Australia’s shark status update

From Fish magazine, June 2019: One of the more heated debates to stir the blood of Australian shark experts has been the question of the health of the nation’s Greynurse Shark (Carcharias taurus) populations. In 2003, experts from the east coast were calling for the species to be listed as critically endangered. But their colleagues Continue reading Australia’s shark status update

The push for blue carbon

From Fish magazine, March 2019: The term ‘carbon farming’ usually conjures images of land-based agricultural and forestry initiatives. But there’s a new kid on the carbon-farming block, and it occupies the rich ecological niches that hug Australia’s extensive coastline. As an island nation, Australia boasts one of the longest coastlines in the world: nearly 60,000 Continue reading The push for blue carbon

Navigating the world: why we all really need to get lost

From the Sydney Morning Herald, 1 June 2019: ‘‘Get lost’’ is an insult most commonly flung around a primary-school playground. But according to science journalist M. R. O’Connor’s latest book, Wayfinding, it could be the very thing that holds the secret to our species’ intelligence, and its survival. ‘‘At a time of social change and Continue reading Navigating the world: why we all really need to get lost

Stem-cell and genetic therapies make a healthy marriage

From Nature, 15 May 2019: Aside from a 20-second exposure to the outside world at birth, David Vetter spent his entire life cocooned in plastic. Afflicted by severe combined immunodeficiency or SCID, a hereditary disease that severely compromises or destroys the immune system, the ‘boy in the bubble’ was exquisitely vulnerable to infection. Eventually, a Continue reading Stem-cell and genetic therapies make a healthy marriage

Inside Australia’s plan to survive bigger, badder bushfires

From MIT Technology Review, 25 April 2019: The Blue Mountains are burning. I stand in the doorway of our home and take a long look around: the handmade rugs, the jumble of artworks, the shelves crammed with books, the scattered toys. The house is a tinderbox: wooden walls, doors, balcony, window frames, all built into Continue reading Inside Australia’s plan to survive bigger, badder bushfires

Australian scientists call for tougher restrictions on land clearing

From Nature News, 15 March 2019: Nearly four hundred Australian scientists have signed a letter protesting against a steep rise in land clearing over the past decade. They have called on national and state governments to legislate to protect native vegetation. The letter describes Australia as a ‘global deforestation hotspot’, following the relaxation of laws Continue reading Australian scientists call for tougher restrictions on land clearing

Book review: The Demon in the Machine

From the Sydney Morning Herald, 23 February 2019: What is life? Questions don’t come much bigger than that. It’s asked regularly by biologists, philosophers, lawyers, law-makers, astrobiologists and, occasionally, wide-eyed children. It’s not so often asked by physicists, which makes Paul Davies’ new book The Demon In The Machine that much more fascinating. Not only Continue reading Book review: The Demon in the Machine

Landmark Australian ruling rejects coal mine over global warming

From Nature News, 12 February 2019: An Australian court has rejected an application for an open-cut coal mine because of its potential contribution to greenhouse-gas emissions and global warming. The New South Wales Land and Environment Court turned down an appeal by mining company Gloucester Resources, which had sought to overturn a previous government decision Continue reading Landmark Australian ruling rejects coal mine over global warming

Meet 3 awesome women in STEMM

From Victorian Women’s Trust blog, 11 February, 2019: For so long, the stereotypical image of a scientist was some old white bloke with zany hair wearing a lab coat. While some dark corners of media and advertising still occasionally fall back on this prehistoric caricature, thankfully now life no longer imitates art. Science, technology, engineering, Continue reading Meet 3 awesome women in STEMM