2014 Media Report


1: Dr Trevor Wilson is interviewed by Landscaper Magazine for their article “Fresh start for rare native”, which reports on state-of-the-art techniques being used to save rare plants. Associate Professor Murray Henwood is also mentioned.

3: ABC Adelaide, ABC Riverland SA, ABC South East SA, ABC North and West SA and ABC South East SA ran grabs from Dr Mathew Crowther in their news bulletins calling for more research into the critically endangered marsupial on Kangaroo Island called the dunnart.

8: Research from Professor Edward Holmes linking the bacterium responsible for the cholera pandemic 200-years ago to the bacterium which continues to plague the poor, is reported on by Medical Xpress“Scientists unlock evolution of cholera, identify strain responsible for early pandemics”.

10: Wired reports that PhD candidate, Cissy Ballen, has discovered lizards raised alongside siblings are more dominant and colourful than lizards raised in isolation - “Lizards need social lives, too”.

Dr Will Figueira was interviewed about a petition from 2000 marine scientists calling on the O’Farrell Government to reinstate a ban on recreational fishing.

  • 13: “Scientists want fishing ban back”Newcastle Herald

  • 14: “Scientists want recreational fishing ban to be reinstated” – Sydney Morning Herald

  • 14: “Reinstate recreational fishing ban: scientists” – Canberra Times

  • 14: Interview on Breakfast program – 666 ABC Canberra

  • 14: Interview on Mornings program – 2GB Sydney

  • 15: Mention by newsreader – 2EC Bega

  • 22: “Survey of views on marine estate: scientists want bans back” – Narooma News

17: The Northern Territory News reports that a crocodile has been spotted on the lawn of the University of Sydney Tropical Research Centre in Darwin, and quotes researcher Dr Greg Brown – “One day at uni and already a master of midday naps”.

  • 22: “Croc learns lesson” – Darwin Sun

26: Dr John Gardiner was interviewed for Radio National’s Ockham’s Razor program about the natural and cultural wonders of Australia – “Australian tales”.

Professor Edward Holmes has discovered that the same pathogen produced two of history’s most deadly plagues; the Black Death and the Plague of Justinian.


1: Adrian Davis’ cockatoo wingtag research is mentioned on ABC1 documentary Hello Birdy, episode 1 - Parrots.

11: Professor Gee Chapman from the Centre for Research on Ecological Impacts of Coastal Cities was interviewed on 702 ABC Sydney Mornings about engineering biodiversity in sea walls.

16: 774 ABC Melbourne Sundays program interviewed Associate Professor Dieter Hochuli about ants and caterpillars.

24: “Want dingoes to leave people alone? Cut the junk food” suggests Dr Thomas Newsome, Professor Chris Dickman and Dr Mathew Crowther in their jointly authored op-ed published in the Conversation.


Dr Alison Gosby was quoted in articles about snacking at work, which may be adding more than 3kg to the waistline of the average worker each year.

  • 2: “Snack attacks stack on kilos” - Sunday Mail Brisbane
  • 2: “Snacks at office add kilos to waistline” - Sunday Tasmanian
  • 2: “Snacks at desk a weighty matter” - Sunday Herald Sun

2: Professor Rick Shine was quoted in a Sunday Territorian article about cane toads – “Toad territory”.

4: The Boiling Point program on Eastside FM 89.7 interviewed PhD candidate Rebecca Morris about her research into increasing the biological diversity on man-made seawalls using flowerpots.

5: The Australian online article “Protein diets ‘nearly as bad as smoking” reports on study revealing high-protein diets are nearly as bad as smoking and quotes Professor Steve Simpson.

6: Professor Edward Holmes was interviewed on the Radio National Bush Telegraph program about the new strains of flu that emerge each year – “The emerging disease threats in Australia”.

10: Professor Stephen Simpson was interviewed on Radio National Health Report about a new diet study that has found the balance of macronutrients is important to our health and longevity – “High protein, low carbohydrate diet”.

10: 环球财经教育在线 (Global Finance Education – China) reports on research by Professor Rick Shine into cane toads suffering from arthritis – “Toads have arthritis and are in pain”.

12: “Australians should stop poisoning dingos to protect small native mammals: scientists” says Business Insider, reporting on a study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society which was co-authored by Dr Mathew Crowther.

26: New Scientist quotes Dr Ros Gloag in a story about the smell of cuckoos acting as a repellant to predators – “Smelly cuckoos protect hosts chicks from predators”.

26: The late Professor Alan Walker’s enthusiasm for pottery is explored in the Sydney Morning Herald article “A professor’s clay fired passion”.

27: Dr Mathew Crowther was interviewed by ABC North Queensland’s Afternoon program about rat behaviour.

