Existing ecosystem science activities

The Australian ecosystem science community are a busy and productive bunch! We know from our conversations with you that there are already a lot of activities underway that are aligned with the six Key Directions of Foundations for the future. This page has a brief overview of just some of the existing activities that contribute to advancing the Key Directions, which you've told us about through our ongoing online survey.

We'd love to keep gathering information about the work happening across Australia, so if you're involved in something that you think contributes to the Key Directions please tell us about it here.

We will update this page over time as more people tell us about their work. Ultimately, we hope this will be a platform to help complementary people and projects to connect and collaborate in their work.

Read below for more information about:

 

Key Direction: Delivering maximum impact

 
Name of activity: Indigenous well-being and Ecosystem Services
Key direction it relates to: Delivering maximum impact for Australia: enhancing relationships between scientists and end-users
Ongoing or complete?: Completed
Main aims: To develop an integrated framework  for measuring human wellbeing so ES account in that framework ad policy decision making
Who’s involved?: Indigenous people
More info:  Read the paper
 

Name of activity: Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership
Key direction it relates to: Delivering maximum impact for Australia: enhancing relationships between scientists and end-users
Ongoing or complete?: Ongoing
Main aims: The Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership (GHHP), advised by an Independent Science Panel (ISP), was established to help improve decision-making about resource allocation and environmental management of Gladstone Harbour. This decision making is to be underpinned by robust marine science incorporating environmental, social and economic dimensions. An annual whole-of-system Report Card, supported by a Gladstone Harbour Model, will allow the GHHP to both report on the health of the harbour, and to provide advice on actions required to improve, maintain or restore the health of the harbour.
Who’s involved?: 23 partners (Government, Industry, Community and Traditional Owners
More info: http://www.healthyharbour.org.au and the 'Gladstone Harbour Report Card Framework Recommendation - March 2014'

 

Name of activity: Conservation of the Ningaloo marine ecosystem
Key direction it relates to: Delivering maximum impact for Australia: enhancing relationships between scientists and end-users
Ongoing or complete?: Ongoing
Main aims: (a) understand the environmental drivers of key processes (e.g. recruitment, primary production, turnover of biomass) in the Ningaloo coral reef ecosystem, (b) develop quantitive models that help to hindcast and forecast the consequences of environmental change on key ecosystem processes, (c) formulate adaptive approaches to spatial and temporal management of the World Heritage Ningaloo Marine Park, (d) develop effective approaches for knowledge transfer of research between researchers, managers, policy-makers and the wider community.
Who’s involved?: The Australian National University, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Department of Parks & Wildlife WA, ReefCheck Australia
More info: http://ningaloo-atlas.org.au/ and this information sheet

 

Name of activity: Improving evidence-based policy
Key direction it relates to: Delivering maximum impact for Australia: enhancing relationships between scientists and end-users
Ongoing or complete?: Completed
Main aims: To explore opportunities to bridge the knowledge-action boundary. Help promote proactive decision making
Who’s involved?: University of Queensland, University of Melbourne. Monash University
More info: http://carlycookresearch.wordpress.com/ and read the paper

 

Key Direction: Enabling ecosystem surveillance

Name of activity: Cosmic-ray neutron soil moisture monitoring network "CosmOz"
Key direction it relates to: Enabling ecosystem surveillance
Ongoing or complete?: Ongoing
Main aims: Continuously monitoring long-term, large scale (30ha +) soil moisture. Technique is proven and would complement information being collected at existing and new sites. After calibration by soil sampling instrumentation is extremely robust and reliable. Soil moisture is a driving process in many ecological/hydrological/meteorological processes
Who’s involved?: CSIRO
More info: http://www.ermt.csiro.au/html/cosmoz.html and read the paper

 

Name of activity: Wildlife Health Australia
Key direction it relates to: Enabling ecosystem surveillance
Ongoing or complete?: Ongoing
Main aims: To improve ecological, economic and social benefits to Australia by limiting the deleterious impact of wildlife disease on primary industries, natural ecosystems, human health, tourism and trade.
Who’s involved?: Australian governments, peak body NGOs with an interest or need for information, analysis and intelligence on wildlife health.
More info: www.wildlifehealthaustralia.com.au and the WHA Strategic plan 2013-14 to 2017-18

 

Name of activity: National Flying-Fox Monitoring Programme
Key direction it relates to: Enabling ecosystem surveillance
Ongoing or complete?: Ongoing
Main aims: The CSIRO has developed a scientifically rigorous monitoring methodology to gather updated information about the status of the national Grey-headed Flying-fox population and population trends (see below). The Commonwealth and state governments are working together to implement a multi-year monitoring programme, based on the CSIRO's methodology.
Who’s involved?: CSIRO, Department of the Environment, state governments, councils, community groups.
More info: http://www.environment.gov.au/node/16393 and Westcott et al. (2011)

 

Name of activity: Habitat Mapping
Key direction it relates to: Enabling ecosystem surveillance
Ongoing or complete?: Ongoing
Main aims: map the extent of subtidal habitat types for NSW coastal waters
Who’s involved?: NSW OEH and MPA/DPI
More info: http://www.ozcoasts.gov.au/geom_geol/nsw/index

 

Name of activity: National Malleefowl Recovery Program
Key direction it relates to: Enabling ecosystem surveillance
Ongoing or complete?: Ongoing
Main aims: We monitor about 3500 Malleefowl mounds across Australia and upload all data to a sophisticated database
Who’s involved?: The program is managed by the National Malleefowl Recovery Team but includes a number of NGOs
More info: www.nationalmalleefowl.com.au and Malleefowl database fact sheet.pdf

