- Lefroy, EC and Bailey, K and Unwin, GL and Norton, TW (2008) Biodiversity: Integrating Conservation and Production. Case Studies from Australian Forests and Fisheries, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria, pp. 272. ISBN 9780643094581
- Lefroy, EC, Curtis AL, Jakeman A and McKee J (2012) Landscape Logic:integrating science for landscape management. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood. ISBN 978064103542
- Lefroy, Ted (2017) Life of the edge. In pp 7-8 C. Bett and P. Hay (eds) Poets and Painters. Bett Gallery and The Tasmanian Land Conservancy, Hobart. ISBN 97806469973616
- Pulsford I, Lindenmayer D, Wyborn C, Lausche B, Vasilijević M, Worboys G and Lefroy T. (2015) Connectivity Conservation Management. In pp 853-88 Worboys, G.L., Lockwood, M., Kothari, A., Feary, S. and Pulsford, I. (eds) Protected Area Governance and Management, ANU E-Press, Canberra, Australia, ISBN 9781925021691 (Online) Published February 2015
- Lefroy EC (2013) Interdisciplinary Research is about People as well as Concepts and Methods. Chapter 47 In G. Bammer Disciplining Interdisciplinarity; Integration and Implementation Sciences for Researching Complex Real-World Problems. ANU ePress. ISBN 9781922144270
- Lefroy, T and Curtis, A and Jakeman, A and McKee, J, (2012) ˜Integrating science for landscape management", Landscape logic: integrating science for landscape management, CSIRO Publishing, Lefroy, T., Curtis, A., Jakeman, A., McKee, J. (ed), Collingwood, pp. 283-290. ISBN 9780643103542
- Lefroy, T and Curtis, A and Jakeman, A and McKee, J, (2012) ˜Introduction: improving the evidence base for natural resource management", Landscape logic: integrating science for landscape management, CSIRO Publishing, Lefroy, T., Curtis, A., Jakeman, A., McKee, J. (ed), Collingwood, pp. 1-6. ISBN 9780643103542
- Lefroy, T and Grun, A and Jakeman, A and McKee, J, (2012) ˜Lessons from studying water quality in agricultural catchments", Landscape logic: integrating science for landscape management, CSIRO Publishing, Lefroy, T., Curtis, A., Jakeman, A., McKee, J. (ed), Collingwood, pp. 119-125. ISBN 9780643103542
- Lefroy, T and Park, G, (2012) ˜What we learned about measuring change in vegetation extent and condition", Landscape logic: integrating science for landscape management, CSIRO Publishing, Lefroy, T., Curtis, A., Jakeman, A., McKee, J. (ed), Collingwood, pp. 231-235. ISBN 9780643103542
- Lefroy, T, (2010) ˜The normal, the novel and the natural: the contribution of emerging production systems to the management of woodland remnants in agricultural landscapes, Temperate Woodland Conservation and Management, CSIRO Publishing, D Lindenmayer, A Bennett & R Hobbs (ed), Collingwood VIC, pp. 41-49. ISBN 9780643100374
- Lefroy, EC, (2009) ˜Agroforestry and the functional mimicry of natural ecosystems , Agroforestry for Natural Resource Management , CSIRO Publishing, Nuberg I, George B, Reid R (ed), Melbourne, pp. 21-36. ISBN 9780643092242
- Lefroy, EC, (2008) ˜Closing the adaptive management loop: why practical experience is necessary but not sufficient and science is essential but not always right, Biodiversity: integrating conservation and production, CSIRO Publishing, Lefroy T, Bailey K, Unwin G, Norton T (ed), Collingwood, Victoria, pp. 249-270. ISBN 9780643094581
- Kirkpatrick JB, Lefroy T, and Harwood, A. (2018) Turning place into space - Place motivations and place spaces in Tasmania. Landscape and Urban Planning 178: 112-121. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2018.05.027
