Arid dry-zone

There’s something about arid Australia that really is incredibly magnetic. Once you get red sand under your skin – perhaps it's the magnetite in the soil itself – it pulls you back irresistibly.... You don’t have much say about it.
- Chris Dickman


  • Few Australians directly experience the red-sand dunes of the Simpson Desert but the benefits of managing these iconic areas for sustained production of conservation flow to all.
  • The alternative, desertification, currently threatens nearly half the area of all dry-lands, both worldwide and in Australia, causes huge economic loss (US$42 billion in agricultural losses worldwide) and affects human welfare and security.

Current Research

Existing studies include the investigation of the benefits of feral predator removal on biodiversity, the role of small wooded plant life in promoting diversity in arid Australia, the importance of local-regional dynamics and biotic interactions and the impacts on diversity of grazing and fire.

All research takes place at a site in the Simpson Desert. It usually takes researchers 2 and a 1/2 to three days to drive from Sydney.

Active Researchers

  • Professor Chris Dickman - School of Biological Sciences.
  • Dr Glenda Wardle - School of Biological Sciences.