Year at the SA Excellence Awards. Kate Luders sat down with Prof Bronwyn Gillanders to talk about her recent highlights and the importance of science communication ahead of the announcement of the finalist at the SA Excellence Award Gala Dinner this Friday. […]

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National Science Week is just around the corner so we’ve put together our pick of the best events Art and Science Tours at the Art Gallery of SA When: Monday, August 14 2017 till Friday, August 18 2017. 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM Where: Art Gallery of South Australia Cost: Free This multi-site learning program […]

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Professor Kris Helgen gave his Inaugural Professorial Lecture at the University of Adelaide. Prof Helgen completed his PhD at The University of Adelaide on a Fulbright Scholarship, after completing his BA (Biology) from Harvard University. Prof Helgen spoke about how Natural History Museums have been significant in his career, and how important the records and […]

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