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Entomological Society of Queensland

Below are several notices regarding funding opportunities available, including the 2024 ESQ Student Award ($500), the 2024 ESQ Small Grants Scheme ($2000) and two grants from Moths and Butterflies Australasia (MABA): the Australian Lepidoptera Research Endowment (up to $4,500) and the MABA Diversity Fund Early Career Research Grant ($40,000).

$500 ESQ Student Award 2024

This is an award by the Society to encourage entomological research. Honours, Diploma and 4th year Degree students who received their qualification from any Queensland tertiary education institution in 2022 OR 2023 may submit their entomology-based thesis or report for consideration. Entrants need not be Society members. Entries are judged by a panel of three entomologists appointed by the President of the Society. The winner will be announced at the May General Meeting (8 May 2024) and is then invited to present a summary of their research at the June Notes and Exhibits meeting (11 June 2024) of the Society. The option of giving the presentation via Zoom is available.

Please note, a hard copy of your thesis/report does not need to be submitted, and the submission of a PDF version is encouraged. This should be emailed together with a signed copy of the completed entry form to the secretary at: secretary AT esq.org.au.

Closing date: Friday, 5 April 2024.

$2,000 Small Grants Scheme

The small grants scheme is available each year to support entomology-related projects up to $2000.

– Applicants must be financial members of ESQ.
– Projects must be undertaken in the 12 months from July of the year of submission to the following June.
– Projects are to be undertaken in Australia.
– Preference is given to stand-alone projects rather than as top-ups to existing projects.
– Submissions will be reviewed, then successful applicants will be notified in June in order to start their project in July.
– Recipients are required to provide a one-page report at the project mid-point; a presentation at a Notes & Exhibits meeting is encouraged but not required.
– A written summary of research findings, project outcomes and a financial acquittal are required at the end of the project.

For more details see the ESQ website: https://www.esq.org.au/awards.html

Closing date: 30 April 2024.

(up to) $4,500 Australian Lepidoptera Research Endowment 2024

We are pleased to announce our annual grants of up to A$4,500 from the Perpetual Foundation – Australian Lepidoptera Research Endowment (ALRE) for the financial year July 2024 to June 2025, and we are inviting applications. Because we did not disburse any funds last year larger projects will be considered subject to discussion.

Eligibility: Any lepidopterist, amateur or professional, working on the Australian fauna, is eligible to apply for any of the activities considered for support, as listed on the MABA website: https://maba.org.au/alre/home/

To be eligible, grants can be handled only by organisations that hold Australian Taxation Office Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR1) endorsement (covered by Item 1 of the table in section 30-15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997). Further documentation may be requested during the selection process to confirm an organisation’s eligibility. The ANIC may be able to handle grants for overseas applicants.

The application form can be found on the MABA website: https://maba.org.au/alre/grants/ and should be submitted by 1 March 2024 by email to Marianne.Horak AT csiro.au. For further information please visit the MABA website: https://maba.org.au/alre/home/ or contact Marianne Horak directly (Marianne.Horak AT csiro.au or tel. 0417494389.

$40,000 MABA Diversity Fund Early Career Research Grant

We are pleased to announce an inaugural grant of A$40,000 for the MABA Biodiversity Fund for this calendar year. The grant is specifically to support early career scientists (within 5 years of completing their Ph.D., M.Sc., or equivalent degree) engaged in projects that emphasise the biodiversity conservation, systematics and ecological interactions of moths.

The successful applicant will be notified by 31 March 2024. For further information on the background, eligibility criteria, details, submission guidelines, review process and reporting requirements please visit the MABA website: https://maba.org.au/grants/available_grants/biodiversity_fund/ and navigate to the header “Call for Grant Applications 2024”. Applications must be submitted to Michael Braby (secretary AT maba.org.au).

Closing date: 1 March, 2024.

Astronomical Association of Queensland

The Edward Corbould Research Fund of the AAQ was established in 1987 with a grant of $50,000. The fund is to support research projects by amateur astronomers. The Association welcomes interest from secondary school students and amateur astronomers who would like to contribute to astronomy, but are unsure about how to prepare a research proposal. Be not afraid! We have experienced amateur astronomical researchers who would be only too happy to assist you. Make contact with AAQ and we can discuss what is possible.

Queensland Frog Society’s Public Trust Fund

Students and researchers from secondary and tertiary institutes can apply for grants through this fund. These grants fund research projects that aim to uncover valuable information and help better understand Queensland’s frogs, which would not be possible without financial support from the fund. Details can be found on the Ric Nattrass Research Grant page of the QFS website.

Australian Academy of Science Grant opportunities from the Australian Academy of Science.

Australian Wildlife Society University Grants.

