Queensland's Citizen Science Hub


This Bird of the Month is presented by Dr. William Feeney, a research fellow at the University of Queensland. The interactions between cuckoos and their hosts form part of Will’s current research.

The Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Cacomantis flabelliformis) is one of Australia’s ten brood parasitic cuckoos (eleven if you include the Oriental Cuckoo [Cuculus optatus]; though, this species does not breed in Australia) and is common throughout Queensland’s woodlands. It visually resembles the closely-related Brush (C. variolosus) and Chestnut-breasted (C. castaneiventris) Cuckoos, and can be distinguished from the Brush Cuckoo through the presence of its conspicuous yellow eye ring, and from the Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo through its noticeably duller breast colouration. The Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo is also restricted in its distribution to northern Queensland. While over 70 songbird species have been recorded to be parasitised by the Fan-tailed Cuckoo, 17 species are recognised as biological hosts but the majority of parasitism records are from the White-browed Scrubwren (Sericornis frontalis) as well as the Brown (Acanthiza pusilla) and Inland (A. apicalis) Thornbills Continue reading

The Royal Society of Queensland proposes to publish a Special Issue of its venerable Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland on the springs of the Great Artesian Basin late in 2019.

People with knowledge to share are warmly invited to contact the Guest Editor. An author does not need to be a credentialled scientist: contributions from naturalists, landholders and Indigenous people are also invited. Further details are available on the Society’s website.

From Arnhem Land Expedition 1948 to 2018 – A life’s work

With editorial assistance from Royal Society of Queensland member Dr David Doley, Life Member Prof Ray Specht has compiled Ray Specht – A Retrospective including a bibliography of some of his published work – more than 220 citations! This overview is a thoroughly fascinating chronology of 70 years of curiosity-led investigation – a history, a memoir, an encapsulation of an immense volume of botanical scholarship, and an index to a lifetime of public interest research, all wrapped into one readable paper. Teachers: use this paper to inspire your students into a scientific vocation.

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The Rainbow Beach based BioBlitz lured 15 experienced scientists and about 80 keen volunteers to scan the sky and treetops, shake branches and grasses over August 24 to 26 to discover the unknown species of pants animals, birds and fish.  But the issue that has grabbed national and international media attention has been the discovery of a variety of miniscule invertebrates from moths to spiders.

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This article briefly explains the value of estuaries and the threats they are facing.

Estuaries – A Primer

Estuaries – once the world’s powerhouse of productivity – are now predominantly the habitat of humans.  Yes, the world’s most productive ecosystems are where tide meets freshwater, a mixing zone of biodiversity and food – of diatoms, phytoplankton, birds, fish and prawns.

Unfortunately globally, these are also now the most trashed systems.  Humans love to live near water, and here in Australia the vast majority of us crowd the coast and fill, drain, divert, dam and occupy what were once our estuaries. Continue reading

Forthcoming Events
all-day 2nd Australian Native Bee Confer... @ St Leo’s College, University of Queensland,
2nd Australian Native Bee Confer... @ St Leo’s College, University of Queensland,
Dec 5 – Dec 7 all-day
Integrating beekeeping, crop pollination, hive products and research Beekeepers, farmers, industry leaders, educators and researchers are invited to share knowledge at the second Australian Native Bee Conference. We will discuss issues required to increase understanding[...]
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