2015 Media Report

January

3: SBS Sydney interviewed Dr Mathew Crowther about koalas in Gunnedah – “Fears for survival of koalas”.

15: Associate Professor Peter Banks was interviewed on 702 ABC Breakfast about rats in Sydney -"Reports of increased rat sightings across Sydney spark disease concerns".

16: PhD candidate Rebecca Morris from the Centre for Research on Ecological Impacts of Coastal Cities was interviewed on Channel 7 News (Sydney) about her project recreating habitats that animals need on the sea wall – “Attracting sea life back to Sydney Harbour”

21: Professor Frank Seebacher is interviewed by ABC Science about his climate change research using mosquitofish “Cold climate animals may suffer as world heats up”

29: The Hervey Bay City Independent reports an experimental trial, which will use a cane toad’s poison on itself, is based on the research of Professor Rick Shine. Research assistant Chalene Bezzina will present the trial – “Holding back the toadie tide.”


February

3: Professor Rick Shine commented on a UNSW study about fencing water bodies to exclude cane toads. “Fences could halt cane toad invasion of arid Australia, study”Sydney Morning Herald

4: Professor Rick Shine was interviewed on ABC North West Queensland in relation to the most effective method to eradicate cane toads.

17: Fullbright NSW scholar, Dr Thomas Newsome, coauthored an article in The Conversation about leading a push to allow dingoes to return to natural parks – “Let’s move the world’s longest fence to settle the dingo debate”. The proposal is to use Sturt National Park to research the impact of dingoes on biodiversity.

21: Daily Mail (UK) mentioned research by Lizzy Lowe into the spiders living in urban areas being larger than rural spiders. “Cities are creating FREAK ecosystems: shrinking fish, giant spiders and birds singing new songs reveal human influence”.


March

3: Dr Mathew Crowther commented to The Age about a cull of 700 koalas in southwest Melbourne - “Killing of 700 Otway koalas the right thing to do, scientists say”. His comments were also published in Today Online (Singapore) - “Close to 700 starving koalas culled in secret in Australia”.

7: The Business Insider India, in their story “7 animals humans are trying to kill off”, included Professor Rick Shine’s research into luring cane toads into tadpoles traps.

9: Results from a study from Professor Rick Shine’s group, showing the rapid rate at which cane toads are spreading, was mentioned on ABC North West WA, 2SM Sydney and in The Australian - “Toads on the march towards Cable Beach”.

18: Associate Professor Ross Coleman was interviewed on 2HD Newcastle about sightings of blue ringed octopuses.

19: New Scientist (UK) quoted Professor Rick Shine about the effects an invasive species can have on native wildlife - “Cane toads’ kiss of death lets finches live”

29: The Sunday Herald Sun reported research from the Charles Perkins Centre that showed the benefits of a balance of carbohydrates, fat and protein in diet. Professor Stephen Simpson commented on the findings of the study – “Forget fad foods, just eat a bit of everything”.

  • April 5: “Fad diets ruled a fat lot of good” - The Sunday Telegraph
  • April 5: “Grandma right on eating well” - Sunday Tasmanian

April

1: Dr Kerryn Parry-Jones was interviewed on 2UE Sydney for a story on bat forages and the impact of habitat destruction on the species.

612 ABC Brisbane and ABC Sunshine Coast interviewed Dr Max Tischler on the Simpson Desert.

15: ABC (Riverland SA) interviewed Professor Michael Thompson about species of turtles.

17: 702 ABC Sydney interviewed Associate Professor Peter Banks about native Australian animals.

18: Radio National reported on a bushwalk at the Crommelin research station by a group of international students at the University of Sydney. “A bushwalk in someone else’s shoes”. Associate Professor Peter Banks was interviewed for the report and explained how the bushwalk fits into the coursework for the Master of Environmental Science.

21: Dr Mathew Crowther was interviewed on ABC’s NSW Country Hour, ABC New England North West and ABC Ballarat National Rural News about a study started at the Gunnedah Resource Centre to understand how koalas use their landscape - “Detailed study in Gunnedah to uncover why koala numbers are declining”.

University of Sydney research has revealed how to measure the aggressiveness of imported bees. Dr Nadine Chapman authored the study about establishing a genetic test to identify killer bees and was interviewed for the reports.


May

702 ABC Sydney interviewed Associate Professor Clare McArthur about how possums co-exist with other animals.

6: Delhi Daily News quoted Professor Edward Holmes in a story about the genetic path of Ebola - “Scientists tracing genetic path of Ebola in Africa”

A study by Dr Christopher Friesen about the amount of calories a male snake expends when mating was reported on globally. The research measured the amount of energy male garter snakes expend to make copulatory plugs.

6: Oregon Live mentioned a study which involved Dr Thomas Newsome on the species at risk of extinction - “As worldwide extinction speeds up, large plant-eaters could be the first to go”.

7: Dr Max Tischler was interviewed on ABC North Coast NSW about a recently discovered fossilised specimen of dinosaur.

9: The Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend interviewed Professor Christopher Dickman about his research on feral cats - “Menace in the suburbs”.

