How do we protect our unique biodiversity from megafires?

This article was first published on Pursuit. Read the original article. Authors: Dr James Camac, Nicholas Bell and Professor Ary Hoffmann This summer’s devastating Australian fires and their continuing impact on biodiversity serve as a stark reminder of the challenges in nature conservation as we head into an increasingly volatile future driven by climate change. […]


New publication: Ecological impacts of pesticides and their mitigation within IPM systems

Pest control is recognised as an important part of crop production. Against a background of increasing concern for chemical impacts on the environment, Integrated Pest Management programs have been developed where chemical application and natural enemy enhancement work together to maintain productivity with reduced environmental impact. Such programs require good science, general theory and strong […]


Dengue-blocking bacteria endure the heat

“This article was first published on Pursuit. Read the original article.” Dr Perran Stott-Ross and Professor Ary Hoffmann Bushfires. Coral bleaching. Heatwaves. These disastrous events are a harsh reality in Australia. And they’re only going to become more frequent and severe with climate change. Last year, 2019, was Australia’s hottest year ever recorded, and records […]


Wolbachia infections in Aedes aegypti: The ‘Bigfoot’ of endosymbionts

Words: Perran Ross Wolbachia are endosymbiotic bacteria found within the cells of many insects, from butterflies and bees to cockroaches and dung beetles. Wolbachia are so common because they often provide their insect hosts with an advantage, aiding their spread through populations. Whether an insect carries Wolbachia is an important question, especially if they’re a […]


With great power comes great responsibility…

Words: Samantha Ward Images: Words: Samantha Ward & Marianne Coquilleau Flying the flag for the PEARG lab! [Photo credit: Marianne Coquilleau] I am a scientist. A taxonomist, to be more specific. Taxonomy is the study of naming, defining, and categorising organisms. There’s a job for that?! Actually, we still have no idea how many species […]


Sampling by the sea – collecting mosquitoes in the Mornington Peninsula

Words and images: Véronique Paris It’s 7.30 Saturday morning – what are your plans for the day? While you may be still in bed contemplating a coffee, or still sound asleep, I’m packing the PEARG ute with a stack of small buckets, strips of red felt, some rabbit food, and a 20lt jerrycan of water. […]


Jessica Chung – bioinformatician, data wrangler

Words: Tim Thwaites, Science writer Banner image credit Casamento Photography Tracking disease-carrying mosquitoes, helping to conserve mountain pygmy possums, stopping the spread of dengue fever, studying how insects develop resistance to pesticides—solving such disparate biological problems nowadays depends on being able to handle enormous quantities of genomic data. And that’s why they land on the […]


Variability in mosquito host-seeking ability

Words and images: Meng-Jia Lau Behaviour is one of the most complex study areas in biology because it involves a combination of many factors that are often quite variable. In mosquitoes, host-seeking is the behaviour of females seeking a blood meal which provides the extra protein they need in order to lay eggs. The biting […]


Faster and cheaper without compromising quality

Words: Nick Bell When our scientific endeavours leave the lab and move into real-world deployment, a number of challenges crop up. Aside from obvious issues around myriad variables that cannot be controlled as they can in the lab, large scale logistical and financial considerations need to be made when rolling out new operations. This scaling […]

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