How will the trees of urban Adelaide respond to climate change?

How will the trees of urban Adelaide respond to climate change? How can we ensure we maintain and enhance the green canopy with trees that will thrive into the future?

Waite campus aerial photo

Understanding and preparing the Waite Arboretum collection for a changing climate

The world-renowned Waite Arboretum was established in 1928 and is home to over 2,500 specimens from around the world. The scientific collection provides an opportunity to measure and assess the way different trees respond to the climate of the Adelaide Plains under natural conditions.

However, many of these specimens are getting older and we need to understand how they will be impacted by our changing climate and to prepare strategies to manage the Arboretum collection into the future; what species will thrive, what will require remedial support, what species will no longer survive.

This project will assist with the strategic planning for the next 30 years of the Arboretum and have a lasting impact into the future. The Waite Arboretum is a valuable resource for local, national, and international urban planning, as data from our site informs future plantings across the world, there is a strong focus on community engagement and knowledge sharing. 

The Waite Arboretum Award is available for a motivated honours student to work at the Waite Arboretum. Ideally, you would progress the honours project into a PhD to expand into the broader program. This is a blend of horticultural science and geographical/social science, with a strong focus on strategic planning and community engagement.

You should have a a background in agriculture, conservation, botany, ecology, and/or modelling, as well as excellent communication, interest in community outreach, and a passion for making a real difference to our urban future.

The honours project would be developed depending on your skill set and interests, however it is expected that together, we will identify a project that will work with climate models and our living collection.

This project will equip you with strong skills in science, collections management and community engagement, giving you an excellent foundation for a professional career.



Dr Kate Delaporte - Curator, Waite Arboretum

Co-supervisorsAssoc Prof Doug Bardsley | Dr Stefan Caddy-Retalic

Research area: Waite Arboretum, School of Agriculture Food & Wine

Recommended honours enrolmentHonours in Plant Science

Tagged in Honours projects - Plant science, Honours projects - Horticulture, Honours projects - Agricultural science, Honours projects - Ecology and environmental science, Honours projects - Science communication, Honours projects - Science in society, Honours projects - Kate Delaporte, Honours projects - Doug Bardsley, Honours projects - Stefan Caddy-Retalic