Growing your cuppa joe

Agricultural production, covering an estimated 40% of the earth’s surface, is one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss globally. Our food system, largely driven by external inputs including fertilizers and agro-chemicals, has potentially surpassed the safe planetary boundary for biodiversity loss and pollution. Conversely, transforming food systems represents a major opportunity for meeting a […]

Biodiversity conservation cannot afford COVID-19 communication bungles

As COVID-19 continues to dominate our lives and media headlines, maintaining public engagement with biodiversity conservation can be a communication challenge. This media context can make it tempting for conservation professionals like us to draw links or parallels between the pandemic and the biodiversity crisis, with the intention to make stories about biodiversity more relevant […]

Enhancing biodiversity in cities through design

This article is republished from Cities People Love under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. An interview with Professor Sarah Bekessy Sarah Bekessy is a sustainability and urban planning academic at RMIT University in Melbourne and a leading voice in Biodiversity Sensitive Urban Design (BSUD).  We interviewed Sarah to understand more about the […]

We don’t need to import rare parrots – there are so many better ways to get close to nature

This is a Scarlet Macaw – one of the many magnificent species of parrot endemic to south and central America. An Australian Government study is considering whether it is appropriate to allow imports of these birds, following pressure from the local pet trade.   Importing parrots from overseas has been banned since 1995. This is because importing birds, even when they’re spectacular, is a spectacularly terrible idea. I spoke to the ecologists in our group […]

ICON tells Victoria’s Parliament to ‘walk the walk’ on urban greening

The ICON Science group has submitted our response to the Parliament of Victoria’s ‘Inquiry into Environmental Infrastructure for Growing Populations’. Our city has grown rapidly – has our access to nature kept up?  It’s commendable that our leaders have turned their minds to this topic, as COVID-19 has reminded us of the enormous importance of […]

Invertebrate use of rooftops in Melbourne

Green roofs are a peculiar kind of designed habitat. In already highly urbanised areas, where there is large pressure on efficient land use, green roof retrofits are a key strategy to bring back nature without losing building capital. While green roofs are known to have many economic and social benefits, such as stormwater retention and […]

Announcement: New ARC-funded Linkage Grant

We are excited to announce that ICON Science members Sarah Bekessy, Georgia Garrard, and Matthew Selinske, along with Emily McLeod (Zoos Victoria), Fiona Fidler (University of Melbourne), Yoshi Kashima (University of Melbourne), and Amanda Rodewald (Cornell University) have been awarded an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant. The grant is co-funded by partners Zoos Victoria and […]

What difference do protected areas make on vegetation extent and condition?

Logging road in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo by Roshan Sharma. Biodiversity is the variety of all life forms on Earth and underpins the health of our planet. It provides important ecosystem services like food and fibre that are the basis of human existence. However, exploitative human activities on Earth have created an unprecedented breakdown of […]