A study led by Dr Mathew Crowther about dingoes being definitively classified as a distinct Australian animal is widely reported.


6: 3AW Melbourne Breakfast interviewed Professor Rick Shine about cane toads.

  • 15: Interview with ABC Central West NSW
  • 26: “Australia’s most wanted: learning to love the cane toad” - New Scientist

Research by Aaron Greenville into the boom and bust cycles of desert life, using surveillance cameras to monitor predators, is reported on.

15: PhD candidate Georgia Ward-Fear was interviewed by ABC1, 7:30 program about about preparing native animals, goannas in particular, for the cane toad invasion – “Cane toads continue destructive path across Australia”. The goannas are given non-lethal doses of cane-toad toxin to build aversion behaviour.

15: The Adelaide Advertiser interviewed Professor Mike Thompson about river turtles.

29: An editorial piece in Nature by Professors Stephen Simpson and David Raubenheimer is discussed on BoingBoing in an article entitled “Obesity driven by overconsumption of protein-mimicking carbs and fats”.


2: ABC South Coast WA mornings interviewed Associate Professor Peter Banks about native water rats - “You not-so dirty rat”.

2: The Kickstart on the Road outreach program’s visit to Armidale is covered locally, “Kickstart in science for students” in The Armidale Express.

17: The Weekend Australian interviewed Professor Steve Simpson in a story about the newly-announced research medical fund – “Medical research boost ‘may not be a blessing’”.

22: The Land reported on research by Professor Ben Oldroyd into the susceptibility of Australian honeybees to varroa mite – “Quarantine delays sting beekeeper”.

27: Professor Steve Simpson was interviewed by 612 ABC, 936 ABC Hobart, ABC’s Triple J News, ABC Gold Coast News and ABC News Radio Melbourne Mornings about eating disorders and fad diets.

27: The Courier Mail published a piece on research by Professor Rick Shine and Dr Mac Shine (Sydney Medical School) into how toddlers may learn to walk “Medical marvels: from faeces to fertility, a week of discovery -thinking about thinking”. The Shine’s suggested that learning to stand on two legs may have helped humans develop a more complex brain.

30: Business Insider reported on research by Professor Madeleine Beekman into why women live longer than men – “Mitochondria and Male Lifespan: Power down”.


4: Dr Matthew Crowther commented on University of Melbourne research that used thermal imaging to investigate why koalas hug trees. The Huffington Post (US) story was entitled - “Koalas hug tree trunks to stay cool in hot weather, study shows”.

4: The Guardian (UK) quoted Professor Rick Shine in a story about a cooler climate species of cane toad and it’s potential to invade southern Australia - “Alarm raised after can toad-like species discovered in Melbourne".

5: Professor Steve Simpson, Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre, was interviewed by 702 ABC Sydney Mornings, about the official opening of the Charles Perkins Centre on this day.

6: Radio National’s Breakfast program interviewed Dr Thomas Newsome about the viability of the sheep industry and wild dogs - “Farmers lobby for longer dog fence”.

10: Associate Professor Neville Firth was interviewed by ninemsn.com about a new study into antibiotic resistance - “New breakthrough in the fight against antibiotic resistant bacteria”. They determined the structure of a key protein that makes bacteria antibiotic-resistant.

16: Spiegel Online (Germany) reported on a study co-authored by Dr Thomas Newsome into the role of dingoes in Australia's ecosystem, with comparison to the wolves in North America - “Raubtierpopulationen: wo wölfe sind, geht’s füchsen gut”.

23: Brisbane Times asked Professor Frank Seebacher to comment on US research about dinosaur evolution - “Hot wings: shedding new light on the evolution of dinosaurs”.

There was local coverage once again for the Kickstart on the Road outreach visit, this time to Dubbo.

  • 24: “Science knowledge made fun” - Daily Liberal
  • 25: “Dubbo hosts science event” - Daily Liberal
  • 25: Interview with Mornings program – ABC Western Plains
  • 26: “Students use their brains at Kickstart” - Daily Liberal
  • 27: “Students getting a lesson in evolution” - Daily Liberal
  • 27: “Interactive sessions” – Champion Post
  • 3 July: “Students experimenting with science” – Dubbo Photo News

30: NRC Next (The Netherlands) reported on research published in Animal Behaviour by Professor Madeleine Beekman into how bees communicate through dancing - “Bijen maken vaak foutjes in hun bijendansjes”.


2: Dr Fiona Clissold is interviewed by The Guardian in a story entitled “Locusts may choose where to invade based on temperature, researchers find”. The article reported on research which linked the food preference of locusts with the nutritional quality of plants and temperature.

3: The Conversation published a piece co-authored by Professor Madeleine Beekman about the origin of altruism - “Origins of altruism: why Hamilton still rules 50 years on”.

