Some resources for PhD students who want to publish

From a couple of people who were until very recently PhD students themselves…

More and more these days, PhD students are being encouraged to publish during their candidature. This can be a bit of an intimidating process, and sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. In recognition of this, and the fact that the ANU’s Conservation and Landscape Ecology Group had experienced a fresh influx of new students, Karen Ikin and myself decided to give a presentation to the group entitled “Eight key hints for getting stuff published during your PhD”.   Read more of this post

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The cost of being internationally relevant

Are Australian species and ecosystems really that freakishly different from the rest of the world that our work isn’t applicable elsewhere? And are conservation efforts in Australia ultimately losing out because of this?
 

One seriously unique freaky Australian: the platypus. Image: Stefan Kraft.

I have just returned from Germany, where I had the pleasure of presenting the findings of my Travelling Stock Route-related work to the Institute of Ecology at Leuphana University in Lüneburg. I think the presentation was well-received, and at the end I got asked lots of probing questions from apparently interested people. Now, of course there is a chance that this nice group were just being polite, and taking pity on me with my ridiculous accent and excessive gesticulation. But others I spoke to during the week also seemed to show a genuine interest.

Why did I find this so surprising? Read more of this post

The stock route problem: disposing of our heritage in the “too hard” basket

We know that the stock route network is a huge asset for conservation, recreation, heritage, and agriculture, so why are we facing the possibility of parts of it being sold off AGAIN? 
  

A stock route in Eualdrie, NSW, forms refuge for a woodland community. Image: Pia Lentini

Eastern Australia stands to possibly lose one of its greatest environmental and heritage assets, and many of us are not even aware of it. To those not familiar with what “stock routes” or “stock reserves” (SRs) are, they are basically linear strips of vegetation, or small reserves, set aside in the early days of pastoralism to allow drovers to transport livestock from ‘a’ to ’b’ before trains or trucks came along. Read more of this post

To be or not to bee? Valuing the unknown.

Why do some groups get overlooked in favour of the more familiar? Why you should care about native bees.

Native Megachile bee. Image: Alvesgaspar

I am now going to ashamedly confess that when I started my PhD, I didn’t even know that Australia had any species of native bee. This may be due to the fact that, growing up in inner Melbourne, deprived of contact with indigenous wildlife much of the time, I am a terrible naturalist. Alternatively, it perhaps stems from the phenomenon whereby many zoology undergrad and honours students are preoccupied by the cute and furry, instead of the small and functional, so I hadn’t really thought to think about them before. In any case, the fact of the matter is we do – about 1,500 species in fact. Now, at the risk of enraging my entomologically-minded colleagues who claim that bees are the ‘birds of the insect world’ (i.e. pretty and charismatic, and get more attention than other groups), I’m just going to put it out there and say YES, they are incredibly colourful and charming. Read more of this post