Thomas Newsome

Home » 2017 » August

Monthly Archives: August 2017

Save Australia’s Ecological Research


The Simpson Desert by Aaron Greenville (copyright)

Last week, in collaboration with 68 scientists, I was co-author on a letter in Science titled “Save Australia’s Ecological Research

The letter calls on the Federal Government to reverse its decision to cease funding  Australia’s Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN). The network comprises more than 1100 long-term field plots across Australia, including those in the Simpson Desert (pictured above) where I have conducted research in collaboration with the Desert Ecology Research Group at The University of Sydney.

The letter has been featured in a news piece by John Pickrell in Science titled “Australia to ax support for long-term ecology sites“, as well as in a news piece by Nicky Phillips in Nature titled “Ecologists protest Australia’s plans to cut funding for environment-monitoring network

The existing program receives $900,000 of support from the Federal Government’s Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN). This support is being slashed at a time when even the USA is increasing funding for its own network by US$5.6M annually.

Hopefully a last ditch bid to the Federal Government by those who administer and lead LTERN will result in a reversal of this decision, and even better, an expansion of the program.