Ecos

A bimonthly scholarly journal that publishes research and issues of sustainability in the environment, industry and community. Focused on Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Articles from No. 91, Autumn

Bending Lines with the Mind
Mike Austin is a thinker. He's a cruncher of numbers, a bender of lines and a fitter of curves. He's one of those most enigmatic of creatures, a theoretical ecologist, and he's spent much of his career preoccupied with the intricacies of statistical...
Fire and Life at the Top
Fire is a burning issue in the Top End. Every dry season, between May and October, the countryside is ablaze, sparking public debate about the effects of fire on the environment. Much of the information fuelling this debate is anecdotal, and based...
For a Deeper Knowledge of the Forest
I'm standing high on the Great Escrapment, midway between Canberra and the coastal town of Batemans Bay. The terrain is steep and rugged, dissected by deep valleys. rivers and creeks. Above me tower messmates (Eucalyptus obliqua), mountain grey gums...
Fungi, Fast Food of the Forest
Ten years ago, while walking through Washington's Cascade Mountains, ecologist Dr Steven Cork watched a ground squirrel unearth and cat fungi. `That's interesting,' he thought. `Why would you want to eat that?' Cork was on sabbatical at the University...
Healthy Rivers Study Links Hands across the Water
Science lessons at Huonville Primary School have become suspiciously interesting lately. Children are packing pH meters, turbidity tubes, magnifying glasses, biochemical oxygen demand bottles, nets and scoops, and heading down to the river, keen to...
Hermes and the Housefly
In Homer's Odyssey, Hermes, son of Zeus, appears before Ulysses and his companions as a message-bearer from the Greek gods. In honour of this ancient tale, molecular biologists Dr Peter Atkinson of CSIRO's Division of Entomology, and Dr David O'Brochta...
Sharks; Looking beyond the Bite
Quick! Before you read the next paragraph, can you name Australia-largest freshwater fish? The Murray cod perhaps? It's a lightweight compared to the freshwater sawfish (Pristis microdon). This astonishing creature, which inhabits Top End, Indonesian...
The Sheep That Turned
Every August, at a place called Willalooka in South Australia's south-east, a mob of moleskinned graziers descends on the Pocock family farm, Panlatinga. Penned up for the occasion are 80 of Panlatinga's finest young Poll Merino rams. As the Willalooka...
When Woodlands Ruled the Daintree
North Queensland's tropical rainforests are celebrated as living links with Australia's ancient past. Their gnarled, moss-clad trees, and the humus-sweet smell of earth mingling with rotting leaves, are vivid reminders of when Australia was part of...