Latest reports from ACEAS-funded groups and fellows PDF Print E-mail

Latest from ACEAS.


much of the ACEAS news is now on our Facebook page.


Where have all the fish gone and can they come back?

This group is starting its first meeting, and the Principal Investigator, Nick Bond, explained to the ABC some of the challenges facing them.

Read the transcript of the interview here. Check out their web page on this site here.



Our Koala group working towards a national picture


Several members of the ACEAS group 'Conserving koalas in the 21st Century'  were interviewed on the ABC's Four Corners on the 20th August 2012.


Assoc. Prof. Clive McAlpine, the Principal Investigator is interviewed by ABC NEWS 24 about the serious decline in Australia’s koala population and the recent Federal Government decision to list the koala in Qld, NSW & the ACT on the threatened species list HERE.





Several new groups have started their analysis and synthesis activities, and news of them can be found on the Science and Synthesis page of this web site.


They include Tania Laity from the Australian Natural Heritage Assessment Tool who is bringing a group of experts together to talk about Integrating Measures of phyogenetic and taxonomic diversity and endemism into national conservation assessment.


Groups that are winding up include the Pyrogeography group who had their last meeting in December at the same time as the C&N Dynamics group. Their meeting reports will shortly be loaded into their Science and Synthesis page.


But one of the latest pieces of news is of the upcoming Great ACEAS Workshop and Debate, on the issues that have emerged from the groups tackling Extinctions and Landscape Transformation in the first two rounds of ACEAS. You will see some hard work has been going on around gathering the facts, testing models and predictions, and putting these groups together should produce a super-synthesis. The event will be held at the Science Exchange in Adelaide, the home of the Royal Institution of Australia.


First paper submitted to a journal by an ACEAS Working Group, and a report of the meeting published in the on-line publication of the New Phytologist.

The Pyrogeography Working Group not only topped off their first meeting with a report for this web site (click here to read it) but followed this up with a meeting report submitted to the on-line branch of the journal New Phytologist. In addition they submitted a paper to another journal.


The outcomes of their first meeting included a system for identifying and describing major fire regime types, and reconciling phenomenological descriptions of fire regimes with conceptual models. Their results clearly showed that fire activity tracks seasonal dryness. The challenge for the next meeting is to determine how closely fire regime is linked to climate and other environmental variables and how this aligns with models in practice


Their next meeting is in December 2011, so we shall see how they progress towards their objective. A great start!




The arc is sinking!


The final workshop of the Vast Lands and Variable Data Working Group, the first ACEAS Group, was held at the Linnaeus Estate, and the report of the meeting can be read in their Working Group page. This group set a major challenge for themselves, and worked very productively during their meeting, despite, as you will see, some major climatic conspiracies in assembling the group members.


The foundation set at the meeting is bring finalised, particularly unpicking the correlates related to northern Australian marsupial and rodent decline (in comparison to southern Australian patterns). To link with this, the group engaged in a critical thinking mapping exercise to review the policy and management successes, failures and opportunities for mammal conservation in northern Australia.


They concluded that one of the main challenges facing biodiversity conservation is the inability to get long term traction in the consciousness of the public and to some degree governments of the serious decline in small mammal numbers. The final ACEAS report, and the paper they are planning to submit as a result of their work will help to push this message home further. Stay tuned to this site.




Precise estimates of extinction: a major review of species-area relationships


Recently, 9 academics challenged themselves trying to figure out the best ways to estimate the severity of the Anthropocene extinction crisis. To quote Corey Bradshaw, the group's Principal Investigator "Seems like a pretty straight forward task. We know biodiversity in general isn’t doing so well thanks to the 7 billion Homo sapiens on the planet (hence, the Anthropo prefix) - the question though is: how bad? " To hear how they went and pictures of their meeting in our new venue check out Corey's blog: Conservation Bytes.


The ACEAS report of the meeting (plus photograph) is available on the group's Science and Synthesis page.




The week before, the Pyrogeography group met and finalised a paper during their week's deliberations. Their full report has been posted on their page on this web site (click here) and they took home a punchy take-home message.


Big Wet = Big Fires

The recent continental soaking, long overdue, has put fire out of mind. But history and science show that such wets are reliably followed by big fire seasons.

As Prof. Bowman says, "Such a tool is the first step toward preparing for predicted changes in fire activity associated with changes in climate and land use across Australia. The popular view about bushfires only being on the fringes of our city where big intense fires are notorious, misses the point that the most of the fire activity occurs in the outback. These outback fires are increasingly catastrophic and uncontrollable. It is imperative we understand the processes better."




Joint Synthesis Centre meeting attended by ACEAS Sabbatical Fellow

Richard Thackway, the first ACEAS sabbatical fellow, attended a meeting sponsored by the major Synthesis Centres in the USA hosted by NESCent (the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center) in North Carolina, USA, in April 2011. After juggling hurricanes, as hoped, this provided a unique opportunity for collaboration and networking which was indeed the case, both for Richard and for ACEAS. Click here for more details


You can check out some of Richard's work by looking at a recent presentation on his Science and Synthesis web page.




First meeting of second round of ACEAS funded groups.

On the 19th April 2011 the group working on C & N Dynamics met for the first time. Their work around improving long-term predictions of carbon and nutrient dynamics in Australia's agro-ecosystems: assimilation of datasets from long-term research sites for verification of biophysical models of vegetation and soil changes promises to . This meeting was a great opportunity for the group members to meet and plan their approach for the remainder of their activity. To see the members of the first working group and their meeting report, click here.


On the 23rd - 25th May 2011 freshwater ecosystems was the topic for a group which met in Brisbane. This group, led by Samantha Capon, focussed for this meeting on develop working definitions of key terms, identifying appropriate statistical techniques and determining the availability and suitability of long-term datasets from Australian freshwater ecosystems to enable tipping points and thresholds to be better determined. This is much better explained by the group involved, which can be done by clicking on this link.




Last meeting of first funded group

The outcomes of the first meeting about the apparent decline in small mammals in Australia included the development of a continent-wide database to explicitly re-test the intrinsic and extrinsic correlates of decline, the development of species distribution models based on weather and environmental factors, and a temporal meta-analysis to examine historical causes and synchronicity in the patterns of change will be brought into the second and last meeting of this group in June 2011. An exciting range of people are attending this next meeting and the products from this energetic group will be posted here first. To read more follow this link.

Last Updated on Thursday, 09 May 2013 08:15