School of Life and Environmental Sciences news


Helping to shape coastal planning and conservation

There was a strong Deakin University presence at a recent meeting of the Science Panel of the Victorian Coastal Council, with a group of six School of Life and Environmental Sciences academic staff attending.


Deakin research finds birds could hold secret to lasting relationships: work together and stay together

The more offspring a couple has to raise the more closely together they work to feed them, contradicting years of scientific belief, new Deakin research has found.


For Deakin students, the future starts in Warrnambool

Deakin students have set their vision for the future at a week-long intensive course in Warrnambool.


Bloomin’ heck! Deakin marine scientist latches onto solution to jellyfish

They can wipe out an entire commercial fish farm overnight, terrify open water swimmers throughout the world and disable power stations, but Deakin's top marine scientist is part of a global team which could have the solution to the sting of the jellyfish bloom.


Wetlands - wellsprings for carbon capture

In the battle against climate change, the role of rainforests in storing carbon is well understood - yet Deakin scientists believe that the humble swamp, or freshwater wetland, could be up to 50 times more effective.


Slow and steady wins the race of the underwater world: Deakin research

Slow and steady doesn't just win the race between a tortoise and a hare, with new Deakin University research showing sluggish, shy and slow-growing underwater creatures have a better chance of avoiding death by fishing hook than their bigger and bolder counterparts.


From Geelong to Montpellier, researchers hope animals hold key to better human cancer outcomes

A Deakin University biologist is collaborating with French scientists to unlock the secrets to the animal kingdom's ability to fight cancer in an attempt to help human medicine better prevent and cure the disease.


Birds of a feather flock together to thrive despite stress: Deakin research

Australia's avian populations may be more resistant to environmental variations, such as climate change, than scientists may have thought, new Deakin University research shows.


ARC funding supports LES researchers’ quests for discovery

Professor John Endler and Professor Guang Shi will each be leading Discovery Projects while Dr Lee Rollins is the recipient of a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA).


Salmon expert reels in top nutrition medal

Deakin nutritionist Associate Professor Giovanni Turchini has been awarded one of the Nutrition Society of Australia's (NSA's) highest honours - the NSA annual medal, in recognition of his outstanding research in aquaculture and nutrition.


Metals community celebrates a brilliant career

A symposium has been held in honour of Emeritus Professor Julian Mercer, who has retired from Deakin after 15 years with the university. The symposium was hosted by the Melbourne Biometals Group and attended by a number of Australia's leading metal biologists.

Justin Eastwood

Top award for smart parrot research

A Smart Geelong "Researcher of the Year" award has capped off an outstanding year for Deakin PhD student Justin Eastwood.


Networking and collaboration on workshop agenda

Deakin evolutionary ecologist Dr Beata Ujvari will be heading to Scotland in November to participate in an international workshop on diversity in telomere dynamics, with the support of a travel grant from The Ian Potter Foundation.

Bernhard Dichtl

Discovering how cells play protein jigsaw

Mention quality control and many would think of large factories and long production lines, but Deakin University molecular biologist Dr Bernhard Dichtl is investigating the role of this process in a somewhat smaller environment – inside cells.

Banded stilt

PhD student tracks desert waterbirds from space

Deakin University ecologists have gained fascinating new insights into the secret lives of a nomadic Australian waterbird whose ability to somehow know it has rained up to thousands of kilometres away has intrigued researchers for generations.

Justin Eastwood

Parrot colours linked to disease that kills other species

The iconic colours in one of one of Australia's most loved backyard parrots may be the surprise result of a tiny virus that kills other species, new Deakin University research has found.

Dr Bob Brown

Bob Brown helps celebrate environmental science at Deakin

Former Australian Greens leader Dr Bob Brown helps celebrate 30 years of environmental science courses at Deakin with a special visit.

crimson rosella

Birds of a smelly feather stick together

Raucous, gorgeous crimson rosellas are able to sniff out their own species by the lingering odour left over from smelly feathers, unique research by Deakin University has found.

Deakin Worldly

More laurels for 'Dr Seagrass'

Marine ecologist Dr Peter Macreadie has attracted laurels along his whole, short career – almost as prolifically as seagrass attracts carbon.