- Porfirio LL, Lefroy T, Hugh S and Mackey B. (2017) Monitoring the impact of feral horses on vegetation condition using remotely sensed fPAR: A case study in Australia’s alpine parks. Parks 23 (2): 27-38. http://parksjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/PARKS-23.2-Porfirio-et-al-10.2305IUCN.CH_.2017.PARKS-23-2LLP.en_.pdf
- Mitchell M, Moore SA, Clement S, Lockwood M, Anderson G, Gaynor SM, Gilfeder L, Rowe R, Norman B, Lefroy EC (2017) Biodiversity on the brink: evaluation of a transdisciplinary research project. Journal for Nature Conservation 40: 1-11. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1617138116301649
- Carter O, Mitchell M, Porfirio LL, Hugh S, Lockwood M, Gilfedder L and Lefroy EC (2017) Mapping scenario narratives: a technique to enhance landscape-scale biodiversity planning. Conservation and Society 15(2): 172-188 DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_15_121
- Lefroy, Ted and Porfirio, Luciana (2017) Changing fortunes: a brief history of external earnings in CSIRO 1926-2015. Historical Records of Australian Science 28: 12-17. http://www.publish.csiro.au/HR/pdf/HR16013
- Lechner AM, Sprod D, Carter O, Lefroy EC (2016) Characterising landscape connectivity for conservation planning using a dispersal guild approach. Landscape Ecology 32: 99-113. doi:10.1007/s10980-016-0431-5
- Davis NE, Bennett A, Forsyth DM, Bowman DMJS, Lefroy EC, Wood SW, Woolnough AP, West P, Hampton JO and Johnson, CN (2016) A systematic review of the impacts and management of introduced deer (family Cervidae) in Australia. Wildlife Research 43 (1) 515-532. doi:10.1071/WR16148
- Richardson BL and Lefroy EC (2016) Restoration dialogues: improving the governance of ecological restoration. Restoration Ecology 24 (5): 663-678 doi:10.1111/rec.12391
- Lechner AM, Harris RMB, Doerr V, Doerr E, Drielsma M, Lefroy EC (2015) From static connectivity modelling to scenario-based planning at local and regional scales. Journal for Nature Conservation. 28: 78-88 doi:10.1016/j.jnc.2015.09.003
- Lechner AM, Harris RMB, Doerr V, Doerr E, Lefroy EC (2015) A framework for multi-scale connectivity modelling incorporating fine-scale dispersal behaviour. Landscape and Urban Planning. 141:11-23.
- Magierowski RH, SM Read, SJB Carter, DM Warfe, LS Cook, EC Lefroy PE Davies (2015) Inferring Landscape-Scale Land-Use Impacts on Rivers Using Data from Mesocosm Experiments and Artificial Neural Networks. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0120901
- Potts JM, Beeton NJ, Bowman DMJS, Williamson GJ, Lefroy EC and Johnson CN (2015) Predicting the future range and abundance of fallow deer in Tasmania, Australia. Wildlife Research (published online 14 April 2015)
- Campbell CA, Lefroy EC, Caddy-Retalic S, Bax N, Doherty PJ, Douglas MM, Johnson D, Possingham HP, Specht A, Tarte D and West J (2015) Designing Environmental Research for Impact. Science of the Total Environment available online 2 January 2015
- Lechner AM, Raymond CM, Adams V, Polyakov M, Gordon A, Rhodes J, Mills M, Stein A, Ives C, and Lefroy EC (2014) Characterizing spatial uncertainty when integrating social data in conservation planning: A review and research agenda. Conservation Biology 28 ( 6) 1497–1511. DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12409
- Porfirio LL, Harris RMB, Lefroy EC, Hugh S, Gould SF, Lee G, Bindoff NL and Mackey B (2014) Improving the use of species distribution models in conservation planning and management under climate change. PLoS ONE 9(11): e113749.
- Bryan BA, Meyer WS, Campbell CA, Harris G P, Lefroy EC, Lyle G, Martin P, McLean J, Montagu K, Rickards LA, Summers DM, Thackway R, Wells S, Young M. (2013) The second industrial transformation of Australian landscapes. Current Opinion in Environment and Sustainability 5: 278-87.
