Ecology & Environmental Science
Exploring from the land, sea and sky
Researchers in the School of Biological Sciences explore all angles of the Earth to solve questions in ecology and environmental science.
Our scientists explore how flora and fauna respond to environmental challenges and climate change and seek to understand the adaptive capacity and resilience of species.
We use analytical and applied techniques to study wildlife conservation and biosecurity risk management; monitor ecosystems with satellite imagery and use GIS and spatial simulation modelling to forecasts of biodiversity shifts to conserve natural systems.
Our marine biology and aquatic research has a strong focus on current environmental issues that affect freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems, while exploring the ecological history of underwater communities.
We contribute to improving human health by exploring the relationship between biodiversity and infectious and chronic diseases, including water quality for human and environmental health.
Our research is buoyed by critical partnerships with industry and government; and strong collaborations across various research centres and institutes.
Ecology and Evolution Series
Free weekly science seminars that are curious and cutting-edge.
Our research strengths
Leaders in ecology and environmental science research
Researcher Focus area Professor Andrew Austin Biology, systematics and molecular phylogenetics of parasitic wasps, the evolution of host-parasitoid interactions, and the biodiversity and phylogeography of groundwater arthropods. Professor Justin Brookes Critical assessment of water quality for human and environmental health. Determination of the ecological outcomes from environmental flows. Associate Professor Phill Cassey Critical analytical and applied techniques to the study of applied ecology, wildlife conservation, and biosecurity risk management. Professor Sean Connell Marine creatures of all kinds and climate change on land and sea. Dr John Conran Biology of Australian plants and the ecological processes which led to their diversification in arid and nutrient-poor regions. Associate Professor Damien Fordham Modelling ecological and evolutionary responses to global change; improving how forecasts of biodiversity shifts are generated and used to conserve natural systems. Associate Professor Diego García-Bellido Palaeoecological analyses of the oldest complex marine communities, represented by the Ediacaran and Cambrian fossils of South Australia. Professor Bronwyn Gillanders Aquatic waters (freshwater, estuarine and marine) with a strong focus on ecology of fish and cephalopods, and environmental issues. Dr John Goodfellow Interactions between plants and their environment from a physiological and anatomical perspective can help us understand how plants respond to environmental challenges. Professor Megan Lewis Earth observation using remote sensing (from satellites, aircraft, lab & field instruments, and now drones) to document, analyse and monitor landscape composition and variation in space and time. Professor Andrew Lowe Understanding the adaptive capacity and resilience of species is key to developing management strategies for ecosystems that face fragmentation and climate change. Professor Ivan Nagelkerken Marine biology and climate change effects on marine ecosystems; estuarine, seagrass, mangrove fish ecology. Dr Bertram Ostendorf GIS and spatial simulation modelling for decision support to increase both economic production and the integrity of our environment. Associate Professor David Paton Conservation and habitat restoration and revegetation, particularly the responses of flora and fauna to fire and drought. Ecology and behaviour of birds; bees and pollination; and the management of pests such as cats, koalas and birds. Dr Emma Sherratt Morphometrics - the quantitative study of organismal form (size and shape) applied to biogeography and environmental adaptation. Dr Vicki Thomson How Australasian animals adapt to a changing environment - i.e. to different inter-species interactions, climates etc. Professor Michelle Waycott Native plant population studies supporting decision making including reproductive strategies, connectivity and survivorship in coastal, marine and arid adapted plants. Professor Philip Weinstein The relationship between biodiversity and human health (infectious/chronic disease). Examples include mosquitoes, water quality and environmental microbiomes.
Fields of expertise
- Earth Sciences
- Ecological Applications
- Ecological Economics
- Ecological Impacts of Climate Change
- Ecological Physiology
- Ecosystem Function
- Environment and Resource Economics
- Environment Policy
- Environmental Impact Assessment
- Environmental Management
- Environmental Monitoring
- Environmental Rehabilitation
- Environmental Science and Management
- Environmental Sciences
- Evolutionary Biology
- Evolutionary Impacts of Climate Change
- Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
- Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience
- Plant Biology
- Plant Biology & Botany
- Plant Cell and Molecular Biology
- Plant Developmental and Reproductive Biology
- Plant Physiology
- Plant Systematics and Taxonomy
- Population Ecology
- Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics
- Public Health
Connecting leading water, climate scientists and researchers with international collaborators and external stakeholders to address complex environmental problems and export innovation to the world.
Research leaders in spatial intelligence.
Diving into environmental issues that affect freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems.
CoE for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage
Safeguarding our national heritage, transforming research culture, connecting with communities and informing policy.
Australian Bioactive Compounds Centre
Transforming compounds from Australian plants into medical and agricultural commercial products.
Water Research Centre
Leaders in ecology and environmental science research
Sprigg Geobiology Centre
Exploring how organisms alter and evolve in response to the environment and how they control geologic processes.
Ecology and environmental science news
Episode 4, In Their Element Podcast Meet science graduate Jacob Maher, who was sure his career was going to be finding out who's who in the zoo, but graduated with a passion for all things nature.