Track Australia’s possums and gliders with the Urban Wildlife App

In collaboration with our colleagues in the NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub, we are now calling on citizen scientists to help us learn more about Australia’s possums and gliders by tracking sightings in the Urban Wildlife App.

Australia has 27 species of possums and glider, with almost a quarter listed as threatened. Urban habitats are vitally important for many threatened species, including the critically endangered western ringtail possum located in Perth and south-west Western Australia. Possums and people can also be in conflict in urban areas, so understanding how possums and gliders are using urban environments is a key step in managing conservation of these species.

In addition to possums and gliders, the Urban Wildlife App can be used to track sightings of frogs, flying foxes, and beneficial insects. The app is available for free from Google Play and the App Store.

Featured image credit: Adam Foster, via Flickr. 


NAIDOC 2019 Urban Beat

To celebrate NAIDOC Week (7-14 July), CAUL Hub worked together with guest editor Timmah Ball to produce a special NAIDOC edition of our Hub newsletter Urban Beat.

Timmah Ball is a writer, urban planner and occasional artist. She combines these skills to discuss important issues facing cities and how we can learn from First Nations’ cultural perspectives to create resilient futures. In 2017 she performed Last stone Left as part of Yirramboi Festival with dancer and choreographer Raina Peterson. It was performed in front of one of the last remaining precolonial rock faces in Melbourne’s CBD in Sargood Lane. You can read more about this unique aspect of Melbourne and other important stories in the Urban Beat.

In this edition, Timmah reflects on the hidden cultural and environmental layers of cities beneath the built environment and talks to artists, researchers and architects to learn how leading Aboriginal creatives from across the country are creating change and sharing truths in exciting projects. Through interviews, poetry and articles, contributors discuss issues of Sovereignty and steps we will need to take as Treaty discussions begin. Engage with Josh Muir’s self portraits and Jeanine Leane’s poetry, hear from architect Kevin O’Brien and co-chair of CAUL Hub’s Indigenous Advisory Group Maddison Miller, and enjoy interviews with researcher Zena Cumpston, artistic director Eva Grace Mullaley and writer/radio presenter Angelina Hurley.

The Urban Beat also provides an update on two major CAUL Hub outputs which are creating pathways for change: The Living Pavilion and 3 Category Workbook. These projects demonstrate both the importance and strength of collaborative research and Indigenous knowledge systems. Download the 2019 NAIDOC Urban Beat here.

The edition becomes a vital companion to this years National NAIDOC themes – Voice, Treaty, Truth. 

Download the newsletter here.

Featured image: A section of Josh Muir’s banner artwork, featured in the 2019 NAIDOC Urban Beat. 


New report: local actions to conserve urban biodiversity

A new CAUL Hub report shows how Australian cities are implementing novel solutions to conserve urban biodiversity – from reusing hollow trees that would otherwise be lost, to creating local flora and fauna field guides for residents.

This national inventory of local actions is the first of its kind in Australia. The two-part report summarises common barriers and enablers of urban biodiversity conservation, outlines opportunities and challenges for undertaking future action, documents the extent to which Indigenous perspectives are currently considered in urban biodiversity conservation and provides recommendations for future Indigenous engagement.

Check out a summary here or download Part I and Part II (written by Indigilab) of the full report.

Featured image: A fairy tern with chick. Credit: Claire Greenwell

Positions Vacant

Two exciting new opportunities have opened up at CAUL Hub. See below for more details and instructions on how to apply.

Knowledge Broker

Part Time, Fixed Term
Faculty of Science, University of Melbourne
Location: Parkville, Melbourne
Applications close:AUS Eastern Standard Time

The Knowledge Broker is responsible for the conduct of the Knowledge Brokering and Knowledge Translation activities of CAUL, and is the primary liaison between CAUL and the funding agency (the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy). The Knowledge Broker also has a significant role in implementing CAUL’s Indigenous Engagement and Participation Strategy.

About you

You have:

  • A relevant postgraduate qualification and extensive relevant experience, or an equivalent combination of relevant experience and/or training
  • Demonstrated experience in and understanding of fields of environmental science, urban systems and/or Indigenous engagement and participation
  • Extensive experience in the communication of research to policy-makers and the general public
  • High level organisational and time-management skills, and the demonstrated ability to manage and respond to changing priorities and deadlines
  • Close familiarity with the processes of policy formation and implementation
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both written and oral, with a demonstrated ability to convey information to and build rapport with all levels of staff within a diverse work environment
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently with minimal direction and also as a team player
  • Demonstrated concern for work quality and standards

You may also have:

  • Familiarity with or (preferably) experience in the conduct of applied research
  • Willingness to undertake interstate travel

More information: 

Communications Officer

Part Time, Fixed Term
Faculty of Science, University of Melbourne
Location: Parkville, Melbourne
Applications close:AUS Eastern Standard Time

The Communications Officer leads and develops the CAUL Hub communications strategy and is responsible for communicating CAUL Hub research and outcomes to the Department of the Environment and Energy, other stakeholders, and the general public. The Communications Officer also coordinates internal communications (such as internal emails and mailing lists) and external communications (including the CAUL Hub newsletter Urban Beat, social media, and other communications products).

About you

You will have:

  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Experience using Adobe software (including Photoshop and InDesign) and Microsoft Office software (particularly Word and PowerPoint).
  • Experience with web editing, including basic familiarity with command-line interfaces and HTML.
  • Experience with social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.
  • Experience with generating media.
  • Knowledge of or interest in science communication, preferably in the environmental and/or atmospheric sciences.
  • Experience in developing communication strategies for science impact.

You may also have:

  • Research experience in the environmental and/or atmospheric sciences.
  • Knowledge of or interest in Indigenous Australian issues.
  • Event management experience.

More information:

Investigating informal greenspaces and their benefits for residents

A new publication by CAUL Hub researchers has used systematic observations and interviews with local residents to examine how residents engage with and benefit from the presence of informal greenspaces in their neighbourhood.

While many studies have shown the numerous benefits of greenspaces, these studies have mainly focused on formal spaces such as parks. Informal greenspaces are particularly common in cities, including areas such as vacant lots, brownfields, and railway or waterway verges. This paper drew on an empirical study of Upper Stony Creek – a concreted drainage channel in the Melbourne suburb of Sunshine North. An informal greenspace of around 40,000 square metres is located towards the east of the Creek.

The findings showed that dog walking was the main activity conducted in the informal greenspace, and the lack of regular maintenance, perceptions of unsafety and littering were among the most critical concerns regarding its use. The paper also included recommendations for ways informal greenspaces can be managed and improved to add value to urban environments and fully capitalise on their potential as integral parts of liveable neighbourhoods.

You can read more about the Upper Stony Creek Transformation project in this brochure.

Featured image: Upper Stony Creek Transformation. Credit: Leila Farahani