Environment Institute

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Dr Simon Divecha, a 202020 Vision spokesman from the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute wants to reduce the impact of heat in cities by making more green urban areas.

“If we shade the buildings, the walls, the roads, it stops that mass … absorbing that heat during the day and radiating that heat at night,” says Dr Divecha.

Dr Divecha’s interview can be accessed at the News Limited website.

For more information about climate change visit the Environment Institute website.

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Professor Corey Bradshaw

Professor Corey Bradshaw
from Adelaide University’s Environment Institute was one of four scientists interviewed for Aspire Magazine’s Feb/Mar 2015 edition.

Professor Bradshaw, a conservation ecologist, is global ecology co-director, director of ecological modelling and chair of climate change at Adelaide University.

Corey’s passion about the importance of scientific research into climate change, and its impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity comes through in his recent interview with Aspire Magazine.

“About 90 percent of Australians live in cities. The environment ceases to be a priority because people don’t see its complexity, but it’s our life support system. One in three mouthfuls we eat is due to pollination by animals, mostly bees. To hand-pollinate our crops would require the population of China.”

Read the full interview here, or to find out more about global ecology, visit the Environment Institute website.

Corey Bradshaw’s interview was published in Aspire Magazine, Feb/Mar 2015 edition.

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Image source: www.itsnature.org

Analysis of the ear bones of the River Murray estuarine fish black bream has revealed how these fish ‘hedge their bets’ for population survival.

Published in the journal Biology Letters, University of Adelaide research has shown that within this single species of fish there are some individuals which migrate to different parts of the Coorong in South Australia, and some that generally stay in the one location. Black bream are important for recreational and commercial fishing.

“When we consider animal migration, we tend to think of large seasonal migrations of species like the humpback whale or the Arctic tern. We don’t often think of migratory behaviour that varies within populations,” says Professor Bronwyn Gillanders, from the University’s School of Biological Sciences and Environment Institute.

“But it appears that within the black bream Coorong population there is a ‘bet-hedging strategy’ that allows the fish to survive and persist in the Coorong over good times and bad.

“Migration to another area may be more favourable under drought conditions when the water becomes more saline and, conversely, when there is lots of fresh water coming in and there is lots of food readily available, it would be more beneficial for the fish to stay in the location. This probably helps to make the species more resistant to both climate and human-related change.”

The researchers used the ear bones of fish collected throughout the estuary to construct their findings. Fish ear bones provide much information through analysis of the trace elements they contain and the width of their growth rings.

“Like tree growth rings, the ear bones reveal the age of the fish and growth periods which correlate with the growth of the fish itself,” says Professor Gillanders. “When we measure the width of the growth increments, we can trace back to see how fast the fish was growing at a particular time and year.

“The bones can also tell us whether the fish is migratory or ‘resident’ by mapping the ratios of barium against calcium. The higher levels of barium indicate when the fish was in fresher water.”

Professor Gillanders found that 62% of the fish were resident and 38% were migratory. Models were used to investigate differences in annual growth between the two groups and construct a growth time series.

“Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s resident fish had increased growth compared with migrant fish but this changed around 2005 when growth of migrant fish increases,” says Professor Gillanders. “This is likely to be a result of the deteriorating conditions in the Coorong and reflects the ability of the migratory fish to find more favourable conditions and source more food.”

This research was in collaboration with the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI).

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Associate Professor Justin Brookes was one of 74 science researchers involved in recently publishing an article in Scientific Data entitled, “A global database of lake surface temperatures collected by in situ and satellite methods from 1985-2009“. This article, published by Nature, summarises a new lake temperature database. These scientists are part of the Global Lake Temperature Collaboration (GLTC), an [...]

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Dr Diego Garcia-Bellido will present a lecture entitled, “From the Cambrian of Kangaroo Island to the Ordovician of Morocco,” at the next Sprigg Lecture Series at the South Australian Museum. Abstract: The Cambrian (541–485 million years ago or ‘Ma’) and the Ordovician (485–458 Ma) periods represent a crucial phase in the history of the Earth: they bring the [...]

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Associate Professor, Lian Pin Koh recently had the honour of judging the inaugural Drones for Good award, organised by UAE’s Prime Minister’s office. The Wadi Drone won the national competition. This winning entry was from a group of students from NYU Abu Dhabi who created a fully automated data-transmitting drone. The team collaborated with Wadi Wurayah [...]

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The amount of seized fruit, vegetables and meat at Adelaide Airport has increased in recent years, and Associate Professor in biosecurity at the University of Adelaide, Phill Cassey is concerned biosecurity breaches will have a negative effect on South Australia’s economy. “The critical point for SA is that trade and tourism is boosted by its [...]

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Associate Professor Lian Pin Koh had the honour of being invited by President Clinton, Secretary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative University 2015 in Miami, Florida last week. Along with fellow panelists and participating students, he discussed how innovative technologies, including conservation drones, can help monitor wildlife and better inform campaigns against [...]

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Professor Andy Lowe has written a piece for RiAus (Australia’s national science channel) on the threats and solutions to biodiversity pressures. “Lets us be in no doubt – we are in the midst of the greatest biodiversity crisis the world has ever seen.The rate of extinction today is greater than at any other time in [...]

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International research involving the University of Adelaide has shed new light on the origins of some of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Three billion people today speak a language that is part of the Indo-European family of languages, spanning Europe as well as Central, Western and South Asia. But the reason why [...]

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