A novel citizen science project in New Caledonia finds an ‘astonishing’ number of venomous reptiles in a popular swimming spot.
A group of snorkelling
grandmothers is helping scientists better understand marine ecology by
photographing venomous sea snakes in waters off the city of Noumea, New Caledonia.
Two years ago the seven women, all in their 60s and 70s, who call
themselves “the fantastic grandmothers”, offered to help scientists Dr Claire
Goiran from the University of New Caledonia and Professor Rick Shine from
Australia’s Macquarie University in their quest to document the sea snake
population in a popular swimming spot known as Baie des citrons.
Apex marine predators choose who they hang with, researchers reveal.
White sharks form
communities, researchers have revealed.
solitary predators, white sharks (Carcharodon
carcharias) gather in large numbers at certain times of year in
order to feast on baby seals.
These groupings, scientists had assumed, were essentially random – the result of individual sharks all happening to turn up in the same area, attracted by abundant food.
a group of researchers including behavioural ecologist Stephan Leu from
Macquarie University in New South Wales, Australia, have used photo-identification
and network analysis to show that many of the apex predators hang out in groups
which persist for years.
Analysis of reef damage in the Indo-Pacific during the 2016 El Nino reveals that several different stressors influence bleaching.
Scientists in the Indian and Pacific Oceans used the El Nino of 2016 – the warmest year on record – to evaluate the role of excess heat as the leading driver of coral bleaching and discovered the picture was more nuanced than existing models showed.
The findings were, in a word, complicated, according to marine researchers led by the US based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The international cohort included scientists from Macquarie University in NSW, the University of Queensland, University of WA and two western Australian state government departments.
The shape of immune cells plays key role in recognising invaders.
The way immune cells pick friends from foes can be described by a classic maths puzzle known as the “narrow escape problem”.
That’s a key finding arising from an international
collaboration between biologists, immunologists and mathematicians, published
in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The narrow escape problem is a framework often applied in cellular
biology. It posits randomly moving particles trapped in a space with only a
tiny exit, and calculates the average time required for each one to escape.
Members of at least one species choose mates and egg sites based on where they were born, research reveals
a lifelong influence on butterflies as well as humans, new research reveals.
In a paper
published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological
Sciences, Macquarie University ARC Future Fellow Associate Professor
Darrell Kemp reveals that the American passionfruit butterfly, Heliconius
charithonia, selects its mate and egg-laying site based on the species of
plant that hosted its own egg.
Collaboration investigates the link between changing sea levels, global warming and the health of marine wetlands.
Carbon dioxide capture by coastal ecosystems operates in direct relation
to the speed of sea level rise.
That was the conclusion of extensive research conducted by a team of
scientists from Macquarie
University, University of Wollongong and ANSTO – work that has now won the
scientists the NSW
Environment, Energy and Science (DPIE) Eureka Prize for Environmental Research.
The NISEP program has helped almost 1000 Indigenous school children enter leadership roles.
The National Indigenous Science
Education Program (NISEP),
based at the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Sydney’s Macquarie
University, won the inaugural the Eureka Prize for STEM Inclusion at the 2019 Australian Museum Eureka
The awards were
held in Sydney on Wednesday, August 28.
researchers identify ancient protein pumps that make bacteria tough to treat –
but could be key to new green polymers
The molecular machinery used by bacteria to
resist chemicals designed to kill them could also help produce precursors for a
new generation of nylon and other polymers, according to new research by
scientists from Australia and the UK.
“Resistance to artificial antiseptics
appears to be a lucky accident for the bacteria, and it could also be useful
for humans,” says Professor Ian Paulsen of Australia’s Macquarie University,
one of the leaders of the research group.
Australian scientists develop cheap and rapid way to identify antibiotic-resistant golden staph (MRSA).
A combination of off-the-shelf quantum dot nanotechnology
and a smartphone camera soon could allow doctors to identify
antibiotic-resistant bacteria in just 40 minutes, potentially saving patient
Staphylococcus aureus (golden staph), is a common form of bacterium that causes serious and sometimes fatal conditions such as pneumonia and heart valve infections. Of particular concern is a strain that does not respond to methicillin, the antibiotic of first resort, and is known as methicillin-resistant S. aureus, or MRSA.
reports estimate that 700 000 deaths globally could be attributed to antimicrobial
resistance, such as methicillin-resistance. Rapid identification of MRSA is
essential for effective treatment, but current methods make it a challenging
process, even within well-equipped hospitals.