Max Tischler was interviewed on ABC North Coast NSW about bees and other pollinating insects.

26: Channel 7 (Sydney), ABC (Far North, Kimberley, Southern Queensland, 105.7 Darwin), 4BC and 6PR reported on research which revealed the most humane way to kill cane toads is by freezing them. Lead author on the study, Professor Rick Shine was interviewed about the finding.

Research which found that low protein, high carbohydrate diets could be just as effective as low calorie diets at promoting a long life and good cardiometabolic health was widely reported on. Professor Stephen Simpson from the Charles Perkins Centre was interviewed.

30: PhD student Natalie Soars was interviewed on Radio National about her thesis on the sounds made by sea urchins - “Sea urchin solo in the coral reef choir”.


June

3: Red Orbit (US) quoted Professor Rick Shine about Australia’s unique flora and fauna including venomous snakes - “Why is Australia so weird?”

6: PhD candidate Lizzy Lowe was interviewed on Radio National about the species of spiders found in New South Wales’ urban and regional areas - “Spiders: they’re bigger in cities”.

8: Professor Stephen Simpson was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia for his contribution to research in the human nutrition and health fields. Professor Simpson was interviewed on 702 ABC Sydney about his AC and the mission of the Charles Perkins Centre.

The University of Sydney launched its High Performance Computer (HPC), called Artemis, in partnership with Dell. Professor Edward Holmes, Chair of the Academic Advisory Group for HPC, was quoted in the articles about the impact the HPC will have on science research such as the spread of Ebola in West Africa.

13: Dr Catherine Price is interviewed for ABC Radio National’s program Offtrack about her research into bandicoots in the urban environment -“Bandicoots in Sydney backyards”.

14: Professor Mike Thompson addressed a community conservation groups at the Murray River Turtle Forum in South Australia. He was one of the experts interviewed by ABC Riverland - “Riverland Turtle Forum”.

Associate Professor Peter Banks was quoted in the Daily Telegraph about the number of rats in the Sydney CBD area in a story entitled “Sharing Sydney with a vile rat army”. He was also interviewed on 2GB and 2UE about the about the growing rat population, particularly in Wynyard Park.

22: Dr Nadine Chapman was interviewed on 666 ABC Canberra about research on varroa mite and its effect on bee colonies - “Keeping killer bees out while developing a species resistant to the dreaded varroa mite”. The story also aired on ABC Illawarra, Alice Springs, Northern Tasmania and Eyre Peninsula.

27: The 80 year anniversary of the introduction of cane toads into Queensland was covered in local media. Professor Rick Shine was interviewed on 4BC Brisbane about the growth of the cane toad population since the species was introduced to Australia. He was also quoted in The Brisbane Times - “Are cane toads on the decline in Queensland?” Dr Gregory Brown was interviewed on ABC South East NSW.

28: Dr Renata Ferrari is interviewed for an SBS Your Language Spanish language program about her marine robotics research - “What is hidden in the deep sea?”


July

1: The Scientist (Canada) quoted Professor Rick Shine about new research on the ability of bearded dragons to swap genders - “Lizard swaps mode of deciding its sex”.

2: Professor Stephen Simpson was interviewed on ABC Lateline and ABC News 24 about the role bacteria in the body plays on physical and mental health - “Gut instinct: stomach bacteria linked to overall wellbeing”.

7: Professor Ben Oldroyd is quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald about his research demonstrating the susceptibility of Australian honey bees to the varroa mite - “Bees dead and gone in next to no time”.

15: Associate Professor Clare McArthur was interviewed on 2SER FM about wallabies and how they detect food.

24: The Saturday Age, Sydney Morning Herald and Canberra Times reported on this year’s Eureka Prizes for Science and mentioned research by Professor Rick Shine on the impact of toxic invaders on native predators - “Eureka Prize finalists: how not to eat a cane toad and other advances in science”

29: Professor Rick Shine was interviewed on ABC Illawarra about cane toads in the Sutherland Shire area and how to manage population growth in the species.

30: 702 ABC Sydney interviewed Associate Professor Dieter Hochuli about new research on the strength of ants - “Drive – 30 July”


August

10: ABC Radio National’s The World Today interviewed Dr Mathew Crowther on the proposed Shenhua Watermark coal mine’s biodiversity offset system and its impact on koalas - “Environmental experts warn biodiversity offsets not being applied or enforced”.

11: Associate Professor Peter Banks was interviewed on 2SER FM’s program “A question of balance” about bandicoots.

16: Professor Stephen Simpson was quoted in the Sunday Age about the components of a macronutritional balanced diet - “Forget science, what a fad diet needs most is good story”.

19: Associate Professor Peter Banks comments to the Sydney Morning Herald on a National Geographic video showing a rat moving through pipes – “Video footage demonstrates how rats swim up sewer pipes and into toilets”

25: 2SER FM interview Associate Professor Peter Banks about rodents in Australia - “A question of balance”.

26: Dr Renata Ferrari was interviewed on 2SER FM about research on the various species of fish in Sydney Harbour. "Why can't we find Nemo?


