A call out for…. dead possums

We are looking for any potential contacts of people who work or volunteer in wildlife shelters, vets, zoos, sanctuaries or other organizations that deal with wild animals as we are hoping to collect any dead possums (both common ringtail and common brushtail, within VIC only at this stage) that come into their workplace.

The reason why we ask for dead possums is that we had a number of dead powerful owls in 2021 and 2020 so we undertook a toxicology study on them and found that over 80% of these dead owls contained rodenticides (read the paper).

This is obviously really worrying especially given powerful owls don’t eat rats or mice and primarily eat possums. Our thinking is that the possums (especially brushtails) are consuming the rat poison and therefore we are now doing a study examining dead possums for any traces of rodenticides.

We are after as many dead possums (we have all the required permits to collect them) as possible so if you could help us out that would be great. Critical to this is that the possums have a location of where they were found.

Please read this flyer outlining what we are doing and the information required for any dead possums that come in.

For more information please feel free to contact A/Prof. Raylene Cooke. Please help by forwarding this to anyone else who may be able to help.

Deakin University’s CIE researchers named finalists for 2020 Eureka Prizes

A/Prof Daniel Ierodiaconou has been recognised for his work on the Victorian Coastal Monitoring Program (VCMP) and A/Prof Euan Ritchie for work on the Cat Ecology, Impact and Management Team of the National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Threatened Species Recovery Hub (or Cat Team), the Australian Museum has announced.

More via:

Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant – Building resilient alpine environments with less snow

Deakin University has been awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant. This exciting new outcome adds to the two ARC Linkage Grants already awarded to Deakin in 2020.

The ARC Linkage Grants, support the development of long-term strategic research alliances between research institutions and industry partners, or other end-users with the aim of developing solutions to real world problems and research questions.

Dr Susanna Venn, CIE member from the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment is leading a team that aims to build resilience into alpine National Parks and Alpine Resorts to counter the effects of ongoing declines in snowfall.

Alpine environments depend on snow to regulate water flows, insulate vegetation, control soil erosion and promote proper ecosystem functioning. How these processes will operate in a snow-free future is unknown.

The team will determine how and where snow characteristics drive soil water availability for plants and which plant species have the best adaptation and regeneration potential under extreme conditions such as heat, frost and drought.

Benefits of the project include innovative land management and rehabilitation solutions, to safeguard Australia’s alpine areas under changing environmental conditions.

  • Project lead: Dr Susanna Venn
  • Project Title: Building resilient alpine environments with less snow
  • Awarded: $380,260
  • Other DU Chief Investigators: Dr Adam Miller, CIE member from the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment)
  • Other Collaborating Universities: Australian National University, LaTrobe University, RMIT
  • Partner Organisation(s): Royal Botanic Gardens and National Herbarium of Victoria, Southern Alpine Resort Management Board, Parks Victoria, Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board & Liz MacPhee Alpine Flora

In addition to this Deakin University award, it is worth mentioning another successful ARC Linkage Project on which Deakin University staff members are key participants:

  • Project title: Innovation in agricultural sector Green House Gas abatement in NSW
  • Led by: The University of South Australia
  • Deakin University participant: Professor Brett Bryan, CIE member and head of the Deakin University’s Planet-A Sustainability Science research group (Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment, School of Life and Environmental Sciences).

The Forrest & District Plan – a result of extensive research & community engagement

Katrina Szetey (CIE HDR student funded by the LocalSDGs Ian Potter Foundation grant) has, as part of her PhD research, contributed to the development of a town plan for Forrest in the Otway Ranges.

A preliminary draft of the Forrest & District Plan has now been completed to provide an opportunity for the local community to share their thoughts, contribute historical knowledge and make suggestions on current and future infrastructure projects.

This Plan is a collaboration between Katrina Szetey from Deakin University’s The Local SDGs Program, the Forrest and District Community Group, Colac Otway Shire and The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

A great example of real world impact and Deakin serving its community.

FREE online course: IUCN Red List of Ecosystems – The Global Standard for Assessing Risks to Ecosystems

This course introduces the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems and its successful use and policy impact through real-world case studies

The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems is the global standard for ecosystem risk assessment, used by governments, NGOs, scientists and practitioners to sustain biodiversity worldwide.

