We had a fantastic time at the recent conference for the Australian Society of Herpetologists in South Australia. Deb gave a plenary on ‘Herpetology in Freshwater Systems’ and spoke about our study systems in different catchments through the Murray-Darling Basin and Cooper Creek. We presented recent research in a symposium on ‘Successes and short-comings in Freshwater Turtle Ecology and Conservation’, which was an opportunity for Honours student Jess York to talk about her recent success using basking platforms to survey for baby turtles, as well as highlighting our research on demography in Murray River turtles among different basins by Don McKnight, outcomes from the Special Expert Assessment Panel presented by Arthur Georges, and our citizen science project by James Van Dyke. We also held a prioritization discussion to discuss opportunities in future.


Master of Science student Trish Flores talks about her research on the Conservation of Blue-tailed skinks on Cocos Island


23 May 2021. World turtle day. PhD student Lou Streeting talks about her work helping to conserve the threatened Bell’s turtle View video here



11 March 2021. Masters student Razzaq Sarker gave an interview on his researchon frogs and environmental water

Read more here









7 March 2021. Dr Debbie Bower gave a podcast on ABC’s Ockham’s Razor about her work as a rockstar Ecologist with adventures in Papua New Guinea and with Tequila

Listen here










25 August 2020.  PhD Student Lou Streeting gave a 3 minute thesis on her research saving the threatened Bell’s Turtles

View video here


25th May 2020. Dr Debbie Bower appeared on ABC’s country hour talking about biodiversity and productivity in farm dams. Debbie and her team will test water quality and check for the presence of native species (including macro-invertebrates, fish, reptiles and frogs) in farm dams that are managed under a range of conditions and compare this to naturally occurring wetlands. They will also conduct experiments at the UNE SMART Farms to compare when dams are accessed by cattle and when they are not, to determine whether improved water quality correlates with improved livestock productivity.Debbie is looking for property owners in the New England region of NSW to work with comparing fenced and unfenced dams. Read more here

19th May 2020. PhD student Grant Webster presented his research proposal on ‘The ecology of the newly described and endangered frog, Uperoleia mahonyi’. The University of New England – Higher Degree Research Committee found Grant’s project to be significant and his progress sufficient to confirm his candidature. Grant’s project focuses on a flashy frog that was only described in 2016 by his supervisor Simon Clulow. It has since been listed as endangered nationally. Grant will use a combination of ecological and genetic techniques to test the applicability of current methods for determining occupancy of threatened frogs and to assess specific threats to Mahonyi’s toadlet. Read more here