Chinese-Australian research finds climate change good news, and solves an evolutionary mystery
Baby turtles influence their gender by moving around inside
their eggs, research has revealed.
The idea that an embryo reptile can act in a way that
affects its chances of developing as male or female has long been thought
impossible, but findings by scientists from China and Australia have now provided
clear proof of the process.
The research, published in the journal Current Biology,
solves a long-standing evolutionary mystery – and offers hope that at least
some species thought especially vulnerable to effects of climate change will prove
more robust than thought.
Macquarie University’s Professor Rob Harcourt urges Oceania-wide action to safeguard several species.
Sharks in Australian waters are well protected but
are at risk as soon as they leave them, a new international study reveals.
The study compiled by 150 scientists around the
world – including 26 with ties to Australia – has found thateven in the most remote parts of the world’s oceans migratory
sharks are in severe danger from commercial fishing fleets, new research
In a paper published in the journal Nature,
more than 150 scientists, including Professor Rob Harcourt from the Department
of Biological Sciences at Australia’s Macquarie University, report that the
sharks – which include iconic species such as the shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus) and the great white (Carcharodon
congregate in food-rich areas that are also prime hunting grounds for
commercial longline fishing fleets.
Australian research finds little lizards learn very quickly.
Young Australian eastern blue-tongue lizards (Tiliqua scincoides) are every bit as clever as adults, researchers have found.
Life is hard for
baby blue-tongues. As soon as they are born, they are on their own, with
neither parental support nor protection. Adults of the species can grow to 600
millimetres long and enjoy the benefits of thick scales and a powerful bite,
but the young are much smaller and thus more vulnerable to predation.
And that means
they have to box clever if they are to survive.
Australian and South American researchers posit wandering “ploonets” as unseen actors in distant solar systems.
Moons ejected from
orbits around gas giant exoplanets could explain several astronomical
mysteries, an international team of astronomers suggests.
Researchers led by
Mario Sucerquia, from the Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia, and Jaime
Alvarado-Montes from Australia’s Macquarie University, modelled the likely
behaviour of giant exomoons predicted to form around massive planets – and
discovered that they would be expelled and sent packing.
Roughly 50% of
these ejected moons would survive both the immediate expulsion and avoid any
subsequent collision with the planet or the star, ending up as quasi-planets
travelling around the host star, but in eccentric “Pluto-like” orbits.
New Guinea is one of the only places in the world where frogs are safe from the species-destroying chytrid fungus. An international team of scientists has published a new paper that shows how to keep it that way, but they need help to carry out their plan.
The chytrid fungus has wiped out more than 90 frog species around the world, and it’s driving hundreds more towards extinction. New Guinea – the world’s largest tropical island, and home to 6% of all known frog species – is one of the last remaining refuges from the deadly infection.
A team of scientists led by researchers from Macquarie University and the University of New England in Australia think they know how to keep the island’s frogs safe, but they need support to establish a long-term program of monitoring and conservation.
The diamond on your finger is most likely made of recycled seabed cooked deep in the Earth.
Traces of salt trapped in many diamonds show the stones are formed from ancient seabeds that became buried deep beneath the Earth’s crust, according to new research led by Macquarie University geoscientists.
Location matters for species struggling to survive under a changing climate.
A new study led by Macquarie University has
found we need to provide more safe havens for wildlife and plant species to
survive under climate change in New South Wales’ west.
Along the Great Dividing Range, the vulnerable
spotted-tailed quoll will be forced to move into higher habitats as the climate
changes, but can find sanctuary in protected areas like Kosciuszko National
Ten per cent of the oxygen we breathe comes from just one kind of bacteria in the ocean.
Now laboratory tests have shown that these bacteria are susceptible to plastic pollution, according to a study published in Communications Biology tonight.
“We found that exposure to chemicals leaching from plastic pollution interfered with the growth, photosynthesis and oxygen production of Prochlorococcus, the ocean’s most abundant photosynthetic bacteria,” says lead author and Macquarie University researcher Dr Sasha Tetu.
“Now we’d like to explore if plastic pollution is having the same impact on these microbes in the ocean.”