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.

Key piece discovered in the jigsaw puzzle that is reptilian sex determination

Posted in Pogona Research on Jun 28, 2017

The mechanism by which temperature exerts its influence on offpring sex has baffled scientists for over 50 years, since the phenomenon was first discovered. In a paper recently published in Science Advances (June 14, 2017), we believe we have discovered an important piece of the puzzle, a temperature sensitive transcripional modification to an influential chromatin modifying gene, Jumonji.

Tropical Turtle Diets

Posted in Turtle Research on May 31, 2017

Congratulations to Mick Welsh on publishing his honours work. There have been few community studies of Australian freshwater turtles. The present study examined the diet and microhabitat use of 5 species of freshwater turtles from the Daly River, Northern Territory. Dietary shift with age was observed for most turtle species, and between species there was differentiation of diet and microhabitat use. The study also showed that in the dry-season, freshwater turtles in a perennial tropical river like the Daly River rely on aquatic vegetation and molluscs. Photograph: Megacephalic Emydura victoriae from the Daly River.

Sex in Dragons -- Ecological drivers of transitions between GSD and TSD

Posted in Pogona Research on May 09, 2017

The Institute for Applied Ecology is seeking two PhD students with interests in population genetics and reptile ecology/physiology to investigate the field-based mechanisms of sex reversal in the dragon lizard, Pogona vitticeps.Expressions of interest before June 10.

Sex in Dragons -- Modelling evolutionary transitions

Posted in Pogona Research on May 08, 2017

Sex in Dragons – Modelling evolutionary transitions in sex determination. We are currently seeking a PhD student with interests in biological responses to climate change, evolution and theoretical biology to investigate the evolutionary and ecological dynamics of sex determination in the dragon lizard, Pogona vitticeps. Expressions of interest before June 10.

PhD Project Scholarship: Sex in Dragons

Posted in Pogona Research on May 05, 2017

Sex in Dragons – Pinning down the mechanisms of sex determination in a reptile. We are currently seeking at least one, but potentially several, PhD students with interests in genetics, evolution and developmental genomics to investigate the molecular mechanisms through which sex is determined in the Australian central bearded dragon lizard, *Pogona vitticeps*. Expressions of interest before June 10.

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