Australian Citizen Science Association

Many citizens cience projects generate information that should be preserved and made widely available, but don’t necessarily meet the restrictive criteria for scholarly scientific publication. Citizen scientists and naturalists can browse the attached guide Publishing Opportunities on how to choose an outlet for their material. For more detail see the page on Sharing Scientific Information

Would you like to publish your citizen science research in an open access journal for maximum public benefit but can’t quite afford the fees? There are no author charges to publish in the Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland, an open access journal.

Commonwealth Government Grant opportunities from the Commonwealth Government.

Landcare

The periodic newsletter of Queensland Water and Land Carers includes announcements of grants in the landcare and environmental restoration fields.


Leaflet No. 63 of the Commonwealth’s Forestry and Timber Bureau, Illustrations of the Buds and Fruits of Eucalyptus Species with an Alphabetical Index is a classic work, widely consulted by botanists and bushlovers in its day. It covers 486 species and varieties. It was issued over the name of M.R. Jacobs, Director-General, as was the custom in those days. This version is the Fourth Edition, published in June 1962, of 18.6 MB.

This page presents the findings of several programs aimed at capturing knowledge about the condition and trend of Australia’s pastoral lands. For policy documents such as the Draft National Rangelands Strategy, see the website of The Royal Society of Queensland.

Here we will reproduce documents published under the historical programs of The Australian Collaborative Rangelands Information System (ACRIS) and the National Land and Water Resources Audit (NLWRA), along with a contemporary program GEOGLAM.


ACRIS

The Australian Collaborative Rangelands Information System (ACRIS) retains a website which states that it derived from a proposal by the National Land and Water Resources Audit:

“Extreme climatic variability in the rangelands makes it difficult to separate change resulting from seasonal climate variation from that driven by human activities. New ground in documenting change and its causes has been broken by the creation of the Australian Collaborative Rangeland Information System (ACRIS), which was first mooted in the 2001 report, Tracking Changes in the Rangelands. The ACRIS represents a new and important contribution to rangeland management and capacity to monitor change through scientifically rigorous data and information.”

Rangelands – Tracking Changes: A summary of the proposal for monitoring Australia’s rangelands (2.6 MB) was a summary report of 11 pages, 2001. 

It appears that this information system has not been active for several years or at least is not readily available. The DCCEEW rangelands/ACRIS website was last updated on 10 October 2021. With governments’ piecemeal approaches to the management of rangelands, manifestly inadequate given the wide-ranging implications of climate change, there is still a powerful need for an extensive rangeland information system.

The ABC published an informative story in 2014: “Acris-rangelands-funding-cut” (live link) or captured version (PDF). It ought to be a public scandal that tools like this suffer budget cuts. However, by that date, some immensely valuable reports had been produced.

ACRIS report: Rangelands – Tracking Changes

175+ page Rangelands- Tracking Changes, September 2001. BibID: 419563  CALL NUMBER: NMT 4566 ISBN: 0642371148

QSN thanks the National Library of Australia for unearthing this significant document. This material has been provided pursuant to section 49 of the Copyright Act 1968 for the purpose of research or study. The Library has advised that this work is under copyright. No part may be reproduced by any process without the written permission of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Note: As the original file is 283 MB, it has been split into several parts and “optimised” with some loss of crispness.

Summary (2.6 MB)

Pages 1-50, 38 MB (actual pages front cover-34)

Pages 50-100, 49 MB (actual pages numbers 34-84)

Pages 100-150, 43 MB (actual pages numbers 84-134)

Pages 150-196, 29 MB (actual pages numbers 134-175+)

Appendices- data reconstructed from accompanying CD.

The Australian Collaborative Rangelands Information System (ACRIS): Reporting Change in the Rangelands. 2013.

 

ACRIS contemporary website (as at 3 October 2021): Reporting Change in the Rangelands.


NLWRA

To come.


ATBA

The National Land and Water Resources Audit also initiated the Australian  Terrestrial Biodiversity Assessment, 2002.


Contemporary GEOGLAM program

Around 2018 CSIRO and its program collaborators launched an interactive map and other tools to provide real time condition and trend data (monthly reporting) – including fractional differentiation of cover into photosynthesising vegetation (PV), non-photosynthesising vegetation (NPV) and bare soil with rangelands firmly in focus. Amazingly, it all launches on an iPhone4s proving that the Data61 hosting addresses access and operability issues of sophisticated systems that are often stymied by many factors (including people refusing to get new technology every couple of years to keep up with ‘security’ etc).

This rangelands-focussed toolkit was funded out of the Australian National Landcare Program.

The GEOGLAM RaPP platform keys into user needs at the local level (500m resolution); scalable for global monitoring purposes, providing spatial and other data outputs.

