EucFACE Reveals That Australian Trees Limited By Lack Of Nutrients


The EucFACE experiment exposes native woodland to elevated carbon dioxide. We found that:

  • Despite consistent increases in leaf photosynthesis, eucalypts could not put on more wood, stem and leaf growth under elevated CO2.
  • When phosphorus was added in tests, productivity increased by 35%.
  • Findings completely opposite to overseas FACE experiments that found a 23% increase in tree productivity with elevated CO2.
  • Findings demonstrate the importance of Australian science with implications for global climate change models.

Latest News, Events And Highlights

Apr 3

The Australasian Bat Society is proud to announce that its 18th biennial conference and Annual General Meeting will be held in Richmond (Western Sydney University).

22 December 2017

Australian health authorities regularly issue public reminders not to touch bats because they can host Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV). This type of health education is necessary because it reduces human exposure to bat-borne diseases. However, subsequent sensationalist media reporting risks demonising bats, which increases human-wildlife conflict and poses barriers to conservation.

13 December 2017

For PhD student Tracey Steinrucken, her graduation on Wednesday 13 December brings to a close three of the most intense and fulfilling years of her life. During her studies at Western Sydney University and CSIRO, Tracey has travelled to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar, uncovered new insights into the control of woody weeds, and most recently, become a mum to baby Isabelle.

Currently, HIE is seeking a champion to lead the next stage of our growth. If the position of Director of Research looks like you, please contact Ian Pike at Uni-Recruit immediately.

26 October 2017

Since its launch in 2012, the iconic EucFACE experiment has exposed a patch of native forest in north-west Sydney to high levels of carbon-dioxide - replicating our predicted future atmosphere. Levels of carbon dioxide in our air are increasing steadily every year and are now over 400 parts per million, the highest recorded levels in hundreds of thousands of years.

The Which Plant Where, When and Why Database project is a program of research that will result in a new database tool to ensure that landscape plantings can account for current and future climate scenarios to grow Australian urban greenspace in coming decades. Backed by a five-year research program, this tool will enable plant selectors to select plants with the features they need tested under the climatic conditions they will live with in coming decades.

10th November 2017

PhD student Jonathan Finch is exploring the interactions between moths, their parasitoids and the native Coffee Bush (Breynia oblongifolia).

These incredible microscope images are part of visualising these tiny moths that exist in the Cumberland Plain Woodland.

More photos here

'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...

2017 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 200 2017

Quacarelli Symonds Rankings Environmental Sciences Top 300 2017

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