Posted by Taylor Whiston On November 29, 2018
Simon Clulow, in collaboration with Mike Swan have applied their knowledge about the many amphibians living in Australia and come up with “A Complete Guide to Frogs of Australia” with Australian Geographic. The guide features 246 species and subspecies of frogs, amazing! Pick up your copy here.
Posted by Lisa Howat On July 4, 2018
Posted by Lisa Howat On June 20, 2018
Whale Watching, Games, Sausage Sizzle AND MORE
Learn more about whales from whale expert Jeannie Lawson!
Join us to hear stories around these majestic creatures as well as to help spot the humpbacks as they venture north to warmer waters.
Event running THIS SUNDAY (24th) in Boat Harbour and SUNDAY 8th July in Fingal Bay.
See the attached flyer or our website for more details!
Posted by Brittany Noble On September 28, 2017
The paper, published with Australian and international co-authors identifies the frog fauna of New Guinea (including Papua New Guinea) at risk of a major catastrophic event, including species declines and extinctions, should the fungal chytrid pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, be introduced to the country. Currently, New Guinea is one of the few remaining global refuges for amphibians against chytrid. The paper argues for policy and biosecurity strategies to be put in place to pre-empt the impending threat by policies and actions to prevent the introduction of the fungus, and the adoption of strategies to manage the panzootic if the fungus is found there. It recognises the need for a co-ordinated response for developing countries to manage chytrid risk, involving governments, researchers, NGO’s and communities to work together.
Dr Simon Clulow is also a member of FaunaBank network (an initiative of the Fauna Research Alliance) whose mission is to promote the use of reproductive technologies and biobanking to conserve the native fauna of Australia and the Pacific.
You can read the article here.
Posted by Alisa Williamson On March 19, 2017
Our very own Professor Michael Mahony attempts the seemingly impossible – to unwind extinction by bringing back to life the Australian gastric brooding frog.
The project was awarded TIME Magazines top 25 best inventions of 2013.
Interest has recently been revitalised on the breakthrough genome technology, due to an ABC documentary starring Professor Mike Mahony and the University of Newcastle Team.
The The Lazarus Project has developed de-extinction technology which will resurrect vanished species and is the only Australian invention named in the global list.
The resurrection of the gastric brooding frog may also have implications for the medical world.
“The gastric brooding frog swallows externally fertilized eggs into its stomach, which then operates as a uterus. No other living creature can do this. This unique ability could help the medical world work out how to manage gastric secretions in the gut,” said Michael Mahony, Project Leader, Professor of Biology at the University of Newcastle and internationally-renowned ‘Frog Whisperer’.
Known as somatic cell nuclear transplantation, the cloning technology had never previously been successfully applied to dead tissue. In repeated experiments over five years, the nuclei of donor eggs from the distantly related Great Barred Frog, Mixophyes fasciolatus, were inactivated and replaced with dead nuclei from the gastric brooding frog which resulted in eggs spontaneously dividing and growing to early embryo stage.
Amazingly, the Lazarus Project team recovered the extinct frog cell nuclei from tissue samples collected in the 1970s and kept for 40 years in a conventional deep freezer.
“The tissue samples we recovered from the last known laboratory to have a colony of these species had not been treated with cryoprotectant, or ‘anti-freeze’ to stop the cells from expanding and becoming damaged during the freezing process. It wasn’t until we looked at the cells under the micro-scope that we could see the cell walls were still intact,” said Professor Mahony.
The research team believes a human spread fungus was the primary cause of extinction.
“If it is clear that we have exterminated a species, we arguably have an obligation to bring it back,” said Professor Mahony.
The frozen specimens were preserved and provided by Professor Mike Tyler, of the
University of Adelaide, who extensively studied both species of gastric-brooding f
rog – R. silus and R. vitellinus – before they vanished in the wild in 1979 and 1985 respectively.
“Recognition by a global publication as prestigious as TIME Magazine is evidence of University of Newcastle researchers driving world-class innovation. As global leaders in their field, they are developing solutions for the world’s most significant problems,” said Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen.
Undertaken in labs at the University of Newcastle, biological work is led by Frog Whisperer, Professor Michael Mahony, along with Mr Simon Clulow and Dr John Clulow, all based at the University of Newcastle, with assistance from cloning specialists Dr Andrew French and Dr Jitong Guo and overseen by paleontologist Professor Mike Archer of the University of New South Wales.
You can read more in The INDEPENDENT HERE
Posted by Alisa Williamson On December 15, 2016
Posted by Alisa Williamson On August 15, 2016
Posted by Alisa Williamson On July 26, 2016
Posted by Alisa Williamson On July 18, 2016
Congratulations to Thi Kim Anh Tran, PhD student in Ecology and Ecotoxicology Lab!
Thi Kim Anh Tran, a PhD student of Dr Richard Yu and Dr Geoff MacFarlane, was awarded the 2016 Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Australasia (SETAC AU) Postgraduate Research Publication Award for her paper “Mechanistic insights into induction of vitellogenin gene expression by estrogens in Sydney rock oysters, Saccostrea glomerata” published in Aquatic Toxicology this May.
The prize is a cash award of AU$500, which will be presented at the SETAC AU annual conference dinner in Hobart.
The full-text of the paper can be accessed at this link:
Posted by Alisa Williamson On July 5, 2016
Dr Anita Chalmers from the School of Environmental & Life Sciences has just completed a term on the NSW Scientific Committee. She was appointed as a member of the Committee by the NSW Minister of the Environment in 2014. The function of the Scientific Committee, under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, is to determine which species, populations and ecological communities are to be listed as threatened in NSW.
Photo- Dr Chalmers searching for new populations of Grevillea shiressii.
Dr Chalmers found the experience to be both rewarding and worthwhile. “I have really enjoyed my time on the Committee. It’s been hard work, but its also been really rewarding to have the opportunity to apply my scientific skills in a way that contributes to the conservation of biodiversity in New South Wales. It also reflects well on the reputation of ecologists within the Discipline of Environmental Science,” Dr Chalmers said.
For more information on the NSW Scientific Committee click here