Skip to main content
Crommelin Field Station forest location shot.
Research_

Field stations

Enjoy your natural surroundings and study in the field
Step outside the confines of the classroom and explore Australia's native flora and fauna at one of our field stations.

Crommelin Field Station 

Crommelin Biological Research Station is located 60 km north of Sydney at Pearl Beach, and provides access to wet and dry sclerophyll forests, sandy beaches, mangrove swamps and intertidal rock platforms. The station, also known as Warrah, is sited on three hectares of land, half of which has been left uncleared. 

Accommodation is basic with 25 beds, mainly in four rooms. There is a fully equipped kitchen, a dining room, a small unequipped laboratory area, and a common room which is suitable for discussion sessions. At present, the facility is available to employed research workers and educators from the tertiary education system only. Children under 18 years of age are not permitted to use the station.

History

Between 1906 to 1910, Miss Minard Fannie Crommelin was acting postmistress at Woy Woy on the NSW Central Coast. She fell in love with the area, became an enthusiastic bushwalker, and developed a keen interest in the local flora and fauna.

Despite her subsequent postings to over 200 different towns, it was this district that she retired to in 1935 when she was left a legacy which enabled her to purchase land at Pearl Beach. She built a house for herself and a cottage that was used by bushwalkers.

Miss Crommelin's interest in wildlife did not cease with her retirement - she fought hard for the preservation of the local ecosystems, wrote innumerable letters to the authorities, and was at one time or another a member of 154 conservation and natural history societies.

In 1947 she gave the cottages and their contents to the University of Sydney for use as a "natural field station for research into and for the promotion of the study and the improvement and preservation of the native flora and protection of the native fauna...". A valuable book collection formed part of this gift and many of these books are now housed in the rare book section of the University's library.

Tropical Ecology Research Facility 

The Tropical Ecology Research Facility is an hour’s drive east of Darwin, on the way to Kakadu National Park, in a small village called Middle Point. The entire village has been rented from the Northern Territory Government for the last ten years for use as a field station.

Most of the research at the facility revolves around invasive cane toads but there are also long-running projects on the ecology of snakes. The facility consists of three houses, four apartments, and a central building with offices, laboratory and workshop space. The manager of the facility is Dr Greg Brown, an ARC Future Fellow who has been based there for 18 years. 

Professor Rick Shine has been conducting ecological research in this tropical area for several decades and his staff and students have conducted ground-breaking research to understand the ecological impact of the invading amphibians, as well as developing new ways to control them and to reduce those impacts.

One Tree Island

The Faculty of Science oversees the world’s only research station licensed to facilitate teaching and research on the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.

Learn more about One Tree Island