- Bradshaw CJA, Bowman DMJS, Bond NR, Murphy BP, Moore AD, Fordham DA, Thackway R, Lawes MJ, McCallum H, Gregory SD, Dalal RC, Boer MM, Lynch AJJ, Bradstock RA, Brook BW, Henry BK, Hunt LP, Fisher DO, Hunter D, Johnson CN, Keith DA, Lefroy EC, Penman TD, Meyer WS, Thomson JR, Thornton CM, VanDerWal J, Williams RJ, Keniger L, and Specht A. (2013) "Brave new green world – Consequences of a carbon economy for the conservation of Australian biodiversity" [PDF 981 KB] Biological Conservation 161: pp. 71-90. Review Article. ISSN 0006-3207
- Roux, DJ and Stirzaker, RJ and Breen, CM and Lefroy, EC and Cresswell, HP, (2010) ˜Framework for a participative reflection on the accomplishment of transdisciplinary research programs", Environmental Science and Policy, 13 (8) pp. 733-741. ISSN 1462-9011 Bridle K, Fitzgerald M, Green D, Smith J, McQuillanP Lefroy T (2009) Relationships between site characteristics, farming system and biodiversity on Australian mixed farms [PDF 564KB], Animal Production Science, 49, 869-882.Lefroy, EC, (2009) ˜Reading the landscape", Australian Forest Grower, 32 (2) pp. 48. ISSN 0156-448X
Lefroy EC, Curtis AL, Jakeman A and McKee J (2012) Landscape Logic: integrating science for landscape management. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood. ISBN 9780643103542
Morton SR, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Lindenmayer DB, Harriss Olson M, Hughes MT, McCulloch MT, McIntyre S, Nix, HA, Prober SM, Saunders DA, Anderson, AN, Burgman MA, Lefroy EC, Lonsdale, WM, Lowe I, McMichael AJ, Parslow, JS, Steffen, W, Williams, JE, Woinarski, JCZ (2009) The Big Ecological Questions Inhibiting Effective Environmental Management in Australia [PDF 153KB].
Austral Ecology 34, (1) pp.1-9.Lefroy EC, Flugge, FJ, Avery, A and Hume, I (2005) Potential of current plant-based options for the management of dryland salinity: A review [PDF 371KB]. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 45:1357-1367.
O'Connor MH, MacFarlane MJ, MacRae D and Lefroy EC (2005) The Avon River Basin in 2050: scenario planning in the Western Australian Wheatbelt [PDF 465KB]. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research. 56:563-580.
- Lefroy, Ted (2017) Pursuing Sustainability: A Guide to the Science and Practice (Book Review). The Quarterly Review of Biology 92(1) 86-87. http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/690853
- Lefroy, Ted (2016) Scientific visionary who fell from view. The Australian, 11-12 June [Book Review] pp. 20-21. ISSN 1038-8761
- Lefroy, Ted (2015) Want to save the environment? Let’s leave the collapse porn under the mattress [Book Review]. The Conversation 9 December 2015 https://theconversation.com/want-to-save-the-environment-lets-leave-the-collapse-porn-under-the-mattress-51575
- Lefroy, EC (2015) Nature and farming: Sustaining biodiversity in agricultural landscapes [Book Review]. Pacific Conservation Biology, 20 (4): 405-406.
- Lefroy, Ted (2013) Land use intensification: effects on agriculture, biodiversity and ecological processes [Book review]. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 20:3, 260-262. DOI: 10.1080/14486563.2013.834543
- Lefroy, EC (2007) Forests as a sacred place in Western mythology [PDF 3.1MB]. Australian Forest Grower, 29 (4). pp. 14-16.
- Lefroy, EC (2009) Reading the landscape [PDF 1.7MB]. Australian Forest Grower , 32 (2). p. 48.
- Lefroy, EC (2006) New research partnership aims to close knowledge gaps [PDF 1.6MB] . Australian Forest Grower , 29 (3). pp. 111-112.
- Lefroy, EC (2006) Partnerships for catchment science [PDF 310KB]Tas Regions . Sept 2006, 12(3): 26.
- Lefroy, EC (2012) Northern Midlands land management in spotlight [PDF 417 KB] Research to Reality Edition #14, December.
