The Naracoorte caves were featured on SBS nightly news in September this year. The story was filmed down in the Naracoorte caves and SBS spoke to Environment Institute member Dr Liz Reed about the important work being carried out in the cave systems.
Dr Liz Reed, Dr Lee Arnold and Professor Robert Hill were PIs on a $2 million Linkage grant awarded this year. Other Environment Institute members listed on the grant are Professor Alan Cooper; Associate Professor Jeremy Austin; Dr John Tibby and Adjunct Professor Nigel Spooner.
Dr Reed said “it was likely that the remains of more than 130 species – including long extinct species like the marsupial lion and giant kangaroo – have fallen through a hole in the earth above over half a million years.”
Dr Reed says the research project aims to shed more light on their history than ever before. “One of the key things we’re using are the 3D technologies and virtual technologies, so we’ll be mapping these caves using 3D scanners, which will give us a really precise image of the caves,” she says.
“We also have amazing dating technologies at our disposal… for example, some of our techniques, you can actually date the last time a grain of sand saw sunlight.”
“Some of this stuff even blows my mind, because it’s so new.”