New Blood for Team Pogona

Posted in Pogona Research on Sep 03, 2017

Welcome to Sarah Whiteley who joins Team Pogona from Queensland University where she recently completed her honours on sex reversal and temporary pseudohermaphroditism in the Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps). Sarah was awarded first class honours for her work, which has since been submitted in part for publication.

Kutubu Kundu Digaso Festival

Posted in Turtle Research on Aug 24, 2017

Congratulations to Carla Eisemberg and Yolarnie Amepou of the IAE on securing funding from Exxon-Mobil PNG to attend the 7th Kutubu Kundu Digaso Festival in PNG later this month. The Kutubu Kundu and Digaso Festival celebrates the importance of the kundu drum and the Digaso oil in the traditional culture of the Kutubu people in the Southern Highlands Province. Cultural groups will travel from remote parts of the province to participate in the festival celebrations.

Science Meets Street Art

Posted in Uncategorized on Aug 20, 2017

Last weekend, a street artists was at work on a science-inspired mural collaborating one-on-one with early career scientists to create these artworks to celebrate their research and discoveries. Postgrad student with the IAE, Berenice Talamantes was one such early career scientist. The work was spectacular, giving new meaning to the concept of SNPs.

Mammal Emblem for the ACT

Posted in Uncategorized on Aug 10, 2017

Just had a chat on ABC Radio Breakfast, hosted by Dan Bourchier, as part of a panel to discuss options for an ACT mammalian emblem, to complement the Gang-gang Cockatoo and the Royal Blue Bell. On the panel with me was David Headon and Ivo Ostyn. What do we think? Spotted-tailed Quoll gets our vote.

New Book on Australian Turtles

Posted in Turtle Research on Aug 06, 2017

Friday, Turtles of the World, and today I receive a copy of Freshwater Turtles of Australia by John Cann and Ross Sadlier. This is a greatly improved version of John Cann's earlier book on the same topic -- a spectacular expose of the diversity and form of the unusual turtle fauna of Australia, dominated as it is by the family Chelidae. Beautifully illustrated and accompanied by a wealth of experience that John has accumulated through decades of passionate enquiry. The taxonomy is a bit odd I must say, not in many cases following the lead given by the article by myself and Scott Thomson in 2010, or the Turtles of the World compendium, or the official list of turtles prepared by the Australian Society of Herpetologists. Cann and Sadlier go it alone, which is their perogative, with taxonomic rearrangements that reduce some species to the level of subspecies, and elsewhere raise a plethora of geographic variants to subspecies. This aside, it is a must for anyone who shares our passion for this fascinating group of reptiles.

PNG Frogs

Posted in Uncategorized on Aug 04, 2017

Amphibians are under threat world wide from a range of pressures including an emergent disease, chytrid fungus. Many have gone extinct, others have undergone dramatic declines. A few global refugia provide a glimmer of hope, such as the island of New Guinea to our north. A team of concerned scientists, including from the Institute for Applied Ecology, are calling for immediate pre-emptive action to save the global frog population. They argue for a reasoned path forward in the latest edition of the journal Science. Lead author Deb Bower and co-author Simon Clulow visited Wau Creek in the Kikori facilitated by the Piku Team in 2015 and 2016. Clearly this got the intellectual juices flowing!!

New Guinea Orchids

Posted in Uncategorized on Aug 04, 2017

Really pleased to see the opportunities to work in PNG panning out for Jasmyn Lynch of the IAE with her new and insighful article entitled "Respect, reflect, and engage – enhancing biophysical research practices with Indigenous people, their land, and culture" that appeared yesterday in the Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, Well done Jasmyn!! The work is funded by the Hermon Slade Foundation.

Turtles of the World

Posted in Turtle Research on Aug 04, 2017

The 8th Edition of the Turtles of the World Annotated Checklist and Atlas of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution, and Conservation Status is now available on line. This is a spectacular compendium of the latest scientific assessment of turtle species globally, and comes with new distribution maps and photos in addition to the taxonomic accounts.

Wildlife Conservation in the Amazon

Posted in Uncategorized on Jul 30, 2017

For many of us the astounding diversity of life on earth is an endless source of amazement and wonder. Nowhere better exemplifies the diversity of life on earth than the Brazilian Amazon. The Amazonian rainforests is widely recognized for its megadiversity. A new book, prepared by IAE Alumna Carla Eisemberg and Stephen Reynolds, provides a good introduction for those planning a visit. This book is a good read, providing insight to the unique biota and ecosystems of the Brazilian Amazon, the challenges we face in conserving the biodiversity of this megadiverse region, and the actions that are being taken to achieve this conservation. It is a good and insightful read even for those who may never have the opportunity to visit Brazil.

Rare turtle's relationships resolved

Posted in Turtle Research on Jul 25, 2017

Congratulations to Xiuwen Zhang for her article resolving the phylogenetic relationships of the enigmatic Western Swamp Turtle using whole mitochondrial sequencing. The online version of the article, co-authored by Peter Unmack, Gerald Kuchling, Yinan Wang and Arthur Georges, appeared today in the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.

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