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Features

When weeds are good

New science has shown that there can be a positive relationship between weeds and native plant biodiversity in grassland ecosystems, debunking some long-held assumptions that underpin common weed management practices. We hear from the paradigm-busting scientists who are changing the way we consider the threats of weeds to biodiversity.

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Collaborative ecology across the Tasman: #EcoTAS17 highlights

Were you at December's joint conference of the Ecological Society of Australia and the New Zealand Ecological Society? For those who couldn’t make EcoTas17, and those keen to re-live the week, we take a virtual tour of the action as we showcase just some of the conference highlights (and fashion!) via Twitter.

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Data Update – December 2017

Showcasing new and recently updated data openly available via TERN repositories, including researcher submitted data on the habitats and predator-prey interactions of desert-dwelling marsupials and spiders; and long-term monitoring data on the fauna of NT’s Top End National Parks.

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Drug discovery from TERN soil samples

New research by New York’s Rockefeller University using TERN ecosystem samples and data is helping discover small molecules that are an important resource for new drug discovery, and the environmental conditions that favour their creation. The findings provide unprecedented insights into how best to conduct future surveys for natural product pharmaceutical discovery.

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Working with the community to collect data on raptors

A unique citizen science project utilising the data infrastructure of multiple NCRIS facilities, including TERN and the Atlas of Living Australia, is collecting and collating information on three iconic Australian raptor species to ensure their longevity. So, grab your camera and contribute to managing, understanding and protecting these spectacular birds of prey.

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People using TERN: Jen Peters

Hot, tired, thirsty, stressed? No so for Northern Australia’s unique savanna eucalypts which, according to new research using TERN’s Top End research infrastructure, stay cool and stress free even during the scorching dry season. But just how do they manage the stress and what will happen if dry seasons get longer, drier and hotter due to a changing climate? Read on to find out.

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Facilitating real research impact: TERN supports prestigious ARC Centres of Excellence

TERN infrastructure, open data and research services are being used by some of Australia’s most successful scientists, spread across many universities and institutions. Three Australian Research Council Centres of Excellence—Australia’s most prestigious foci of research expertise—rely on TERN to deliver world-leading climate science and vegetation biology; and make the most appropriate environmental decisions.

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Students provide comprehensive record of the reef

A new data repository has been launched that provides open access to in-depth environmental data collected as a result of education activities conducted on the Great Barrier Reef. Together with our partners we’re compiling a comprehensive record of the reef that researchers and regulatory agencies can use to monitor changes, and that anyone can use to learn more about this wonder of the natural world.

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Visualising a century of platypus sightings

Users and uses of TERN data are proving to be as diverse as the data themselves. Join us as we showcase one TERN user’s engaging visual data story of 100 years of platypus sightings using Tasmanian State Government data openly available via TERN.

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Australia’s ecosystem sample library

Australia’s national terrestrial ecosystems sample library has moved. Tens of thousands of soil and vegetation samples collected by TERN’s ecosystem surveillance monitoring are now housed at Waite and openly available for researchers to use.  Find out what’s available and how you can use the library to advance your research.

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Just part of the picture: camera traps reveal biodiversity at high-tech ecosystem observatories

TERN is revolutionising the way environmental change is monitored by creating an autonomous, wireless sensor network throughout Australia at its ecosystem observing sites. Remote camera traps, operating alongside time-lapse vegetation cameras, acoustic monitors and climate sensors, are helping researchers build complete pictures of biodiversity and providing early detection of environmental change. Join us as we share with you some of these remotely captured images.

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A universal model for predicting plant CO2 uptake

New research using TERN delivered data is set to change the way we predict photosynthesis in plants. Just published in Nature Plants, the research proposes a unified model of CO2 uptake by species and ecosystems that can be used to predict future global terrestrial sinks for anthropogenic CO2.

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EcoCloud: one of three new Australian Science Clouds

Open access to free, domain-specific, cloud-based research tools, virtual laboratories and platforms via a single interface that links multiple data sources and service providers is set to be delivered thanks to a new national e-research infrastructure investment: The Australian Science Clouds.  Learn more about the clouds and help TERN further tailor the Australian Ecosystem Science Cloud to meet your needs.

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Earth as an integrated system: don’t forget the groundwater

Water—or the lack of it!—is always a topic of interest to Australians, living and working as we do on the driest inhabited continent on Earth. TERN’s integrated ecosystem-observing infrastructure produces open data on multiple phenomena at the same time and location, ranging from biodiversity to hydrology. Here we bring you stories of the way some scientists are using TERN’s open access, co-located infrastructure to increase understanding of our groundwater resources and the terrestrial ecosystems that depend on them.

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Big data used to assess fire ecology of Kakadu

New research using decades of monitoring data available through TERN has identified significant problems with historic fire management in one of Australia's premier National Parks: Kakadu. Despite the data painting a somewhat negative picture of the past, the research proposes economically viable carbon-market based solutions and vindicates recent park management actions that are delivering more sustainable and ecologically appropriate fire management in the reserve.

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Responsible data publishing

Recent articles in Science highlight the possibilities of putting information about highly collectable rare and threatened species in the hands of poachers. Like the authors of these articles, TERN is grappling with this concern, becoming part of the national movement developing guidelines and tools that can help to reduce the risk.

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People using TERN: Andries Potgieter

Dr Andries Potgieter of the University of Queensland is using TERN delivered remote sensing data to estimate grain cropping area and produce regular seasonal outlooks for sorghum and wheat.  When faced with the high impact of climate variability, advanced knowledge of likely crop size and its geographical distribution help industry make strategic decisions and avoid market volatility within Australia and globally.

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Measuring our breathing planet

Every hour, every day, over all seasons and across the changing years an international network of automated environmental observation towers watches the planet breathe in and out and measures its exchanges of gas and water. The pivotal role TERN plays in this global flux-measuring network was on display at the recent FluxNet Conference, which reported that the network’s Australasian component and the data and science it facilitates continue to punch well above their weight.

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Australia’s first state-wide ecosystem map

Assisted by TERN data infrastructure, the Queensland government has released Australia’s first comprehensive state-wide regional ecosystem maps, providing unparalleled detailed online information on the status of Queensland’s diverse native vegetation.

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Decades of data sustaining the Australian Alps

Seven decades of long-term monitoring data from the Alps, now openly available via TERN infrastructure, are not only increasing our understanding of impacts such as fire, grazing and exotic species invasions, but also informing land-management decisions by government agencies and private enterprise and helping document a small but important part of the Alps’ natural heritage.

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