1. Program

https://www.csiro.au/en/research/animals/livestock/RAPP-Map-GEOGLAM

2. Interactive tool here showing spatial extent of fractional cover (monthly) , rainfall (monthly) and a suite of other factors or attributes.

https://map.geo-rapp.org/

3. Explanatory document Monitoring groundcover: an online tool for Australian regions https://publications.csiro.au/publications/publication/PIcsiro:EP187950  or access the document via the QSN database.


  

Male Thaumastocorid bug from Norfolk Island.  Anthony Postle, from fruiting inflorescence of Rhopalostylis baueri ©

Dr Geoff Monteith, a member of The Royal Society of Queensland since 1964 – nearly 60 years – with two co-authors has recently published a description of a species of bug endemic to the rainforests of Norfolk Island. The paper is titled:

“Hiding among the palms: the remarkable discovery of a new palm bug genus and species (Insecta: Heteroptera: Thaumastocoridae: Xylastodorinae) from remote Norfolk Island; systematics, natural history, palm specialism and biogeography.”

It is open access and can be downloaded freely from the doi address https://doi.org/10.1071/IS23040 (15MB) or from the QSN Database.

This latest publication is only the latest in a long string  of Dr Monteith’s achievements in taxonomy. The ABC article https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-04/scientist-geoff-monteith-ranked-alongside-charles-darwin/12726162 is self explanatory and outlines the international recognition that Geoff Monteith has received for his entomological work.

Membership of a knowledge society reaps dividends

Dr Monteith joined The Royal Society of Queensland in 1964 when he first started work in the Entomology Department of the University of Queensland. In 2024, he will have been a member for 60 years. He has written “Most of other staff of that Department were members and we went to most of the monthly evening meetings…as a matter of course.” This observation is testament to the value of joining a scientific or natural history society. In 2021, his network with the Royal Society was able to support him in his fieldwork on Norfolk Island.

A world of invertebrates is waiting to be discovered

Steven Heard, author of Charles Darwin’s Barnacle and David Bowie’s Spider, https://scientistseessquirrel.wordpress.com/charles-darwins-barnacle/, the book referenced in the ABC article above, has authorised QSN to publish the following extract:

“There are far more insect species than plant species needing names: perhaps half a million living plant species (400,000 of them named so far) compared to—well, we don’t know quite what to compare it to. There are at least two million living insect species, quite likely ten million, and possibly as many as 100 million. Of course, only a little under a million of them have been described and named so far; but still, entomologists have had a lot to work with. Sure enough, at least two entomologists have joined the 200-eponyms club: Willy Kuschel and Geoffrey Monteith. …Willy Kuschel (1918–2017) worked in Chile and New Zealand studying the weevils… 

“Geoffrey Monteith is the most recent name on my list of contenders, and the only one still active in science—and this makes his place in the field a bit surprising. Humboldt, Wallace, Pringle, and the rest have had a long time to accumulate eponymously named species. With the possible exception of Steyermark and Kuschel, they also worked at times when much of the world was just being opened up to Western biological exploration—exploration in which they all played notable parts. In comparison, Monteith is a babe in arms. He’s an Australian entomologist, born in 1942, but already with 225 species and 15 genera named for him. This avalanche of namings seems, largely, to reflect two facets of Monteith’s career. First, he’s been curator of two of Australia’s largest museum collections of insects and invertebrates, and in that position enthusiastically sent collections off to expert taxonomists who would sort and identify them—invariably discovering in those drawers and boxes species new to science, and often naming some of them for Monteith. Second, like Kuschel he collected thousands upon thousands of specimens himself, leading expeditions into the mountains of North Queensland and New Caledonia at a time when their faunas were virtually unknown to Western science—remnants of the scientifically untrampled ground the whole world had been when Wallace and Darwin and the Hookers were busily amassing their collections. As Monteith puts it: 

I was a field-oriented biologist at a time when there were many unknown mountains to climb. I had a bunch of people over the years who absolutely loved, like me . . . busting our guts to get to new places, loved camping light to make room for collecting gear in our packs, loved squatting around a little fire under a nylon fly cooking our dinner while the rain sprayed in and soaked our bums . . . loved spraying mossy tree trunks and seeing an unknown fauna of tiny critters tumble down. . . . Every one of those very old tropical mountains in north Queensland had a whole unknown fauna of strange insects and arachnids. . . . And when we had almost exhausted those mountains the opportunity came to go to New Caledonia . . . and we found a similarly uncollected bunch of even higher, wet, tropical mountains stretching the 500 mile length of that bizarre and isolated island.

“Naming a new species for its collector is a common thing, and Monteith had the drive and the opportunity to collect a lot of new species.”

