Conservation research efforts recognised

all awardees ThomR June2015CEED researchers have won a prestigious Thomson Reuters Citation Award for their significant contribution to climate change research. Professor Hugh Possingham and Dr Eve McDonald-Madden from The University of Queensland, and Dr Tara Martin from CSIRO, have been recognised for their research into the effects of climate change on habitat loss and conservation decisions.

The research was conducted in collaboration with Dr Jane Elith (The University of Melbourne), Dr Chrystal Mantyka-Ptingle (University of Saskatchewan, formerly University of Queensland) and CEED International Scientific Advisory Panel member Professor Antoine Guisan (Université de Lausanne). The prize was awarded jointly.

Director of CEED Prof Hugh Possingham said there is a lot of research being done about the likely impact of climate change on plants, animals and habitats.

"Our group is more interested in research that helps people make good decisions about how to respond to a changing climate," said Professor Possingham.

"We are unique in taking a strong interest in helping managers and policy makers to decide what to do, not just what might happen."

Eve Prinsen Brown captionFellow award winner Dr Eve McDonald-Madden from the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management said it is an honour for the team to be recognised for its contribution to the advancement of science to improve climate adapation.

"We combine ideas and approaches from ecology, economics and mathematics to find solutions to conservation problems," said Dr McDonald-Madden.

"Climate change is likely to wipe out many species as their current habitats are impacted. We have pioneered ways to work out where we might move these species to protect them, when the best time to move them might be, and how we decide if taking such a drastic action is worthwhile."

The Thomson Reuters Citation and Innovation Awards recognise researchers whose body of work has made a significant contribution to one of eleven fields across all domains of science, including engineering, socials sciences and the humanities.
Winners are chosen following a rigorous evaluation process focused on analysis of citations in prestigious journals and evidence of collaboration.

Thomson Reuters press release HERE

Frog wars: survivors emerge in war with killer fungus

alpine tree frog david parkerAlpine tree frog image: David Hunter

Australian scientists have found that some native frogs are winning their war against the world's most devastating frog-killer – the chytrid fungus – while others are losing it.

Studies by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) show the whistling tree frog is successfully beating the lethal fungus, as is the alpine tree frog. However the iconic yellow-and-black striped corroboree frog – a critically endangered Australian species – is fast losing the struggle.

The research is also revealing what causes frogs to live or die – providing scientists crucial clues in the fight to save the nation's remaining frogs, says Mr Ben Scheele, who recently completed his PhD with CEED at The Australian National University (ANU).

FULL RELEASE HERE

SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS: http://bit.ly/1FmJAHt & http://bit.ly/1Hmiks5 

 

CEED Early Career Leadership Blog

EDG leadership low resThe Leadership Program is an initiative started in an effort to develop environmental leaders - young researchers with the scientific and leadership skills necessary to create positive environmental change. An initial cohort of ~20 CEED early career researchers from around Australia met in Brisbane in early November 2014 for a week of intensive leadership training. Our training continues for one year, as we complete a variety of leadership activities.

The initiative now has a new blog.  This will provide a place for the members of the leadership cohort to discuss their thoughts on leadership and share lessons learned during our year of leadership activities. The posts may also be of interest to other early career researchers, so we thought we would share details about the site with everyone.

New posts should come out every two weeks or so over the next 5-6 months, so please check-in regularly or subscribe to the site's RSS feed. Comments and questions about posts are welcome on the site. You can also follow those of us on Twitter (see the "People" page on the website), and we'll also tweet about new posts when they're up.

UNESCO World Heritage Report out

UNESCO logo1UNESCO report "Convention concerning the protection of the world cultural and natural heritage" out now.

In particular, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Tasmanian Wilderness in Australia.

See the report HERE

Meet the Australian wildlife most threatened by climate change

Mountain Pygmie Possum   Flickr CC Aust Alpsfrom an article in the Conversation

Nearly half of 200 Australian species are threatened by climate change, according to our research published today in PLOS ONE.

Climate change is one of the major contributors to global biodiversity loss, and plant and animal species can be affected by climate change in different ways. Some may be directly affected by sea level rise or snow melt, whereas some may lose a pollinator or prey species that they rely on.

Photo: Mountain Pygmie Possum. Flickr CC Australian Alps

Expand, not just extend, forestry moratorium

Jakarta PostOpinion piece by Sugeng Budiharta - Monday May 25, 2015

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has assured he will extend the country’s forestry moratorium as proof of his commitment to protect nature. This implies that there will be no new permits to convert primary forests and peatlands within the moratorium areas for the next two years. However, does it mean anything? 
- See more HERE

The Thin Green Line

Vimeo Thin Green LineA vimeo producton by Mark Doyle interviewing Professor Hugh Possingham on maintaining Brisbane's biodiverstiy whilst considering a continual population growth.

https://vimeo.com/127469081

New way to save fish ... and fishers!

P1060064An end to poaching will benefit ocean conservation and fishing communities worldwide, an Australian-led scientific study shows.
Researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) have found that well-enforced fishing areas can boost the incomes of fishers by up to 50 per cent through catching more fish, compared with those fishing in unregulated 'anything-goes' areas.
Protecting both the world's ocean life and the livelihoods of fishers creates a win-win situation for both fishing communities and conservation, says lead author Ms Katrina Davis of CEED and The University of Western Australia (UWA).

Read media release HERE based on this Conservation Biology JOURNAL ARTICLE

Chilean abalone fishers image by Katrina Davis

Celebrity species ‘can help save other wildlife’

Panda WallpapersCharismatic or 'celebrity' endangered wildlife can help save less well-known or 'forgotten' animals – if the conservation funds are used wisely, environmental scientists say.
Dr Joseph Bennett and Professor Hugh Possingham argue that the world has developed a very inefficient way of choosing which animals facing extinction to save, often favouring popular wildlife such as rhinos, koalas and bilbies over the less well-known species, including Australia's blobfish, giant Gippsland worm, or the Pacific lamprey.

Read media release HERE.  Scientific paper this is based on HERE

Leadbeater's possum declared critically endangered

leadbeaters possum 2Population drops by more than 80pc since mid 1980s

The Leadbeater's possum, Victoria's faunal emblem, has been declared critically endangered by Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt, with the population plunging by 80 per cent over the past 30 years.

Professor David Lindenmayer, who has been researching the animal for more than 30 years, said the main threat to the possum's habitat was logging and fire.

read the full abc.net article 

photo: Friends of the Leadbeater's Possum