A number of Environment Institute members were invited to speak at the University’s renown Research Tuesdays called ‘Mission Mammal’. The presenters spoke about many mammal species requiring urgent conservation and what critical role we play in Australia.
One of only 17 ‘megadiverse’ nations, we’re home to a huge variety of mammals, with a remarkable 87 per cent found nowhere else on Earth. Highly aware of this, University of Adelaide researchers are applying advanced techniques to:
- track species’ distribution through ancient fossil and DNA records
- fight diseases, such as koala retrovirus and devil facial tumour disease
- understand urban adaptations, such as in Adelaide’s grey-headed flying foxes
It’s vital work—not only to maintain biodiversity, but to preserve key aspects of our national identity and Indigenous culture. The progress is shared in this Research Tuesdays forum.
- Professor Kris Helgen is Deputy Director of the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Applied Conservation Science, Environment Institute. He’s worked professionally in over 50 countries, and documented and named dozens of previously overlooked living mammal species. Kris is also a former Curator of Mammals at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
- Dr Liz Reed is a Research Fellow in the University of Adelaide’s School of Physical Sciences, and a member of the University’s Environment Institute. She is also an Honorary Research Associate with the South Australian Museum, a member of the Society of Vertebrate Palaeontology, and a former site interpreter at the Naracoorte Caves.
- Dr Wayne Boardman is a Senior Lecturer in wildlife and conservation medicine and veterinary biosecurity in the University of Adelaide’s School of Animal and Veterinary Science. He is a former Head of Veterinary Services for the Zoological Society of London, Senior Veterinarian at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, and Head of Veterinary Conservation Programs at Zoos South Australia.
- Chelsea Graham is a PhD candidate in the University of Adelaide’s School of Animal and Veterinary Science. Her research is an interdisciplinary project conducted in collaboration with the Adelaide Medical School, focusing on conserving the Tasmanian Devil. She has been awarded grants from the Nature Foundation SA and the Sir Mark Mitchell Research Foundation, as well recently receiving the Hans-Jürgen and Marianne Ohff Research Grant.