- Panta, SB and Doyle, RB and Cotching, WE and Lefroy, EC and Lucieer, A, (2012) ˜Quantifying the effects of land management interventions on water quality in the Coal River Catchment In this study we examined spatial variation in water quality and its relationship to riparian land management in the Coal River Valley, SE Tasmania", Proceedings of the Joint Soil Science Australia and New Zealand Society of Soil Science Conference, 2-7 December 2012, Hobart, Tasmania (In Press)
- Bridle, K and Lefroy, EC, ˜Setting goals and working with communities", Proceedings of the Ecological Society of Australia Conference, 6-10 December 2010, Manning Clark Centre, ANU, Canberra (2010)
- Bridle, K and Fitzgerald, M and Green, D and Smith, Janet A and McQuillan, P and Lefroy, EC, ˜Biodiversity in 'Grain & Graze': a BiGG analysis of biodiversity in mixed farming systems across Australia's sheep-wheat zone", Proceedings of the 10th International Congress of Ecology , 16-21 August 2009, Brisbane, Queensland (2009)
- Lefroy EC, Pollino CA and Jakeman AJ (2009) Using the Simplicity Cycle in model building [PDF 291.7KB], In: Anderssen, R.S., Braddock, R.D. and Newham, L.T.H. (eds) Interfacing Modelling and Simulation with Mathematical and Computational Sciences., In Proceedings of the 18th World IMACS Congress and MODSIM09 International Congress on Modelling and Simulation. Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand and International Association for Mathematics and Computers in Simulation, 13-17 July 2009. ISBN: 978-0-9758400-7-8, pp: 2384.
- Pollino CA, Lefroy EC and Jakeman AJ (2009) Tools for NRM: Linking investments to outcomes [PDF 290KB], In: Anderssen, R.S., Braddock, R.D. and Newham, L.T.H. (eds) Interfacing Modelling and Simulation with Mathematical and Computational Sciences., In Proceedings of the 18th World IMACS Congress and MODSIM09 International Congress on Modelling and Simulation. Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand and International Association for Mathematics and Computers in Simulation, 13-17 July 2009. ISBN: 978-0-9758400-7-8, pp: 2406-2412.
- Lefroy, EC (2008) Conference overview [PDF 290KB]. In: Veg Futures: Autralia's National Vegetation Conference 08, 20-23 October 2008, Toowoomba, Queensland.
- Bridle K, Badgery W, Lefroy E (2007) Aligning on-farm biodiversity with regional plans and targets: Introducing BiGG - Biodiversity in Grain & Graze [PDF 74.2KB]. In Proceedings of the 5th Stipa Native Grasses Conference on the management of Native Grasses and Pastures, Mudgee, NSW, 7-10 October 2007, pp. 115-125.
- Bridle K, McQuillan P, Green D, Smith JA, Fitzgerald M and Lefroy, EC (2008) Assessing the contribution of mixed farming systems to biodiversity across Australia's sheep-wheat zone: The Grain & Graze participatory research model [PDF 192.2KB], In Proceedings of the Joint XXI International Grassland and VIII International Rangeland Congress 2008, 29 June - 8 July 2008, Hohot, China, p.1087.
- Cotching W and Lefroy EC (2007) Selecting catchments for the retrospective study of land-use and water quality, Landscape Logic Technical Report #1.
ABC Radio 936 05 March 2018 Cow Treaty [MP3, 6668.19 KB]
New Zealand has recently seen rapid intensification of its dairy industry. Along with a huge boost to export income, the 1.2 million cows on the Canterbury Plains have resulted in a serious backlash from the residents of Christchurch and other urban areas concerned with declining water quality. The Canterbury region is currently going through a collaborative process of setting limits for nitrogen pollution through community based zone committees. This process of negotiating ‘resource consent to farm’ has its origins in legislative changes made 40 years ago and also invokes the spirit of the Treaty of Waitangi established 180 years ago between the British crown and 500 Maori chiefs.
ABC Radio 936 18 September 2017 Science and the Social Contract [MP3, 9784.41 KB]
On October 6th at 4pm the book “Enhancing Science Impact: bridging research, policy and practice” by UTAS researchers Peat Leith and Marcus Harward with colleagues Kevin O’Toole and Brian Coffee will be launched at IMAS, Castray Esplanade Hobart. Its subject is renegotiating the contract between science and society. The original contract between science and society involved the production of reliable knowledge with the emphasis on predictability and reproducibility: science makes discoveries and delivers them to decision-makers. Then around the middle of last century something went wrong. We needed science to understand why technology was having unanticipated and harmful consequences (think Silent Spring, Bophal and 3 Mile Island). The original contract breaks down when the facts are uncertain, the values are in dispute and the stakes are high. The new contract demands production of socially robust knowledge (“its very clever but how do you know we want it/we need it/it won’t kill us?”)
