In the News


Studio Ten: How do the major parties rate on climate, biodiversity?, TEN Central Digital TV, 19/05/2022, Sarah Bekessy
Sarah Bekessy rates the major parties’ policies when it comes to protecting biodiversity, threatened species and the climate.

The environment and the election, Late Night Live with Phillip Adams, ABC, 16/05/22, Sarah Bekessy
Australia is facing an extinction crisis, yet the environment has been almost completely absent from debates during the election campaign. What pledges and policies have the major parties announced when it comes to biodiversity and conservation, and what do those working in the field want the next federal government to prioritise?

Plan to rein deer growth on Melbourne’s outskirts, The Age (Also mentioned in WAtoday), 30/03/2022, Sarah Bekessy 
Hunters will target feral deer on Melbourne’s outskirts in an effort to prevent them from destroying the environment, amid fears the animals may roam further into city suburbs and endanger people.

Helping save the seals, Phillip Island & San Remo Advertiser, 16/03/22, Alex Kusmanoff

Native bees and urban areas, Uncommon Sense, 3RRRFM Radio, 11/01/22, Katherine Berthon


A broken dream: outer Melbourne has affordable houses but no train or school, The Guardian, 15/11/2021, Sarah Bekessy
In the first of a short series on Australian housing, Elias Visontay examines how Victoria’s planning system is failing residents and the environment.

The call of the wild in the suburbs, and one boy’s battle for the birds, The Citizen, 5/11/2021, Sarah Bekessy
Spencer Hitchen strides through a network of spindly black she-oaks to a tree he knows is a favourite roosting spot for ‘Fledge’, a baby glossy black cockatoo.

Cities cloak themselves in trees to beat climate change, The Australian Financial Review, 5/11/2021, Sarah Bekessy
These urban hotspots are planting trees on rooftops, up buildings, next to train stations and across squares, and that’s just the start of their green tactics.

The great experiment to put a price on nature, BBC Future, 22/10/2021, Sarah Bekessy
Fresh water, clean air, peace of mind – natural landscapes make life better for humans in myriad ways. Now scientists are trying to put a dollar figure on exactly how much nature is worth.

Why we should build for wildlife as well as people, BBC Future, 28/07/2021, Sarah Bekessy
From green roofs to bee bricks and hedgehog drawers, there are plenty of ways to make sterile buildings more accommodating to nature.

Why lawn is secretly bad for your back yard, Domain, 12/07/21, Thami Croeser
Home owners are being urged to take advantage of the winter months to make their backyards more environmentally friendly in time for summer by moving away from the perfectly manicured lawn.

Rewilding: part two, Future Tense with Antony Funnell, ABC Radio National, 13/06/21, Sarah Bekessy
In this edition we examine the natural forces at play in Europe where abandoned farmland is increasingly being reclaimed by wildlife. We also hear about Rewilding in an urban context.

Astroturfing: “alliance of timber workers” or alliance of timber corporate executives?, Michael West, 27/05/2021, Sarah Bekessy
Forest & Wood Communities Australia purports to be a grassroots organisation of timber workers but it is founded by the chairman of private forestry company Pentarch and other influential timber industry players. Tasha May reports on a classic case of astroturfing.

Rewilding to safeguard biodiversity, ABC News, 24/05/2021, Sarah Bekessy
Rewilding is a conservation approach based on the reintroduction of lost animal species to their natural habitats. Its original manifestation was controversial because it centred on apex predators like wolves. But the approach has matured and advocates believe it now has a crucial role to play in securing future biodiversity levels.

Melbourne’s outdoor dining parklets could be here to stay post-pandemic, Herald Sun, 03/04/21, Thami Croeser
Melbourne’s outdoor dining parklets have been a winner, sparking calls for the pandemic arrangement to be permanent. It comes as Victoria hit its 36th day with no new local COVID cases.

Parklets, 774 ABC Melbourne, 17/02/2021, Thami Croeser
Urban planner and PhD candidate Thami Croeser joins Sammy on 774 ABC Mornings to discuss parklets, re-purposed parking bays which are designed to create spaces for pedestrian activity.

A regenerative housing estate at Gisborne that’s attracted a lot of savvy people and community buy in, The Fifth Estate, 16/02/2021, Sarah Bekessy
In the town of Gisborne, a quaint but degraded 210-hectare farm in the middle of town has been slated for up to 1000-dwelling greenfield development. It is liveable, carbon positive and good for your hip pocket, with half the land to remain open for people and nature to share.

