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.
A new book called Detecting and Responding to Alien Plant Incursions has just been published and it features an invited contribution from Moore Plant Ecology and Conservation Group members Joslin Moore and Cindy Hauser. Cindy has written a blog about their work and you can read that blog here.
I’ve contributed a small section to the recently published Detecting and Responding to Alien Plant Incursions. This volume addresses the full continuum of management from pre-border efforts through early detection to selecting management options and overarching governance. It’s a synthesis of the literature that will be of value to researchers. More importantly, it’s framed as guidance to the land managers and policy makers who are responsible for addressing these threats.
The break-out box that Joslin Moore and I were invited to write regards detectability, and how we can go about estimating it experimentally. This process calls on statistics and experimental design, tempered with biosecurity concerns and our desire to accurately simulate real survey conditions. Throughout, we’ve used examples from our hawkweed detection experiments to demonstrate how we’ve made these trade-offs ourselves. We were also able to include a couple of lovely photographs taken by Roger Cousens during our field work.
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The Moore Lab’s new research assistant, Dr. Rowan Mott, and PhD candidate Emily have contributed some exciting and informative Wild Melbourne articles in recent months!
Emily wrote about her study genus, Salix, and other accidental human-mediated invasions that have occurred in Australia and worldwide. Rowan recently wrote about his field work in Park’s Victoria’s Western Grassland Reserves and their bountiful biodiversity.
Have a look!