ABC Radio 936 22 May 2017 Why is science under fire? [MP3, 7109.72 KB]
On the 22th of April this year in 500 towns and cities around the world, people turned out on the streets to march for science. While this event was triggered by recent changes in the US administration, challenges to the role and legitimacy of science are not new. Think of Galileo, but we don't have to go back that far to find examples. A hundred years ago a prominent Australian scientist warned his colleagues that many people viewed science as “… a threat to society both religious and secular.” To understand why, we need to go back to the four ‘ways of knowing’ – intuition, revelation, observation and reason – and consider how their influence has changed over time.
ABC Radio 936 10 April 2017 The Red Queen dilemma - can we run fast enough to stay in the same place? [MP3, 4396.03 KB]
Two recent studies by Australian scientists raise questions about the capacity of humans to adapt to a changing world. Prof. Greta Pecl from UTAS led a study that illustrates how the movement of plants and animals in response to climate change is already affecting humans, from coffee drinkers to reindeer hunters and sparkling wine to mosquitos. They showed that plants and animals are moving an average 17km per decade away from the poles on land and 78 km in the oceans. In the second study, Prof. Allan Cooper and his group at Adelaide University used mitochondrial DNA in hair samples collected from Aboriginal people between 1920-70 to work out that their most recent common ancestor lived nearly 48,000 years ago. The implication is that the first Australians arrived 50,000 years ago, made their way rapidly around the coast in two waves east and west, and once a group decided to settle in a particular place they stayed put for the long haul, weathering 10 degree fluctuations in climate from the glacial maximum to recent times. So will science, technology and trade give us sufficient flexibility to stay put and adapt, or will there be an increase in climate change refugees, following food, water and other resources as they move in response to climate change?
ABC Radio 936 27 February 2017 What Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates could learn from Australia’s rabbits [MP3, 7688.71 KB] The ambition of the tech giants behind Facebook and Microsoft to cure, prevent or manage all diseases in our lifetime raises questions about methods and ethics. On methods, even the smartest biotechnology such as gene editing has to survive the source of biological innovation, genetic variation and natural selection, as each new treatment puts pressure on populations to come up with new forms of resistance in the same way Australia’s rabbits have bounced back from two rounds of biological warfare. The ethical questions are focusing on heart disease and neurological diseases and cancer, chronic diseases of the developed world, rather than those of the developing world where 90% of preventable deaths occur and retaining exclusive rights to commercialise discoveries. These two features raise the prospect suggested by historian Yuval Harari that the outcome will be to upgrade the healthy rather than cure the sick.
ABC Radio 936 28 November 2016 Three books to ease the worried well [MP3, 8714.69 KB]
The Idea of Decline in Western History by Arthur Herman reviews the idea that decline is inevitable, that in the deep past there was a Golden Age when the world was perfect and it’s all about to end. The Better Angels of Our Nature by Stephen Pinker tells the story of the centuries long, relentless decline in violence throughout human history brought about by the emergence of the state, to which citizens agreed to ‘surrender the satisfactions of vengeance for impartial law’ and 'gentle commerce', the mutual benefits of trade.Landscape and Memory by Simon Schama puts the case that landscape is a form of human expression in the same way that poetry, prose and painting are forms of expression. As humans have shaped landscapes to suit our needs they become part of our cultural memory. In Wendell Berry’s words the European new arrivals in North America ‘…came with visions of former places and not the sight to see where they were. They did not know what they were doing because they did not know what they were undoing.’ So too it took 200 years before Bill Gammage could write The Biggest Estate on Earth about Aboriginal fire shaping this continent and Bruce Pascoe could write Dark Emu about Aboriginal agriculture.
ABC Radio 936 31 October 2016 Could Tasmania be carbon profitable? [MP3, 9132.12 KB]
Q: What do Bhutan and the Vatican City have in common?
A: They are the first nations to have declared themselves carbon neutral
Q: Who’s next?
A: If they meet their pledges, the ACT (2020), Costa Rica (2021) and Norway (2050)
Q: How long before Tasmania could be carbon neutral?