 

Name of activity: Bushland Condition Monitoring, SA
Key direction it relates to: Enabling ecosystem surveillance
Ongoing or complete?: Ongoing
Main aims: Monitor trends in bushland condition using a range of idicators over time
Who’s involved?: Nature Conservation Society of South Australia and SA State Government
More info: http://www.ncssa.asn.au/programs/bushland-condition-monitoring

 

Key Direction: Facilitating coordination, collaboration and leadership

Name of activity: Numerous
Key direction it relates to: Facilitating coordination, collaboration and leadership
Ongoing or complete?: Ongoing
Main aims: To lead sustainable management of the coast through capacity building, evidence-based research and advocacy.
Who’s involved?: 15 Sydney coastal councils
More info: http://www.sydneycoastalcouncils.com.au/ and the Sydney Coastal Councils Strategic Plan 2010-2014

 

Key Direction: Inspiring a generation

Name of activity: Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools
Key direction it relates to: Inspiring a generation: empowering the public with knowledge and opportunities
Ongoing or complete?: Ongoing
Main aims: To partner volunteer scientists with teachers to inspire the next generation.
Who’s involved?: Scientists, mathematicians, ICT professionals, teachers, Education departments, Science/Maths/IT organisations, state and federal governments.
More info: http://www.scientistsinschools.edu.au/ and this info sheet

 

Key Direction: Making the most of data resources

Name of activity: AusGOAL
Key direction it relates to: Making the most of data resources
Ongoing or complete?: Ongoing
Main aims: to enable the release and reuse of publicly funded information and data
Who’s involved?: All of the levels of government in Australia, strategic partnerships with international government and non-government organisations, and research and innovation sector in Australia
More info: www.ausgoal.gov.au

 

Name of activity: Understanding biogeographic patterns in ecology
Key direction it relates to: Making the most of data resources
Ongoing or complete?: Ongoing
Main aims: Synthesising available data from resources such as the TRY database, the Flora of Australia website, the Atlas of Living Australia and global climate datasets to quantify large scale patterns in how present-day climatic regime shape the ways plants grow and reproduce.
Who’s involved?: Big Ecology Lab at UNSW, Climate Change Research Centre at UNSW, TRY database owners
More info: http://www.bigecology.net.au/

 

Name of activity: Scaling evapotranspiration from local to catchment scale in forested ecosystems
Key direction it relates to: Making the most of data resources
Ongoing or complete?: Ongoing
Main aims: To identify better ways to use satellite data to scale local sapflow or other ET estimates to catchment scale ET
Who’s involved?: Hydrology and GeoInfornation Sciences Lab, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, The University of Sydney
More info: Check out this poster

 

Research projects

Name of activity: Fungimap
Key direction it relates to: Other - long-term research
Ongoing or complete?: Ongoing
Main aims: To identify and map the occurrence of fungi across Australia.
Who’s involved?: Fingimap Inc.
More info: http://fungimap.org.au/

 

Name of activity: TGB Osborn Vegetation Reserve, Koonamore
Key direction it relates to: Other - long-term research
Ongoing or complete?: Ongoing
Main aims: The Reserve is ~4 square km, fenced to exclude stock and rabbits in 1925. Permanent photopoints and quadrats record changes to the vegetation. Other research projects also use the Reserve and its data archives.
Who’s involved?: The University of Adelaide, School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
More info: https://ees.adelaide.edu.au/about/fieldwork/koonamore

 

Name of activity: Tronox Cooljarloo fauna monitoring and research
Key direction it relates to: Other - long-term research
Ongoing or complete?: Ongoing
Main aims: Monitoring vertebrate fauna assemblage across landscapes and over time, including minesite rehabilitation
Who’s involved?: Tronox (sand mining company).  Bamford Consulting Ecologists (wildlife research consultancy)
More info: Read this abstract

 

Name of activity: Wambiana Grazing Trial Faunal Biodiversity Quantification
Key direction it relates to: Other - long-term research
Ongoing or complete?: Ongoing
Main aims: determine the influence of different styles of grazing management on vertebrate biodiversity
Who’s involved?: JCU, MLA, DAFFQ, CSIRO (in the past)
More info: Read about the Wambiana Grazing Trial

 

Name of activity: Long-term fire and mammal research in NW Victoria (Mallee)
Key direction it relates to: Other - long-term research
Ongoing or complete?: Ongoing
Main aims: The main aim is to determine the effects of fire, herbivores and invasive predators on native biodiversity within NW Victoria. Essentially to understand major drivers of the ecosystem and how they affect its species.
Who’s involved?: Deakin University, Parks Victoria and Department of Primary Industries and Environment
More info: http://euanritchie.org/

 

Name of activity: The effects of fire, herbivores and invasive predators on Wilsons Promontory's mammal community
Key direction it relates to: Other - long-term research
Ongoing or complete?: Ongoing
Main aims: To examine and quantify the effect of fire, herbivores and invasive predators on native mammals. The survey and monitoring will also help underpin any plans for a possible reintroduction of native predators (Tasmanian devils and spot-tailed quolls) to the region.
Who’s involved?: Deakin University and Parks Victoria
More info: http://euanritchie.org/

 

Last updated 9 June 2015