Terrestrial Invertebrates Research
Collembola, butterflies, ants and other research at the South Australian Museum.
It has been variously estimated that upwards of 200 scientists from around the world are researching specimens from the South Australian Museum at any given time. As well as overseas interest in these collections the Museum undertakes an extensive research program based on these collections. Areas of particular research interest to Museum Scientists, Honoraries and staff includes carpenter bees, water beetles, tenebrionid beetles, ants, robber flies, buprestid beetles, gall midges, plant feeding bugs, bugs and Collembola (Springtails)
An extensive program of research now focusses on Collembola (Springtails). Vanesa Duran Racero (PhD student, Adelaide Uni) is focussing on Collembola as surrogates for total biodiversity. The study will significantly add baseline information required for conservation of forests and its biota and aid in monitoring ecosystem health in relation to future climate change.
DNA barcoding Collembola
Significant progress has been made towards 'DNA barcoding' of animal species using a segment of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene (COI) and our international project BCCOLL (within Barcoding of Life) has shown the technique to work extremely well for Collembola.
Biodiversity and population genetics of groundwater calcrete ecosystems of central. A. Austin, S. Cooper, W Humphreys, M Harvey, M. Stevens.
This project will lead to documentation of a unique subterranean ecosystem of world acclaim, representing a significant component of the biodiversity of the Australian arid zone. It will further contribute to sustainable management of groundwater ecosystems and provide information that can be used to predict and monitor how future water use and climate change may impact on these ecosystems. Results generated will provide the knowledge base required to improve the efficiency and scientific rigour of the environmental review process for major resource projects, leading to economic benefits to the mining and environmental consultancy industries, and to Australia in general.
A Model Ecosystem for New Zealand: Pilot Project
Collaborative project funded through the Allan Wilson Centre
Personnel: Alexei Drummond, Thomas Buckley, Richard Newcomb, Nicola Nelson, Craig Millar, Nigel French, Mark Stevens, James Russell, Matt Renner, Jo Hoare, Dave Towns and Iwi collaborators.
We describe a pilot project to test the feasibility of phylogenetically and environmentally characterizing every species in a well-defined New Zealand Model Ecosystem using modern sequencing, informatics, distribution modelling and field ecology approaches. The project will involve collaboration with the Department of Conservation, and provide a long-term research programme structure for collaborative, interdisciplinary research projects at the intersection of ecology, evolutionary biology and genomics.