A: 2035 according to Ted Lefroy and Todd Houstein from the community group Sustainable Living Tasmania
ABC Radio 936 5 September 2016 The cabin that changed the world [MP3, 6767.61 KB]
In Wisconsin there is a cabin that changed the world, or at least how people think about it. Professor Ted Lefroy returns from sabbatical with a book by a 90 year old university professor still teaching. Estella Leopold, daughter of Aldo Leopold the author of ‘A Sand County Almanac’, has written her account of life in the Wisconsin shack that shaped her father’s thinking about environmental ethics. Ted explains the key ideas in these two books and what it means to ‘think like a mountain’.
ABC Radio 936 16 November 2015 Collapse-porn vs progress [MP3, 6983.29 KB]
Collapse-porn, apocalyptica and eco-rapture are labels UK science writer Leigh Phillips has applied to an expanding genre of environmental writing that views ecological and social collapse as variously inevitable and desirable. In his new book "Austerity ecology and the collapse-porn addicts: A defence of growth, progress, industry and stuff" Phillips argues that 'Modernity is not the cause of our ecological woes. Only through a deepening of our modernity can we save the planet.'
ABC Radio 936 19 October 2015 'We've been invaded, but does it really matter?' [MP3, 7007.2 KB]The Olive Green Australia Policy, the environmental equivalent of the White Australia policy, has long dominated the environmental debate arguing that we need to shoot, spray, dig or trap any animal or plant that wasn't here in 1788. But can we really freeze a continent in time. Is everything exotic an environmental disaster?
ABC Radio 936 21 September 2015 'Putting a price on nature' [MP3, 7383.71 KB]Can we put a price on nature? The University of Tasmania's Centre for Environment hosted a screening of the documentary 'Banking Nature' in the Stanley Burbury Theatre on Monday 21 September as part of the Environmental Film Festival and a panel of two economists and an environmental scientist explored pros and cons of biodiversity credits, offsets and bio-banking.
ABC Radio 936 17 August 2015, Ted Lefroy: 'Why does science sometimes get things wrong?' [MP3, 6039 KB]
There are 1.4 million scientific papers published every year. Around 3,000 of these (0.2%) are withdrawn due to either genuine mistakes or more rarely fraud. But the bigger reasons why, with hindsight, science occasionally gets things wrong are bias within society against different people or ideas, and unforeseen and unintended consequences.
ABC Radio 936 20 July 2015, Ted Lefroy: 'The war on cats' [MP3, 7524.09 KB]
On Thursday 16 July, Greg Hunt the Federal Environment Minister launched the Australian Governments Threatened Species Strategy at Melbourne Zoo which officially declares war on feral cats. http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/commissioner/threatened-species-summit But with millions of much loved domestic cats, plus stray cats in towns and cities, is this realistic?
ABC Radio 936 1 June 2015, Ted Lefroy: 'The wolves of Yellowstone' [MP3, 7300.2 KB]
Act 1. 'Playing God in Yellowstone' by Alston Chase published in 1987, tells the story of how humans trashed America's first national park by getting rid of the wolves and letting the elk and deer to eat everything.
Act 2. 'How wolves change rivers' TED talk by George Monbiot on how re-introducing the wolves made everything better – the grass, the trees, the beavers and the rivers.
Act 3. 'Rethinking predators: legend of the wolf' by Emma Marris, on how it's not just top down control of elk and deer by predators, or bottom up control by trees and grass, but 1) a mixture of both and 2) the environment has changed so much in the meantime from lack of predators, drought, fire and most likely climate change that things won't ever go back to how they were in 1872 when the park was declared or 1926 when wolves removed.
ABC Radio 936 11 May 2015, Ted Lefroy: 'Eco-modernism' [MP3, 6405.33 KB]
On April 15, the 'Eco-modernist Manifesto' was released by a group led from the Breakthrough Institute in Washington. This 32 page document argues that economic development is essential to protect the environment, and in doing so divides the world of green politics into 'optimistic pragmatists' on one side and 'pessimistic purists' on the other. Will divide and conquer work?
ABC Radio 936 6 April 2015, Ted Lefroy: 'Gaia' [mp3 6MB] Is Gaia science? Is the Earth and all its inhabitants one thinking, breathing super organism set to reject humanity if it steps out of line, or is Gaia a romantic notion recycled from ancient myths?
