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Study finds famous Australian caves are up to 500,000 years older than we thought – and it could help explain a megafauna mystery

South Australia’s Naracoorte Caves is one of the world’s best fossil sites, containing a record spanning more than half a million years. Among the remains preserved in layers of sand are the bones of many iconic Australian megafauna species that became extinct between 48,000 and 37,000 years ago. The reasons for the demise of these […]

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We helped fill a major climate change knowledge gap, thanks to 130,000-year-old sediment in Sydney lakes

Plants capture around half the carbon we emit by burning fossil fuels, making them a crucial part of mitigating climate change. But carbon is often released back into the atmosphere when plants die, decompose and eventually turn into dirt. Carbon is only permanently removed from the atmosphere if it’s stored in sediments that accumulate at the bottom […]

Posted in Climate Change, Environment Institute, Evolution and Climate, Faculty of Sciences Engineering and Technology, News, Publications, School of Biological Sciences, School of Physical Sciences, Science communication | Tagged , , , , , |

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Once the fish factories and ‘kidneys’ of colder seas, Australia’s decimated shellfish reefs are coming back

Australia once had vast oyster and mussel reefs, which anchored marine ecosystems and provided a key food source for coastal First Nations people. But after colonisation, Europeans harvested them for their meat and shells and pushed oyster and mussel reefs almost to extinction. Because the damage was done early – and largely underwater – the destruction of […]

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Grape Growers Adapting to Climate Shifts Early

A recently published article emphasises the importance of strong cooperative approaches to managing our water resources. Wine grape growers are among those who are responding fastest as their crop is extremely sensitive to weather and climatic shifts. Growers have had to learn quickly how to adapt to safeguard their industry including pruning for better canopy management, growing cover […]

Posted in Climate Change, Environment Institute, extreme weather, Food and Wine, Publications, School of Social Sciences | Tagged , , , , |

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Baby oysters follow the crackling sound of snapping shrimp

Though oysters may be brainless bivalves, they can “hear” and swim towards attractive sounds of the sea. We played the crackling sound of snapping shrimp, which indicates a healthy reef, to baby oysters using underwater speakers. We discovered the oysters swim towards the sound.  This opens the possibility of playing marine sounds to attract oysters […]

Posted in Environment Institute, Faculty of Sciences Engineering and Technology, Oyster Reef Restoration, Research Wins, School of Biological Sciences | Tagged , , , |

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What is a 1 in 100 year weather event and why do they keep happening so often?

People living on the east coast of Australia have been experiencing a rare meteorological event. Record-breaking rainfall in some regions, and very heavy and sustained rainfall in others, has led to significant flooding. In different places, this has been described as a one in 30, one in 50 or one in 100 year event. So, what […]

Posted in Climate Change, Environment Institute, News, paper, School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, Science communication, Water Research Centre, WRC | Tagged , , |

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University of Adelaide researchers raise awareness on the importance of satellite imagery for mapping bushfire impacts

The Conversation features lessons learnt by Boone Law as he mapped bushfire impacted areas on Kangaroo Island. By PhD candidate Wallace Boone Law with contributions from Megan M. Lewis. My recent experience suggests there is a considerable knowledge gap between ‘Big Satellite Data’ and ‘those who need it’. Megan and I share the concern that neither the general public […]

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Blue coastal carbon is set to be the new ‘boom’ for coastal communities

A little known secret about Australian seagrass, mangroves and salt marshes is the ability to capture and store more carbon than the plants on dry land. South Australia is set up to protect and expand these ecosystems, whilst making money in the process for coastal communities. Plants growing in these watery places capture and store more […]

Posted in Climate Change, Environment Institute, Marine Biology Program, MBP, News, Plant Conservation, Plant Conservation Biology, Science communication | Tagged , , , , , , , , |

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Massive Restored Reef Aims to bring South Australia’s Oysters Back

Researchers from the University of Adelaide have undertaken the largest oyster reef restoration project outside the United States in the coastal waters of Gulf St Vincent, near Ardrossan in South Australia. Construction began earlier this month with some 18,000 tonnes of limestone and 7 million baby oysters set to provide the initial foundations for a 20-hectare reef. […]

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Trap door spider “great ocean journey” gets worldwide press coverage

A paper published in PLOS One today by PhD candidate Sophie Harrison and Professor Andy Austin today tells the origin story of Trapdoor Spider’s arrival in Australia. This new paper challenges the previous theory the spiders arrived in Australia during the break up of the supercontinent Gondwana 95 million years ago. However, the genetic analysis conducted […]

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