Environment and Ecology

The four-year treasure hunt for the hoodwinker sunfish - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 20, 2017

Marianne Nyegaard, Murdoch University Sunfish are famous for looking odd. They are the largest bony fish in the world, can grow to over 3 metres in length and weigh up to 2 tonnes, and look a little bit like a suitcase with wings. But when I began my PhD doing population studies on sunfish off Bali in … Read More

Pristine Paradise to Rubbish Dump - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 20, 2017

Jennifer Lavers, University of Tasmania and Alexander Bond, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds A few weeks ago, the world woke to the story of Henderson Island, the “South Pacific island of rubbish”. Our research revealed it as a place littered with plastic garbage, washed there by ocean currents. This was a story we … Read More

Inaction on climate change risks leaving future generations $530 trillion in debt - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 19, 2017

James Dyke, University of Southampton By continuing to delay significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, we risk handing young people alive today a bill of up to US$535 trillion. This would be the cost of the “negative emissions” technologies required to remove CO₂ from the air in order to avoid dangerous climate change. These are the main findings … Read More

The temperamental past of Auckland’s Volcanoes - News

Jean Balchin Jul 18, 2017

Two recent studies have found that Auckland’s volcanoes had a rather stormy and temperamental past. At one stage, several large eruptions happened within 4,000 years, whereas at other times there were thousands of years of silence. The two studies were published this month in the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research … Read More

Pinus radiata, New Zealand’s adopted icon - A History of NZ Science in 25 Objects

Jean Balchin Jul 17, 2017

I used to be terrified of pine forests. The tall, dark trees seemed to quiver with menace, fringing the roads as we drove along in our little car. I’d peer out the window and dare myself to look into the forest, half expecting to see a wild thing lurking between the trees. Pinus radiata is New … Read More

Publish and don’t perish – how to keep rare species’ data away from poachers - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 14, 2017

Andrew Lowe, University of Adelaide; Anita Smyth, University of Adelaide; Ben Sparrow, University of Adelaide, and Glenda Wardle, University of Sydney Highly collectable species, especially those that are rare and threatened, can potentially be put at risk from poaching if information describing where they can be found is published. But rather than … Read More

I’ve studied Larsen C and its giant iceberg for years – it’s not a simple story of climate change - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 13, 2017

Adrian Luckman, Swansea University One of the largest icebergs ever recorded has just broken away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Over the past few years I’ve led a team that has been studying this ice shelf and monitoring change. We spent many weeks camped on the ice investigating melt ponds and their impact – and … Read More

Weeds head for the hills as climate warms - News

Jean Balchin Jul 11, 2017

As temperatures rise, plants head up mountainsides, with weeds spreading to higher altitudes twice as fast as native plants. An international team of researchers, including a New Zealander conducted the first study to look at non-native weed spread. The study specifically examined the European Alps, but a local researcher who was involved said that the situation might be even more dire … Read More

A map that fills a 500-million year gap in Earth’s history - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 10, 2017

Alan Collins, University of Adelaide and Andrew Merdith, University of Sydney Earth is estimated to be around 4.5 billion years old, with life first appearing around 3 billion years ago. To unravel this incredible history, scientists use a range of different techniques to determine when and where continents moved, how life evolved, how climate changed … Read More