Now if that story doesn’t stimulate the reader to take up science or natural history and head bush, then join one of QSN member bodies and surround yourself with people who will inspire you to do just that.


The Australian Terrestrial Biodiversity Assessment 2002 combined the knowledge of State and Territory agencies on biodiversity and its management. It assessed the trend and condition of wetlands, riparian areas, threatened species, threatened ecosystems, birds, mammals and key values associated with eucalypts and acacias across Australia. The report identified threatening processes and conservation issues at a regional scale and made suggestions for improved biodiversity management.

The Australian Terrestrial Biodiversity Assessment 2002 has been captured by the National Library’s web archiving service of Trove: https://webarchive.nla.gov.au/awa/20110602044946/http://www.anra.gov.au/topics//vegetation/pubs/biodiversity/bio_assess_contents.html.

Home page www.nlwra.gov.gov.au Published by National Land and Water Biodiversity Audit. ISBN: 0 0642 3713137 7. Senior Authors / Editors Paul Sattler and Colin Creighton.

The ATBA was driven by two Queensland scientists, Paul Sattler and Colin Creighton. It was a program of the pioneering National Land and Water Resources Audit. The Audit ran from 1997 to 2008, but suffered an untimely end, chronicled in an article by David Marlow in volume 124 of the Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland.

Paul Sattler OAM, member of The Royal Society of Queensland, has written for QSN:

The Australian Terrestrial Biodiversity Assessment was published in 2002 by the Natural Land and Water Resources Audit and represented the final report into the condition of a range of natural resources nation- wide. The total Audit’s worth was in excess of $52 million including all partnerships, a not insignificant investment at the time. It is considered that the biodiversity assessment enjoyed at least $2 million of in-kind support from the states and territories in addition to the $1 million in cash provided by the federal government. The enthusiasm for a nation-wide biodiversity assessment was noteworthy.

Unfortunately, the opportunity for continuation of a program to assess and monitor the on-going condition and trend of Australia’s natural resources was not supported.

The framework to carry out a nation-wide biodiversity assessment within a constrained 12 month timeframe was the newly completed biogeographical classification of Australia by Gethin Morgan and others. The delineation of bioregions with their component sub-regions provided a practical scale to assess the condition and trend of biodiversity and the relative significance of threatening processes. This assessment also included technical contributions by CSIRO and state researchers into evaluating various taxa as examples of how biodiversity values could be further considered. The assessment relied upon the extensive information held by state and territory governments, with much data based on observational records.

Fourteen case studies on how biodiversity planning might be approached at a regional scale were presented. These case studies were stratified across dissimilar bioregions and subregions. Overall, the Audit’s assessment provided a valuable input for natural resource management bodies and local governments to consider in regional planning.

The nation-wide information collected by the Audit’s biodiversity assessment was used extensively in the preparation of the statutory Australian State of Environment reports over two reporting periods.

The Executive Summary (page V) identifies the range of biodiversity elements assessed. In hindsight, the significance of climate change did not receive the attention that it now demands.

The original Audit’s assessment report on terrestrial biodiversity is available through Trove’s web archiving service (see above).  The Royal Society of Queensland is endeavouring to obtain a PDF. In the meantime, the online  version allows easy access and affords an opportunity for longitudinal assessment of biodiversity trends at the landscape scale.

The summary report was supported by an Atlas which was linked to easily access biodiversity information on each bioregion and sub-region across Australia. The original Atlas data base is currently lost!

Paul Sattler OAM Co-author


The Royal Society of Queensland collaborated with the SEQ Community Alliance to host a public event on Saturday 21 October to examine Queensland’s planning systems and in particular whether they are fit for purpose in an era of climate change.

In addition, the Society has opened the pages of a themed Special Issue of its peer-reviewed journal the Proceedings of The Royal Society of Queensland, which has been in continuous publication since 1884, to the subject.

Papers submitted for volume 133 of the Proceedings (in any one of a range of formats, not just research articles), prior to 31 December 2023 may be eligible for the $1000 the David Marlow Writing Prize.

See flyer for this event for more details. Background readings including the President’s introduction are accessible on the Society’s dedicated page. Presentations from the event are available on the SEQ Community Alliance’s webpage.

The QSN website doesn’t normally monitor social media, but the risk of catastrophe in the gas fields through out of control wildfires is an issue that has not received much public attention. This article posted in QSN’s LinkedIn feed deserves wide publicity. For more information and for a regular feed of general science news, join the QSN LinkedIn account.

The late Dr Jim Galletly earned his doctorate for a study of the baseflow in the aquifers in the Lockyer Valley west of Brisbane and his research contradicted the conventional wisdom. An abstract has been published by The Royal Society of Queensland.

In addition to that abstract, QSN has uncovered a summary of his doctoral research, with more detail than the abstract.

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