Fieldwork for the Moore Lab’s component of a global grassland experiment (the Nutrient Network aka NutNet) was recently completed for another year. This marked an important milestone for our study plots because 2017 represents 10 years since the plots were established. The Bogong High Plains turned on perfect spring weather to celebrate the momentous occasion, and Joslin and Rowan spread this year’s quantity of nutrients looking out over hillsides clad in purples, creams, and yellows of flowering Hovea, Kunzea, and Ranunculus. In conjunction with all of the other long-term study plots around the world, this work is providing a powerful insight into grassland community dynamics.
Another field season is in full-swing for the Moore Plant Ecology and Conservation Group, with lab members heading out into the fickle spring weather in North-east Victoria, the Western Grassland Reserves, and Gippsland. After months of planning and equipment testing, it is great to see all of the hard work culminating in data flowing in! Lab members are also enjoying spending some time outside away from the office. If you would like to volunteer with our group, get in contact at any time. Spring and summer our busiest periods, but we often have opportunities at any time of the year.
Lab member, Cat, attaching a seed collection bag to a female Grey Sallow willow.
The Moore Lab has welcomed two new honours students, Emily and Jess, into the team. Emily and Jess will be working on peatland management in alpine Victoria and have hit the ground running as they complete the literature review component of their research. To find out more about the two new lab members and their research, visit our People page.
‘Save Australia’s ecological research’ was the call made by a group of 69 of Australia’s leading ecologists in a letter to the journal Science recently. Among the authors was Joslin Moore. In what will be a huge blow to Australia’s capacity to carry out important long-term research, the Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) network is set to be dismantled at the end of this year. Comprising a suite of over 1100 long-term field plots, the LTER has made a valuable contribution to our understanding of ecology in one of the most environmentally stochastic continents on the planet. In their letter to Science, the authors urge the Australian government to provide funding to keep this important resource going. To read the letter in full, visit http://science.sciencemag.org/content/sci/357/6351/557.1.full.pdf. If you agree with the authors’ point of view, please share your support of their message on your social media accounts.
Emily was recently awarded a second Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment to fund her work examining the phenology of the invasive willow Salix cinerea in eastern Victoria and examine changes in phenology associated with plant introductions. Congratulations Emily!
Kay Hodgins, Alexandre Fournier-Level and I were recently awarded funding from the Hermon Slade Foundation for a three-year project ‘Harnessing genomic approaches for ecological restoration in the face of global change’. Our project will combine genomics, provenance trials, modelling and decision analysis to identify how to mix seed from many locations (composite provenancing) to maximise the adaptive potential of the restored populations. We will use Bothriochloa macra, an important restoration species, as our case study. We are looking for a PhD student to assist with this work – contact us if you are interested and keep an eye out for the formal advertisement!
Moore Lab PhD student Emily De Stigter was recently featured in a promotional video for Monash University. The video sees Emily discussing her PhD research and experiences as part of the Monash Faculty of Science community. You can watch the video here to learn more about Emily’s the development of Emily’s research career.
PhD candidate Emma Bennett has been awarded a Parks Victoria Research Scholarship to support her work investigating the role of detector dogs in Hawkweed eradication. The scholarship recognises the importance of this research question to Parks Victoria and aims to improve Park Victoria’s allocation of financial and volunteer resources leading to improved detection of Hawkweed and better long-term Park health. The study is a true act of collaboration with NSW agency Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), Victoria’s Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) and Parks Victoria offering in kind support. In addition, this scholarship will now fund travel and accommodation to the field sites of Hawkweed infestations in Falls Creek and Mt Buller to allow Emma to further investigate how detector dogs support eradication efforts. This scholarship forms a long term partnership with direct benefits of the study supporting management decisions within Parks Victoria.