Deakin has developed a free training course on the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems. The course is designed for conservation practitioners and decision-makers, as well as those with an interest in sustainability. It will help learners understand the Red List of Ecosystems approach and scientific basis, how the criteria and categories are applied, and how it can help make scientifically based decisions for policy and management practices.

This course is self-guided; while nominally designed over two weeks, it takes approx. 6 hours, and can be done at your own pace (even in one day). You can join the course as of Monday, June 1st 2020 or at any other time you choose.

To access the free online course visit – IUCN Red List of Ecosystems: The Global Standard for Assessing Risks to Ecosystems.

There are also some parts that are accessible without logging in, for example THIS VIDEO, allowing you to meet Loyiso Dunga from SANBI in South Africa. Loyiso completed our four day Red List of Ecosystems training in Kenya in 2019. Defiantly worth watching 🙂

The course is available via the FutureLearn platform and focus on A/Prof Emily Nicholson‘s research (and work on the science-policy interface).

More information is available on the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems website.

Pint of Science coming to a lounge room near you!

Pint of Science cannot be held in pubs this year but they are now offering a suite of interesting online events to check out.

Australian scientists have taken on the challenge of telling the world about their work, in just a few hundred characters, beautiful images and videos. They will be sharing their work and discoveries on Twitter and Instagram.

Dr Elodie Camprasse, from the CIE, will be sharing her research on human-wildlife conflicts on Twitter, posting at around 9 am, Monday 11th.

All scientists will be sharing their stories throughout the day; follow the #ThisIsMyScience to catch her presentation.

Elodie will also answer questions on human-wildlife interactions in urban environments, on a “Reddit Ask Me Anything” on May 13th (Wednesday) from 9 am to 5 pm. She will share insights from her research and her work as an Emergency Response Operator at Wildlife Victoria. You can ask your questions by following the instructions HERE.

You can find a bit more info on Elodie’s work by watching this short video.

We invite you all to join Elodie and many other Australian researchers on this special online event(s).

ARC Future Fellowship – Associate Professor Emily Nicholson

Associate Professor Emily Nicholson has been awarded a Future Fellowship. Below is a summery of her project:

“Linking risks to ecosystems with risks to human well-being. This project aims to provide theory and practical guidelines to integrate ecosystem science into policy and action to address human well-being. Ecosystem risk assessment provides critical information for conservation, and has compelling but unexplored relationships with human health and nature’s benefits to people. The research will identify ecosystem measures that highlight areas of risk to human well-being as well as biodiversity. Expected outcomes include new standards for including ecosystem change in policy frameworks globally and in Australia, such as natural capital accounting and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Benefits include improved ways of meeting and tracking progress on Australia’s international commitments.”

More information about Emily and her work can be found on her website.

For more information about Scheme Round Statistics for Approved Proposals – ARC Future Fellowships 2019 round 1 click here.

Blue Carbon Lab winning the 2019 AFR Higher Education Award – Industry Engagement

2019 AFR Higher Education Award – Industry Engagement

The Blue Carbon Lab’s citizen science program, has been named WINNER of the Industry Engagement Award at the 2019 Financial Review Higher Education Awards held at the Hilton Brisbane 27th August.

The program is a partnership between Deakin University, HSBC Australia and Earthwatch Australia, in which execute staff are transformed into citizen scientists who advocate the value of wetlands while contributing to Blue Carbon research.

Dr Maria Palacios and A/Prof Peter Macreadie lead this citizen science project.

Keynote at the Carbon Farming Industry forum

A/Prof Peter Macreadie was an invited keynote speaker at the Carbon farming Industry forum organised by the Carbon Market Institute.

During the two-day conference on the Sunshine coast, the government, industry and scientists discussed how to capitalise on Blue Carbon and its potential to be Australia’s greatest natural asset.

WINNews interviewed A/Prof Macreadie on the topic [link to interview].

BRP Victorian Coastal Wetland Restoration program launch

The Blue Carbon Lab has begun pre-restoration biodiversity surveys and carbon stock estimation on a grazed site in Western Port for the Victorian Coastal Wetland Restoration funded by the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity Response Planning program.

Fieldwork was carried out in collaboration with the UNSW Water research lab and ParksVIC.

For even more information check out Blue Carbon Lab’s latest newsletter.