7: South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) quoted Professor David Raubenheimer in a story about the benefits of a protein-rich dieting to help weight loss – “Health bites: high-protein weight loss a matter of balance”.

9: MX (Sydney) reported on research into the collective decision-making process of the giant Asian honey bee Dr James Makinson about learning about mathematics from bees – “They bee swarm of smarties”.

11: The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Professor Robyn Overall in a story on the ability of plants to respond to the sound of their predators – “Plants get credit for response to attack”.

16 ABC Western Queensland Longreach interviewed PhD student Aaron Greenville about feral cat and fox control programs.

19: 702 ABC Sydney Weekends program interviewed Associate Professor Peter Banks about rat control techniques – “Backyard – rats”.

21: The Northern Territory News reports the Tanami Desert has become a haven for cane toads and quotes Professor Rick Shine - “Toads make the leap into Tanami Desert”.

Several reports on research co-authored by Professor David Raubenheimer on the nutritional habits of giant pandas.

26: Radio National’s the Science Show interviewed Dr Arianne Cease about the link between swarming locusts and agriculture - “Curious link between swarming locusts and agriculture”.

31: The Guardian quoted Professor Edward Holmes on the likelihood of the Ebola virus reaching Australia - “Ebola virus unlikely to reach Australia but authorities prepared if it does”.


5: 720 ABC Perth interviewed Associate Professor Peter Banks about rats.

8: Associate Professor Simon Ho was mentioned in The Conversation for his Eureka Prize nomination “Hendra virus to basket stars – Eureka Prize finalists announced”.

14: Professor Steve Simpson appeared on an episode of ABC’s Catalyst. “Gut reaction, part 1”

20: The Australian reported on a new method to trap cane toads developed by Professor Rick Shine - “Tasty toxins set trap for cannibal tadpoles”.

20: The Conversation published a piece about reptile pregnancy by PhD candidate Oliver Griffith“Lizards help us find out which came first: the baby or the egg?”

  • 25: Interview with ABC Radio Alice Springs
  • September 28: Interview with 2SER

Numerous reports on research by Lizzy Lowe about city spiders that found golden orb spiders found in urban Sydney are growing larger and reproducing more than its rural counterpart.

22: Professor David Raubenheimer was interviewed on Radio National’s the World Today about research into why Australia has the fastest rising obesity rates in the world – “’Protein decoys’ blamed for obesity pandemic”.

24: Dr John Gardiner was interviewed on Radio National’s Ockhams Razor program about his book, Power of Plants: A Botanical Journey – “The power of plants”.

25: Discovery News (US) quoted Professor Rick Shine in a story about the personalities of cane toads “Cane toad personalities key to territorial takeover”.

31: ABC Local Sundays with James O’Loghlin interviewed Associate Professor Dieter Hochuli on ants nests, bee hives and spiders – “Bees hives vs ants nest – which is best to live in?”


3: ABC Canberra News interviewed Professor David Raubenheimer about the eating habits of the fat-tailed dunnart.

5: Dr Fiona Clissold was interviewed on eFM's ‘This Morning’ radio program (South Korea).

6: The Sydney Morning Herald reported on joint research involving the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Australian Museum and Adrian Davis from the School into the movements of cockatoos -“Polly wants a tracker: tags shed light on Sydney’s cockatoos”.

17: The Australian reported on research into molecular clocks carried out by Eureka Award-winning Associate Professor Simon Ho – “Busy times with the molecular clock”.

  • October 13: Interview with the Boiling Point program – Eastside FM 89.7

17: 3AW Melbourne, Smooth FM 95.3, 702 ABC Sydney, 2UE Sydney, HO FM and 2CC Canberra, interviewed Professor Eddie Holmes about the Ebola epidemic and the global spread of diseases.

22: ABC Classic FM interviewed Murray lecturer Professor Justin O’Riain from Cape Town University on his Sydney Ideas talk on ‘wildlife wars’ – “Professor Justin O’Riain-Midday program”.

24: Professor Benjamin Oldroyd was interviewed on SEA FM Cairns about a study which shows mating between honey bees and Asian bees reduces fertility rates.


1: National Geographic (US) quoted Dr Fiona Clissold about better quality male flies producing better quality offspring – “Female flies’ previous lovers affect size of later children”.

3: The Age (“Monkey’s view on climate”) and Sydney Morning Herald (“Warming puts monkeys out on limb”) reported on research co-authored by Professor David Raubenheimer about research that links a decline in the nutritional quality of leaves eaten by colobus monkeys in Uganda to changes in climate over the past 30 years.

