Centre for Environment

Projects at Centre for Environment

Landscapes and Policy Research Hub

The Landscapes and Policy Hub is a research collaboration that focuses on integrating ecology and social science to provide guidance for policy makers on planning and management of biodiversity at a regional scale.

Focusing on two contrasting landscapes of the Tasmanian Midlands and the Australian Alps, the research hub is developing tools, techniques and policy options to integrate biodiversity into regional scale planning.

The interdisciplinary research is placing particular emphasis on landscape-scale management of species and communities listed under the under Australia's primary conservation legislation: Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. This includes 'Matters of National Environment Significance' like the Tasmanian Midlands Lowland Grasslands communities and the unique alpine wetlands in the Australian Alps.

The research hub is hosted by the University of Tasmania and is one of five new national research hubs recently funded to study biodiversity conservation by the National Environmental Research Program (NERP) over the next four years.

List of publications from this project can be accessed here [pdf].

International Projects

The Centre for Environment hosts the Cooperative Research and Capacity Building Initiative (CRCI) on behalf of the University of Tasmania.

What is CRCI?

CRCI is a collaborative network of experts from three leading Australian Universities (the University of Tasmania, the University of Queensland and the University of Newcastle) and a range of Vietnamese Universities and Research Institutes. CRCI assembles teams to support development of evidence–based policy and governance in Vietnam through the adoption of an integrated, multi-sectoral approach to natural resource management and socio-economic development.

Click here to find out more information on the CRCI

Australia Awards Fellowships

Twenty-one Fellows from the Vietnamese Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development visited Australia (7-29 March, 2015) to network with researchers, government agencies and agriculture and aquaculture businesses.

The program entitled "Strengthening Capacity for Innovation in Agriculture/Fisheries and Rural Development in Vietnam" was funded by the Australian Government under the Australia Awards Fellowships. 

Click here to find out more information on this Australia Awards Fellowship Program

Landscape Logic

Landscape Logic was a research partnership between six regional natural resource management organisations, four universities, CSIRO and three State government agencies from 2008 and 2011. Landscape Logic aimed to improve the way decisions were made in catchment management across Australia by examining the links between actions at small scale and natural resource conditions at landscape scale. Landscape Logic was funded by the Australian government under the Commonwealth Environmental Research Facilities (CERF) program.

Click here to go to the Landscape Logic Library

Landscape Logic book coverIn 2012, a synthesis book from the Landscape Logic Research Hub was published. The book, 'Landscape Logic: Integrating Science for Landscape Management',  describes how the collaboration of 42 researchers and environmental managers went about the research. The book describes what they found and what they learned about the challenge of attributing cause to environmental change.

While public programs had been responsible for increase in vegetation extent, there was less evidence for improvement in vegetation condition and water quality. In many cases critical levels of intervention had not been reached, interventions were not sufficiently mature to have had any measurable impact, monitoring had not been designed to match the spatial and temporal scales of the interventions, and interventions lacked sufficiently clear objectives and metrics to ever be detectable. In the process, however, new knowledge emerged on disturbance thresholds in river condition, diagnosing sources of pollution in river systems, and the application and uptake of state-and-transition and Bayesian network models to environmental management.

The findings discussed in this book provide valuable messages for environmental managers, land managers, researchers and policy makers. Find out more information or buy a copy of the book

Landscape Logic was led by Prof. Ted Lefroy, Director of the Centre for Environment.

The leaders of the seven projects that made up Landscape Logic were:

  • Prof. Tony Norton (Spatial analysis and database)
  • Prof Allan Curtis (Social research)
  • Graeme Newell (Vegetation quality, Victoria)
  • Dr Bill Cotching (Tasmanian catchment water quality)
  • Hamish Cresswell (Catchment sediment and nutrient management)
  • Prof Tony Jakeman (Knowledge integration)
  • Geoff Park (Knowledge broking)

For more information visit the Landscape Logic website

Biodiversity in Grain and Graze

THIS PROJECT WAS COMPLETED IN 2008

THIS SECTION OF THE WEBSITE IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATION ONLY AND IS NO LONGER BEING UPDATED

Biodiversity in Grain and Graze (BiGG) aims to identify the benefits biodiversity brings to mixed farming systems, and the contribution that different types of mixed farming can make to conservation of native biodiversity across Australia. Measures of biodiversity being used include soil microbial activity and species richness, and functional group presence in birds, plants and invertebrates.

For more information visit the Grain and Graze website

In August 2008 BiGG was received a Banksia Environment Award. Read more...

Map of BiGG field sites - enlarge

View larger map of BiGG field sites

The project is lead by Dr Kerry Bridle (UTAS) and involves nine regional co-ordinators and sixteen regionally based staff involved in collecting data from forty-seven properties across southern Australia.

Other members of the research team based at the University of Tasmania are:

  • Dr Peter McQuillan and Margy Fitzgerald (invertebrates)
  • Prof Martin Line, Dave Green and Jason Hon (soil fungi)
  • Dr Janet Smith (vegetation data)
  • Dr Arko Lucieer, Dr Richard Mount, Dr Michael Lacey and Tore Pederson (spatial analysis)
  • Birds Australia are collating bird surveys collected by regionally based observers

For more detailed information the following PDF's are available to download.