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Research Funding Provided by: Australian Government
Research Funding Provided by
Australian Government

Australian Research Council

Environmental Futures Network
Environmental Futures Network
The University of Adelaide
North Terrace Campus
Darling Building
South Australia 5005

Phone: +61 8 8303 3952
Facsimile: +61 8 8303 4364

Network News 2006

Short Course in Adelaide, 2007
Enhanced understanding of shallow lake ecology-interpreting
sediment records of plant remains

This course, which will be held Jan 15 – 19th 2007, aims to introduce students to the range of plant macrofossils (seeds, fruits, and other plant remains larger than about 0.5 mm) found in largely Holocene sediments in temperate Australia. The course will be held at the University of Adelaide. The ARC funded Environmental Futures Network has very generously funded this course by inviting two experts in the field, Dr Carl Sayer and Dr Tom Davidson, both from the Environmental Change Research Centre (UCL, London) to convene the course. The workshop-like course will be relatively informal, with lectures and seminars in the morning and practical sessions in the afternoon. Emphasis will be placed on students working on their own material, although other samples will also be available. One (or more) field trips will be undertaken to demonstrate sampling and coring techniques.

Basic knowledge of plant taxonomy, ecology, and palaeoecology is highly desirable but not essential. We are now taking registrations of interest for this course (places are limited), and there is no cost involved for students. Please note that there may be funds available to offset travel and accommodation costs of interstate students. For enquiries or registrations please contact Jennie on ph # 08 8303 5835 or email Oct 06

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EFN Network recognised in Special Issue of Quaternary Science Journal

Download paper ' Integrating high-resolution past climate records for future prediction in the Australiasian region' . Oct 06

Third round of funding opporutnities now open!

Both the ECR (Early Career Researcher Support Program) and Project Working Group schemes are now open for funding. Advertisment and Application Documents available below:

ECR Advert and Application Form
WGP Advert and Application Form

Closing date for both schemes is 13 October 2006 and should be submitted to Maria Lekis (, Aug 06

EFN Anuual Report 2005 now available, please click here to download. Apr 06

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Article in New Phytologist

Attached is a conference report on an EFN sponsored symposium conducted at the Combined Invertebrates Conference December 2005 (attach New_Phytologist article here). Apr 06

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Can the current biodiversity theory
explain our observations of coral communities

Maria Dornelas, a researcher with the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Townsville, Queensland, has published her first paper in Nature illustrating that coral-reef biodiversity does not follow the patterns predicted by one model - neutral ecology.

Recent research into reefs in different sites, islands and regions yielded new insights into understanding biodiversity in coral reefs. Download publication here. Mar 06

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Early Career Research Funding Support
Round 2, Now open!

ECR Advert and Application form here. Closing date is 10 April, 2006 and submission go to Maria Lekis ( in word doc format please. Mar 06

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Report from the combined Env Futures
Network and Invertebrates Conference

The Evolution of Australia Over the Last 25 Million Years: The consequences of Aridification and Ice Age Cycles. Attached is document link outlining the above conference held December 8-11, 2005. Feb 06

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ARC Discovery Grant Awarded

DP0665761 Dr LA Hughes; Prof AJ Beattie; Dr DP Faith; Prof RL Kitching

Project Title: A new phylogenetic framework for estimating local, regional, and global biodiversity
2006 : $150,000
2007 : $127,000
2008 : $127,000

Administering Institution: Macquarie University

Project Summary:
Australia is one of the 12 megadiverse countries that together account for 75% of global biodiversity. Invertebrates comprise the single largest component of biodiversity. The Australian invertebrate fauna is poorly known and therefore most conservation planning takes place in the absence of knowledge about the group that contributes most to biodiversity. This project will provide novel methods for estimating invertebrate species richness for conservation planning as well as contributing to the important debate about the magnitude and distribution of global biodiversity. Feb 06

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Conference Preliminary Announcement
Legacy of an Ice Age

A major conference involving Natural & Cultural themes - 'People-land interaction'

The occasion: 25 year anniversary of Willandra Lakes World Heritage listing

Dates: Festival week September 2-10th, 2006, Science conference on Thursday to Saturday Sept. 7-9.

Place: An on-site conference located in Mungo Lodge in the margin of, but outside the National Park. Full accommodation.

Interaction with indigenous community members forms an essential objective of this meeting. In form and content, we will be guided by their advice and wishes. The final details of this conference are yet to be finalised, however its shape and purpose are clear. Main audience will involve scientific workers, those who have worked in the Willandra, those interested in future work and those with more general interests including the place of the Willandra records in the wider regional evolution story.

Paper presentation will be closely integrated with field visits providing informative links between content of papers and the actual evidence on the ground. Interdisciplinary scientists will interact with indigenous colleagues, will seek opportunity to consider educational, wider public social and political agendas.

1. The main focus will involve specialist science discussions with reviews of previous data, presentation of new ideas and integrating the Willandra data into the broader context of Ice Age Australia.

2. Group discussions with indigenous owners will explore Science- Aboriginal issues, listening to traditional people and translating Willandra data into form relevant to heritage management issues.

3. Translating geological and archaeological data into packages relevant to schools the wider public with socio-political relevance.

Steps 1+2 will involve on-site activities. Item 3 will evolve out of the same meeting but will involve only those who wish to be involved.

Field Tours: This meeting provides a rare opportunity to re-visit many of the field sites described in publication, to evaluate such published data in the field and to range more widely over the Willandra region to visit sites from which little published information is available. This may range optionally from Mulurulu in the north (work of Harry Allen, Kirsty Douglas) to Prungle (John Magee) in the south, sites which few others have previously visited. Additional new information from Gogolo, Garnpung footprint site and unpublished data from Joulni all warrant field inspection.

Costings are still somewhat preliminary (we are awaiting the outcome of a grant application), but we estimate accommodation (full board) at $100/day. Registration will be additional.