Environment Institute

Dr Laura Weyrich from the Environment Institute’s Australian Centre of Ancient DNA (ACAD), was one of twelve outstanding University of Adelaide women researchers recognised in the University’s inaugural Women’s Research Excellence Awards.

These awards, established to celebrate International Women’s Day, recognise, celebrate and promote academic women’s research excellence at the University of Adelaide.

Dr Weyrich was one of four mid-career researchers who will receive $5 000 to support her research in ancient dental calculus and its use as a means of understanding how the human microbiome responds, adapts, and changes in a natural model system.


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The Australian Centre of Ancient DNA at the University of Adelaide use preserved genetic records recovered from ancient materials such as human and animal bones and teeth, plant remains and sediments to understand evolution and environmental changes through time.

Professor Alan Cooper, Director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) and Laureate Fellow of the Australian Research Council, recently spoke with Ewart Shaw on Radio Adelaide about the future of ancient DNA research.

Listen to Professor Alan Cooper’s interview.

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Mangrove inhabitants image: flickr.com

Mangroves and other coastal ecosystem are important nurseries for recreational and commercial finfish and shellfish species. Yet almost half of the global coverage of mangrove has been lost due to humans. To sustain their important ecosystem services adequate management is needed. However, evaluation of their nursery role for management purposes is largely based on protecting single habitats which is largely ineffective.

Associate Professor Ivan Nagelkerken from the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute was one of four researchers involved in an article entitled ‘The seascape nursery: a novel spatial approach to identify and manage nurseries for coastal marine fauna,’ published in Fish & Fisheries.

The article explores a new approach for more effective identification, valuation and management of nurseries based on a habitat mosaic approach. This also incorporates the important linkages that exist between mangroves, seagrasses, salt marshes and other habitats via pervasive fish movements, which underpins their nursery function, fisheries productivity as well as biodiversity.

Read the full article

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In the May 2015 eScience magazine, PhD student Heidi Alleway and her supervisor Professor Sean Connell highlight the importance of oyster reefs in maintaining a healthy marine environment. The article explores the history behind the large loss of natural oyster reefs in an effort to better understand how future conservation of oyster species can occur. “They (oyster [...]

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Biosecurity is a key concern for Australia, especially as the trade in exotic bird and lizard species maintains popularity. Associate Professor Phill Cassey leads a research group from University of Adelaide’s School of Biological Sciences that is working on ways to track these species and ensure they don’t get out of hand and create a threat to [...]

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Six University of Adelaide volunteers braved the dark and cold in the early morning last Thursday 7 May to help University researchers investigate River Torrens ducks and other waterbirds for avian influenza. The six volunteers are among 50 members of the community who responded to the call for Duckwatch volunteers. They are helping wildlife veterinarian and PhD [...]

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The University of Adelaide’s Unmanned Research Aircraft Facility (URAF) and South Australia’s Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) are collaborating on new research initiatives to explore various applications of conservation drones for managing South Australia’s natural resources. One ongoing project is to use drones to map and quantify fire load before and after [...]

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Professor Philip Weinstein, Head of School of Biological Sciences at University of Adelaide, was interviewed by Sarah Martin from Radio Adelaide’s Sound of Science program. The loss of biodiversity not only has implications for animals and plants in the wild, but can also have negative effects on human health. Changes to our environment that have caused avoidable [...]

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Professor Andy Lowe, Associate Professor Lian Pin Koh and Associate Professor Phillip Cassey will be speaking at the Pint of Science festival about practical solutions to the biodiversity crisis. Professor Andy Lowe will be talking on illegal logging and timber tracking techniques. Associate Professor Lian Pin Koh will be discussing drone technology for conservation management. Associate [...]

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Research from the University of Adelaide has shed further light on the complex issue of flood risk, with the latest findings showing the potential for flood risk to both increase and decrease in the same geographic area. A team from the University’s School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering has presented the findings of their study in [...]

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