Marine expo

Marine and environmental careers in the spotlight at expo

Secondary school students had the opportunity to find out about course offerings from Deakin's School of Life and Environmental Sciences (LES) at the Environmental and Marine Careers Expo.

DUBS Annual Careers and Cocktail Evening

Evening showcases biomedical career and graduate opportunities

The Deakin University Biomedical Society (DUBS) hosted the Annual Careers and Cocktail Evening at the Deakin Melbourne City Centre on 8 August.

little penguins

Study finds little penguins work together to target prey

Little penguins are more likely to forage for food in groups, working together to target prey, new Deakin University research has found.

Environmental sustainability the topic for Bob Brown visit

Environmental sustainability the topic for Bob Brown visit

Dr Bob Brown, former Leader of the Australian Greens and prominent environmentalist and author, is giving a guest presentation at Deakin University's Melbourne Burwood Campus on Monday 25 August 2014, starting at 6pm.

Nicholas Porch

Travelling to Germany to better understand Australian aquatic ecosystems

Deakin University palaeoecologist and beetle researcher Dr Nicholas Porch will be travelling to Germany after receiving an Australian Academy of Science grant in support of a project to bring together data on Australian diving beetles.

Dr Euan Ritchie

Snapped - miniature mammals discovered

The use of 26 camera traps has enabled Deakin ecologist Dr Euan Ritchie and Jim Thomas to discover three possible new mammal species in remote Papua New Guinea.


Frogs have hunters on the hop

Frogs that rely on their vivid colour markings to ward off predators can also appear invisible, Deakin University scientists have discovered.

flatback turtle

Important migratory corridor for endangered marine species off north-west Australia

The value of Australia's newly established network of marine parks has been highlighted by an international project that used satellites to track the vulnerable flatback sea turtle.

Deakin Worldly

Visual tricks may aid male great bowerbird’s mating success

New research has uncovered the visual tricks male great bowerbirds employ to enhance their chances of mating. Professor John Endler says researchers know that male great bowerbirds construct a bower to restrict and refine the female's view.

Deakin Worldly

New research makes migrant species a conservation priority

Global conservation could be bolstered by new research that maps migratory species' impacts on eco-systems, food web dynamics and community processes.

New life for the Colorado

New life for the Colorado

After 20 years of negotiations between seven US states, Mexico and a range of NGOs, the salt-caked wasteland of the long-dry Colorado River Delta is set for a burst of new life.

Western Australia's Goldfields region

Rain triggers breeding event of an enigmatic species

A record rainfall event in Western Australia's Goldfields region in early 2014 gave Deakin University PhD student Reece Pedler a rare opportunity to witness a breeding event of the small wading bird that is the focus of his research - the Banded Stilt.

Deakin Worldly

Beyond the impasse

The challenge of reconciling science with politics was one of the key issues raised during the recent visit to Deakin of one of the world's most eminent ecologists, and climate change expert, Professor Lord Krebs FRS.

Paul Francis

Honour for Deakin chemical scientist

Deakin University chemical scientist Associate Professor Paul S. Francis has been admitted as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC).

Professor Lord Krebs

Zoologist Lord Krebs to visit LES students and researchers

World renowned zoologist and ecologist Professor Lord Krebs Kt FRS FMedSci will talk to Deakin University undergraduates, PhD students and young researchers, including via a Question and Answer session.

Pot shaping sequence

Different cultures, same outcome

Professor John Endler, Deakin's School of Life and Environmental Sciences and Centre for Integrative Ecology, is co-author of a paper which could have implications for the way archaeologists analyse ancient ceramics.

journal of experimental biology

Rosella research makes for colourful cover story

A paper co-authored by Deakin University researchers and published in The Journal of Experimental Biology (JEB) about how parrots see their colours was also selected as that issue's cover story and featured in the journal's 'Inside JEB' section.

Dr Euan Ritchie

Give predators a chance

The idea of living alongside large predators such as sharks, lions or leopards may have people quaking in their boots, but it's time for a reality check, argues Deakin University's Dr Euan Ritchie.

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