4: The Sydney Morning Herald (“Paleo diet hard to swallow for some”) and Canberra Times (“Biologists in a stew over meat in original Paleo diets”) quoted Professor David Raubenheimer about the paleo diet and how the fat content in meat has increased since hunter-gather times.

Research from ‘Team Bufo’ which found that cane toads at the vanguard of invasions can move twice as quickly as those from established populations is reported on, with quotes from Dr Greg Brown and Professor Rick Shine. These findings explain why the cane toad population overall is now expanding at a rate of 55 kilometres a year - a more than five-fold increase over the rate of expansion when the species was first introduced.

Professor Eddie Holmes responds to public fears about the Ebola outbreak.

20: Professor Chris Dickman was quoted in a Sydney Morning Herald article about how cats have an impact on prey populations and his research into the instincts and prey drive of cats – “Prey at risk of extinction as fussy felines maul species’ numbers”.

  • 20: Interview with 2UE Sydney
  • 20: Interview with 702 ABC Sydney

21: 105.7 ABC Darwin interviewed Professor Rick Shine about a sea snake that appeared on a Darwin beach.
28: Live Science mentioned research by PhD candidate Lizzy Lowe in a story on busting five spooky spider myths - "5 spooky spider myths busted".


7: Reuters included comments by Professor Eddie Holmes in an article about research being carried out by French scientists into the source of the Ebola outbreak –
“Scientist hopes to unlock Ebola’s secrets at outbreak’s source”.

10: New Scientist mentioned research by Professor Rick Shine on the spread of cane toads in an article about eating cane toads -
“Cane toads: turning pest into pesto for a fine feral food”.

Local media covered citizen science project TurtleSAT as part of Turtle Month. TurtleSAT is a project run by Professor Mike Thompson and Dr Ricky Spencer (UWS) to collect information about the abundance and distribution of turtles in the Murray River system.

  • 11: “Our turtles need your help” – Murray Pioneer
  • 13: “Tale of turtles to be told” – Murray Valley Standard
  • 14: “Helping the turtles” - Lakelander

16: El Dia (Argentina) mentioned research by Dr Mathew Crowther on the effects of global warming on koalas, in the context of world leaders being photographed with koalas at the G20 - “G-20: Todos quieren posar junto al koala”.

19: The Coffs Coast Advocate interviewed Dr Renata Ferrari Legorreta about an upcoming talk to showcase her research and the three-dimensional models she has created - “Models of marine park impress”.

21: Professor Chris Dickman was interviewed on ABC Western Queensland about research into the impact of foxes on fauna in the Simpson Desert - “Scientists swelter in Simpson Desert heat to study feral animals impact”.


1: South Sydney Herald reports on PhD student Rebecca Morris’ project which investigates increasing biodiversity by retrofitting flowerpots to seawalls - "Share in the care of marine biodiversity".

3: Dr Camilla Whittington was quoted in the Science News article, "Platypuses are full of mystery" about her work on platypus venom.

4: PhD student Jun Tong wrote an opinion piece published in the Sydney Morning Herald about the defeat of the proposed higher education reforms – "Cuts aren’t the way to let the light in".

5: 702 ABC Sydney interviewed Associate Professor Dieter Hochuli from the Faculty of Science about fire ants that have been found in Botany.

6: The Sydney Morning Herald reported on research on the causes of the global obesity epidemic, and quoted lead author Professor David Raubenheimer "Fat adults, fat kids, fat pets".

  • 8: "Obesity can take EIGHT years off a person’s life expectancy… and it’s not just humans battling the bulge, studies show" - Daily Mail (UK)
  • 9: Interview with ABC NewsRadio Sydney

10: Research from Professor Frank Seebacher into the effect of climate change on ectothermic animals was reported by ABC Environment (online)“Winners and losers for lizards with climate change”.

11: Associate Professor Peter Banks, Dr Catherine Price, Daniel Howell and George Madani is asked to identify rodents from videos captured on remote cameras in the ABC TV Catalyst story "What rat is that?"

12: Bloomberg (US) mentioned research published in Genome Biology by Dr Jie Cui and Professor Eddie Holmes into viral infections in birds "An unprecedented flock of genomes redraws the bird tree of life".

12: International Business Times reported on research by Associate Professor Simon Ho about the evolution of birds after dinosaurs disappeared - "Rapid bird evolution after dinosaurs disappeared, finds new genetic study".

12: Eveline Rijksen and Professor Chris Dickman co-authored an article in the Conversation about the winners and losers in a post-fire landscape – https://theconversation.com/predators-get-the-advantage-when-bushfires-destroy-vegetation-32821 “Predators get the advantage when bushfires destroy vegetation”.

14: Associate Professor Dieter Hochuli was interviewed by James O’Loghlin on the ABC Sundays program "Rematch – battle of the animal professors".