Ecologists in Adelaide for national symposium

A kookaburra at Daisy Hill National Park near Brisbane.
Photo by Sarah Williams.

A kookaburra at Daisy Hill National Park near Brisbane.
Photo by Sarah Williams.

Full Image (148.38K)

Monday, 26 March 2012

The University of Adelaide will this week host an annual symposium that brings together a network of ecological scientists from around Australia.

The Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) will have its 3rd Annual National Symposium at the National Wine Centre, Adelaide, on 28-29 March.

The University of Adelaide is a founding partner in TERN, and two key research facilities are based at the University.

TERN relies on hi-tech equipment in the field and sophisticated data collection and sharing to provide the best, most up-to-date information to environmental scientists about the current state of Australia's ecological diversity.

Using the resources and expertise provided by TERN, scientists will be able to tackle some of the big issues for the nation's ecology, such as:

  • How Australia's ecosystems change over time;
  • What is the current health of some of Australia's key ecosystems;
  • How introduced plant and animal species affect native species;
  • How the spatial distribution of Australian plant and animal species change, and how some become extinct.

The University of Adelaide hosts two of the eight key facilities for the TERN project:

  • Eco-informatics - a new, national web-based system of ecological knowledge and observations. This information is available for the benefit of researchers, planners and policy-makers right across Australia.
  • Multi Scale Plot Network - a facility coordinating the collection and archiving of scientific measurements and observations. This is key to developing a detailed understanding of Australia's biodiversity and how our ecosystem works.

"Right across this nation, researchers from universities, government and non-government organisations are gaining a unique understanding of the diversity of life in Australia and how our ecosystems are changing," says Professor Andrew Lowe, Director of the Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity at the University of Adelaide and a joint appointment with the Department for Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

"By pooling this information in a coordinated way, TERN is providing an invaluable service to science, government and the community in a way not seen anywhere else in the world. We hope the future of Australia's environment will benefit from the work we're doing today," Professor Lowe says.

One of the highlights of the symposium will be a keynote address by Dr Steve Morton, CSIRO Fellow and Chair of the Board of the Environment Institute at the University of Adelaide.

For more details about the Symposium and a full program, go to: or visit the TERN website for more information:

TERN is supported by the Australian Government through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) and the Super Science Initiative.


Contact Details

Professor Andrew Lowe
Chair in Plant Conservation Biology, Director of the Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity
Environment Institute
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5280
Mobile: 0434 607 705

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762