Recent News…[Link to Article]
2013 is already proving to be an exciting year for the Invasion Ecology Group. February saw Camille Duval and Kaat Brulez (PhD students) visit from Birmingham, UK. This is the last year in their candidatures and they have both worked extremely hard to get to this point. Their visit to Adelaide was partly supported by the Environment Institute and they both presented invited seminars whilst they were here.
We are very pleased to welcome the new members to our group. Our 2013 Honours students Calum Cunningham and Arlette Srour are both working on invasive species projects in collaboration with the Kangaroo Island NRM Board, and Masters student Danielle Pedler has started a research project on climate scenarios for invasive marine species in South Australia. Our Invasive Animals CRC PhD students Amy Iannella and Pablo Garcia Diaz have both commenced their candidatures and postdoc Miguel Vall-llosera is set to arrive in June.
Phill is convening a session (April 16) in the next Ethology Investigates online conference on the Behaviour of invasive species and their impact on the host environment (www.ethologyinvestigates.com). The South Australian Vertebrate Pest Forum will be held on May 14-15 at the Plant Research Centre Auditorium, Waite Campus. Phill will be presenting research on emerging pests.
Our highlighted news item this month is the discovery of 54 ploughshare tortoises (Astrochelys yniphora) and 21 radiated tortoises (A. radiata) being smuggled through Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Found only in Madagascar, both species are listed as critically endangered and current estimates of ploughshare tortoises in the wild number around 400. Our own research is focussing on what characteristics drive the illegal trade in species like these tortoises and how to best forecast the pathways by which they can be detected and their future smuggling prevented.