Keeping Their Cool In Summer Heat


New research from experiments in our Whole Tree Chambers reveals:

  • During heatwave temperatures, Sydney's eucalypts draw up large quantities of water to keep their leaves cool and functioning.
  • But photosynthesis and carbon drawdown ceases during heatwaves.
  • This means that climate change models may be over-estimating carbon drawdown during heat events. Read more »

Latest News, Events And Highlights

Aug 21

Participants at our Soils Masterclasses will learn how to adopt practices and strategies to enhance the life in soils and use the power of plant-soil-microbial relationships to unlock soil nutrients, produce healthier and more nutritious plants and understand how microbes drive modern farming success.

This two day program includes:

  • Full overview of soil health, soil biology and nutrition practices that reflect the latest, emerging research findings
  • Conference dinner with delegates at the Sebel Hotel Hawkesbury
  • Conference materials and access to soil health facilities at Western Sydney University's Hawkesbury campus
  • Morning teas, lunches and afternoon teas
Six projects commencing in 2017-18 are investigating how plants challenged by environmental change and herbivore attack (above- and belowground) could benefit from plant silicon.

The High Commissioner of India, His Excellency Dr. A.M. Gondane, led a wide-ranging and thought-provoking set of discussions at the India-Australia Roundtable on Climate Smart Agriculture for Improving Livelihoods Forum held at Western Sydney University's Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment...

1 March 2018

Launched at Customs House in Sydney on Wednesday 28 February 2018, the new Bushfire Risk Management Research Hub serves as a collaborative union between four major universities including Western Sydney University, NSW Office of the Environment and Heritage (OEH), and other state government and industry partners.

25 February 2018

New research shows that elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) causes significant changes in the diversity of grasses in the forest understorey.

2017 John Cairney Award for Outstanding Student Publication

27th February 2017

This award is given annually to a published student paper that is chosen as the best publication of the HIE HDR cohort in one year.

The award is in memoriam of Professor John Cairney who was Director of the Centre for Plants and the Environment, the predecessor of our HIE; John sadly parted from us far too early. He is remembered as a great mentor and advisor of young researchers, and always placed a strong emphasis on publishing high quality papers with postgraduate students.

The 2017 John Cairney Award for Outstanding Student Publication goes to Sarah Facey’s article which appeared in the February 2017 issue of Agricultural and Forest Entomology. Congratulations Sarah, well done! (Facey SL, Fidler DB, Rowe RC, Bromfield LM, Nooten SS, Staley JT, Ellsworth DS, Johnson SN, (2017) 'Atmospheric change causes declines in woodland arthropods and impacts specific trophic groups', Agricultural and Forest Entomology, vol.19, no.1, pp 101-112).

'Success Showcase' Magazine

Success Showcase

Welcome to the Autumn Success Showcase, our showcase magazine of news, research, stories and features from the Hawkesbury Institute...

Summer 2015 Showcase

Selecting Red Gums for a warmer, drier Australia of the future and much more...

2018 QS University Rankings


The international Quacarelli Symonds Subject Rankings are a worldwide ranking of major disciplines. The criteria for designating a ranking are:

  • Academic peer review
  • Faculty/Student ratio
  • Citations per faculty
  • Employer reputation
  • International student ratio
  • A measurement of the diversity of the student community
  • International staff ratio


Quacarelli Symonds Rankings Agriculture and Forestry Top 150

Quacarelli Symonds Rankings Environmental Sciences Top 300 2018

Global Rankings And Research Quality

Western Sydney University is ranked in the top 2% of universities in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Our research was rated at 5 Stars for Ecological Applications, Soil Sciences, Ecology, Plant Biology, Forestry Sciences by the 2015 Excellence In Research Australia rankings conducted by the Australian Research Council (ARC).

Western Sydney University is ranked among the top 20 Australian universities for achievements in the prestigious Australian Research Council major grants. Nearly a third of the University's ARC grant income is achieved by the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment. Find out more...

Top 20 Of Universities In The World