Forget the tree change: Why cities are more important than ever, Domain, 01/02/21, Thami Croeser


‘Good for the soul’: Visits to NSW National Parks soar amid COVID-19, The Age, 5/08/2020, Sarah Bekessy
NSW’s national parks are reporting a surge in visits as people seek out nature to dispel the blues brought on by the constraints of coronavirus on normal life. The National Parks and Wildlife Service reports overnight stays at campgrounds across the state were up by more than a third in July compared to the same month last year.

‘Miracles in our own backyards’: Rare urban ecosystems on the brink, The Age, The Daily Mail and 7News. 5/08/2020, Sarah Bekessy
Almost half of Australia’s national-listed threatened animals and a quarter of the plant species at risk are found in the largest towns and cities, and the threats are intensifying.

Madness’: How governments failed Victoria’s endangered grasslands, The Age, 24/07/2020, Sarah Bekessy
Native grasslands and many of the animals they shelter are critically endangered. Just 1 per cent of the original ecosystem remains. And the future of an ambitious government scheme to preserve the remnants and compensate for areas lost to urban development looks uncertain.

Junk science: dodgy COVID research sparks mini- pandemic as papers retracted, Crikey, 10/06/2020, Ascelin Gordon

How parking spots could save Melbourne’s small eateries, The Age, 03/06/2020, Thami Croeser

Could we save Melbourne’s restaurants by allowing them to use public spaces?, 3AW Morning Radio, 2 June 2020, Thami Croeser

How Melbourne’s suburbs can become mini office hubs post-coronavirus outbreak, Domain, 4 May 2020, Thami Croeser

As Humans Hibernate, Animals Take Opportunity to Roam Free,VOA News TV, 27 April 2020, Sarah Bekessy

What is nature doing while we’re in lockdown?, 6PR Perth Tonight Radio, 14 April 2020, Sarah Bekessy

Cities struggling to boost urban tree cover, BBC, 10 April 2020, Thami Croeser

Urban tree cover on public land improving, but private land needs to be next: experts, Domain, 2 March 2020, Thami Croeser


Introducing wildlife back into urban spaces [ABC Radio Life Matters – Separate stories podcast: December 4th, 2019]


The big impact of the little things [Magic Casements: April 18th, 2018]

The future of koalas in Australia, hunting turtles in the NT, and the people who search for the Tassie tiger [ABC triplej HACK: February 14th, 2018]


Pests or pals? How to live in harmony with urban wildlife [ABC Science: December 10th, 2017]

Bring nature back into cities, planners told [GovernmentNews: December 4th, 2017]

Sydneysiders willing to pay a premium for homes near green space, but it’s running out [Domain: March 12th, 2017]

Has the lawn outlived its purpose? [ABC Radio National ‘Blueprints for Living’: March 11th, 2017]


Hanging on to what’s golden [National Environmental Science Programme – Threatened Species Recovery Hub: October 12th, 2016]

Researchers on journey to new discoveries with $2.3m ARC grants [RMIT News: May 23rd, 2016]

A+ for Biodiversity Sensitive Urban Design [Sourceable: April 25th, 2016]

Greener cities the key to happier, healthier, stress-free lives [The Age: January 26th, 2016]

Can cities save bees? [The Nature of Cities: January 20th, 2016]

Sustainability science for urban pollinator research and conservation [Ecojesuit: January 15th, 2016]


City sprawl or skyscraper tall: why can’t Melbourne do urban design better? [The Age: October 11th, 2015]

Social research for threatened species: collaboration and planning [National Environmental Science Programme – Threatened Species Recovery Hub: September 1st, 2015]

Biodiversity offsets may allow governments to double dip [ABC Science: July 23rd, 2015]

Scientists see risk in biodiversity offsets misuse [UQ News: July 23rd, 2015]

Citizen scientists blitz Melbourne’s public spaces [RMIT News: May 1st, 2015]


Pop-up parks provide more than a patch of grass [RMIT News: November 17th, 2014]

Inspiring new generation of environmentalist [Victoria University News: June 24th, 2014]


Is nothing sacred? Public science 2.0 revolutionises scientific practices [Evolution News & Views: October 9th, 2013]

Best of replication and data sharing collection 3 [Political Science Replication: October 2nd, 2013]


Greenhouse calculator can save families big bucks in the long run [The Sydney Morning Herald: July 18th, 2011]

Australian grazing trial ignites debate [Nature News: March 23rd, 2011]

Concerns over alpine cattle grazing trial [ABC News: March 10th, 2011]


More loss than gain in encroaching urban sprawl on threatened open plains [The Sydney Morning Herald: May 31st, 2008]


Losing a world we don’t know [The Age: September 10th, 2005]

We at ICON Science acknowledge the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct our research, teaching and service.