September

Several news outlets reported on research from the University which shows the many similarities between male seahorses and human pregnancies. Co-author of the study, Dr Camilla Whittington, was quoted in the articles and authored an article in The Conversation about the research – “The secret sex life and pregnancy of a seahorse dad”

2: New Scientist (UK) quoted Professor Rick Shine about how toad tadpoles eat eggs of their species - “Cane toad’s own killing strategy could be deployed against it”

7: Associate Professor Dieter Hochuli was interviewed on 702 ABC Sydney by Richard Glover about head lice and how best to treat them.

9: Professor Edward Holmes was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald, Brisbane Times, WA Today and Stuff (New Zealand) about a giant virus frozen under the Siberian tundra for 30,000 years, this is the fourth type of pre-historic virus found since 2003 -
“Prehistoric ‘Frankenvirus’ mollivirus sibericum uncovered in Siberian permafrost”

24: PhD candidate from the Centre for Research on Ecological Impacts of Coastal Cities Aline Sbizera Martinez was interviewed on ABC Science about her research on the limpet’s role as keeper of marine biodiversity – “Sounds of science: a limpet’s tongue licks a rock to shreds”


October

8: Professor Christopher Dickman was interviewed on ABC (Goldfields WA, South West WA) about calls for a nationally co-ordinated strategy to tackle the problem of feral cats in Australia. “United front needed for feral cat control in Australia” and
“Country hour for Thursday 8 October 2015”

8: PhD graduate Dr Max Tischler was interviewed on ABC North Coast NSW about the sensitivity of frogs to environmental changes and the potential threat of extinction.

13: ABC Catalyst interviewed Professor Stephen Simpson as part of their program “Why am I still fat?”

15: Professor Stephen Simpson was quoted in the Herald Sun about the need for a national strategy to be implemented to prevent, intervene and research obesity. “$87b weight on the nation”

21: Associate Professor Peter Banks was interviewed on ABC Central West NSW about what makes an animal native.

22: Dr Max Tischler was interviewed on ABC North Coast NSW about the impact of climate change on the germination of certain seed types.

24: The International Business Times (Australia) reported five researchers from the University of Sydney including Dr Camilla Whittington have won prestigious Young Tall Poppy Science Awards. “University of Sydney researchers win at Young Tall Poppy Science Awards”

27: The Wentworth Courier reported on research into the nutritional habits of invasive myna birds, and quoted Dr Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska. “University of Sydney study into eating habits of myna birds to help with population control”

28: Associate Professor Dieter Hochuli was interviewed on 702 ABC Sydney about a recent increase in the fly population.


November

2: New Scientist (UK) reported on research by Professor David Raubenheimer into vitamin supplements that could save an endangered bird -
“Vitamin supplements could save critically endangered kakapo”

10: Recent graduate Dr Aaron Greenville is quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age about the ability of dingoes to suppress populations of pest species -“Dingo doing more than its share to protect native species”

17: The Sydney Morning Herald and Canberra Times quoted Professor Christopher Dickman about the possible implications of reintroducing Tasmanian devils to the mainland - “Devils’ advocates set eyes on mainland” and “Devil of a job to get species on mainland”

17: Associate Professor Peter Banks was interviewed on the antechinus’ similarity to mice by 2SER FM - “A question of balance – Nov 17”

20: The Conversation published an article by Professor Madeleine Beekman on whether you share more genes with your mother or father -
“Do you share more genes with your mother or your father”

23: IFL Science (Canada) quoted Dr Christopher Friesen about sexual development and conflict in garter snakes - “There’s a sexual arms race taking place between garter snakes”

26: Dr Max Tischler was interviewed on ABC Coffs Coast about the upcoming Paris climate talks and commented on the main distributors to greenhouse gas emissions.

27: Professor Michael Thompson was interviewed on ABC Riverland about concerns the turtle population is decreasing in the Murray Darling Basin due to drowning associated with carp screens. “Turtles drowning in carp screens in Murray Darling Basin say Scientists”

30: “The koala in the coal mine” reads the headline of the Yahoo! News (US) article which quoted Dr Mathew Crowther on the potential impact of climate change on koalas.


December

1: Professor Michael Thompson was interviewed on ABC Riverland SA about a proposal before the South Australian Government to reconsider the design of carp exclusion screens to minimise harm on Murray River turtles.

2: The University of Sydney announced a $100,000 one year fellowship for a writer-in-residence for the Charles Perkins Centre, reported The Australian. Academic Director of the Centre Professor Stephen Simpson was quoted - “Donors pitch in for unorthodox projects”. Professor Simpson also wrote an article published in the Sydney Morning Herald about why creativity is central to addressing modern chronic disease - “Let’s get creative in the fight against obesity”

12: The Sydney Morning Herald and Canberra Times quoted Associate Professor Ashley Ward about a study on the complex huddling behaviour of male emperor penguins. “In a muddle, need a cuddle, but not for too long, thank you” and “A quick huddle takes the chill off”.

26: Emeritus Professor Robyn Overall talks to Radio National about the electric fields plant cells generate to orient their growth and the ways plants communicate with each other - “Talking plants: plant communication”.