ABC Radio 936 2 March 2015, Ted Lefroy: 'Is Evolution Progressive?' [mp3 12MB] A recent article in The Conversation by Simon Tierney: What blind beetles can teach us about evolution describes the discovery of nearly 100 different species of blind and flightless water beetles found in isolated aquifers deep under the Western Australian desert. Each aquifer is home to between one and three separate species, all related to diving beetles found on the surface from which they have been isolated for 5 to 10 million years. Researchers are excited by the find because it enables them to study the genetic mechanism by which species evolve, but this discovery also raises larger questions about progress and direction in evolution.
ABC Radio 936 2 February 2015, Ted Lefroy: 'What is Natural?' [mp3 9MB] A recent paper in the journal Nature called for a truce in the debate about the aims of nature conservation. The debate is between intrinsic value (that nature should be protected for its own sake) and instrumental value (that we need to save nature to save ourselves). Calling for a truce raises as many questions as it answers.
ABC Radio 936 1 December 2014, Ted Lefroy: 'When is the Science Good Enough?' [mp3 10MB] Daniel Sarewitz from Arizona State University has studied a number of complex social problems such as immunisation, literacy and climate change to find out why science and technology has been successful in finding solutions to some problems, but not others. His conclusions explain why some problems seem to be intractable despite the amount of money thrown at them.
ABC Radio 936 10 November 2014, Ted Lefroy: 'Seeds of Salvation' [mp3 5 MB] You've heard Peter Cundall talk about 'no-dig potatoes' on Gardening Australia. This is no-plough farming. Not just minimal tillage, no tillage. No soil disturbance what so ever. Harvesting grain from perennial relatives of wheat, barley, rye, sorghum, rice, and sunflowers has been the research goal of The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas USA for the last 38 years. So far they have released 'Kernza', a perennial relative of wheat.
ABC Radio 936 1 September 2014, Ted Lefroy: 'The balance of nature' [mp3 6MB] There is not now, never has been, and never will be balance in nature. Why? Because we live on a dynamic planet in a changing universe. Charles Darwin's big idea after his Voyage on the Beagle was that the Earth changes, and life adapts. When he landed at Plymouth after five years at sea he in turn changed forever the way we view life on Earth, but the idea of balance remains appealing and very resistant to change.
ABC Radio 936 4 August 2014, Ted Lefroy: 'The Survival of the Fittest' [mp3 9MB]. Charles Darwin never said survival of the fittest. The term was coined by Herbert Spencer, five years after 'Origin of the Species', and what Spencer meant was not physically fit but fit in the sense of most suited or fit for purpose. Fit as in jigsaw, not fit as in gym. In biology, fitness means reproductive fitness or evolutionary success, the ability of an organism to pass on its genes. The term survival of the fittest has been misused ever since Spencer first came up with it to support the concept of 'might is right', that competitive economic and social behaviour is justified on the basis that what is found in nature is good.
ABC Radio 936 14 July 2014, Ted Lefroy: 'The Tragedy of the Commons' [ mp3 4.96 MB] by Garret Hardin is the most requested paper ever published in the prestigious journal Science. Written in 1969, it argues that any natural resource held in common by a group of people such as fisheries, forests or grazing lands will inevitably end up being over exploited. In 2009, Eleanor Ostrom was awarded a Nobel Prize for showing that this is not necessarily true. How she did it is an interesting story that is providing inspiration for a modest experiment in Tasmania.
ABC Radio 936 2 June 2014, Ted Lefroy: 'Why societies collapse?' [mp3 10.9 MB] Two books on the reason societies have collapsed in the past, one by a historian and one by an ecologist, arrive at different conclusions that may have lessons for us. One puts it down to trashing the environment, the other comes to a far more interesting and subtle conclusion. "The Collapse of Complex Societies" by Joseph Tainter published in 1988 and "Collapse: how societies choose to fail or survive" by Jared Diamond from 2005. (Discuss).
ABC Radio 936 7 April 2014, Ted Lefroy: 'Peak baby' [mp3 5.59 MB] Behind the latest IPCC report is information of human demographics that give us grounds for optimism about the impact of human activity on the planet and the fate of our species.
ABC Radio 936 10 March 2014, Ted Lefroy: 'Modelling bushfires' [mp3 8.98 MB] The story of the Dunalley and Gretna fires, how the Tasmanian Fire Service made appropriate use of the Phoenix fire model, and why the criticism from the committee of inquiry was unjustified.
See also Utas ePrints