Science, Research, Climate Change and Agriculture: Stories From The Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment



30 June 2017

One koala's waste could be another's salvation, as researchers from the Hawkesbury Institute of Environment (HIE) work on a koala inoculation made from the excrement of their cuddly counterparts.

Koalas 150

7 March 2017

The ability of trees to offset carbon emissions has been questioned after a Western Sydney University study found common Australian trees are unable to store as much carbon as previously thought. Published in the Nature Climate Change journal, the research found that Australia's iconic Eucalyptus forests are likely to need additional soil nutrients in order to grow and take advantage of extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.


1 November 2016

On November 1st 2016, the annual Australian Research Council grants were announced with four new Discovery projects to be led by the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment.

2016 ARC Results

13 October 2016 - By Dr Chris Turbill

You may have seen the news that the human lifespan cannot be extended beyond about 115 years, as shown by a demographic analysis confirming that the steady improvements in lifespan seen for many populations over recent decades has stalled since the 1990s. The researchers' conclusion that "the maximum lifespan of humans is fixed and subject to natural constraints" is sobering reading for those who dream that human ageing can one day be successfully hacked.

Mice 400 150x150

14 October 2016

An international study has found the economic value of biodiversity in forest productivity is worth roughly US$330 billion per annum, highlighting the importance of protecting the world's remaining species rich ecosystems. Published in Science, the Positive Biodiversity–Productivity Relationship Predominant in Global Forests study is the work of over 80 scientists from 44 countries.

Amazon Rainforest 150

30 September 2016

Dr Jonathan Plett from Western Sydney University's Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment has been awarded a 2016 NSW Young Tall Poppy Science Award for his research and engagement on the relationships between plants and the fungi in soils.

Jonathan Plett Yopung Tall Poppy 150

22 September 2016

The female Superb Lyrebird of Australia is finally getting her day in the sun. The male is justly famous for his amazing ability to mimic sounds. But for the first time, scientists have conducted a systematic study of the sounds that female Superb Lyrebirds make. They find that she, too, is a skilled vocalist that can imitate the voices of at least 19 other bird species.

Lyrebird 150

12 September 2016

A study, published in the journal Global Change Biology, has found that across much of inland Australia plants are near a tipping point in their ability to cope with rising high-temperature extremes. This suggests that future heat-waves could have devastating effects on Australia's flora.

Hot Eucs 150

3 August 2016

Using the world's only Whole Tree Chambers, scientists at Western Sydney University's Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment examined the response of wholly-enclosed trees to see how closely the responses of native Australian trees matched the global prediction models in research published by New Phytologist...

Tree Chambers

21 July 2016: Australian and Indian researchers are pooling efforts – and funding – to safeguard fruit and vegetable crops, and insect pollinators, in the face of challenges such as honey bee habitat loss and disease.

Pollinator 150

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