Due to a Total Fire Ban in Perth, access to bushland paths in Kings Park and Bold Park may be affected.

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Science

The Science team undertakes research in native plant biology, underpinning conservation and ecological restoration of Western Australia's unique biodiversity.

Recent highlights include:

11 January 2016

Dr Lucy Commander has co-authored a new paper titled 'Seed germination traits can contribute better to plant community ecology'. This paper describes the functional significance of seed germination traits for plant community ecology. Read more via an external online library.

22 December 2015

Mark Wallace had his PhD thesis entitled 'Polyploidy and genetic diversity in the Lepidosperma costale species complex (Cyperaceae)' passed by the board of the graduate research school at the University of Western Australia. Mark was supervised at Kings Park by Dr Matt Barrett, Prof Siegy Krauss and Prof Kingsley Dixon. Read more about Science Staff.

16 December 2015

Amber Bateman completed her Honours (Conservation Biology) - Ecophysiological responses of arid zone species to novel growth substrates and drought: Implications for restoration success. Supervised by Dr Jason Stevens, Dr Miriam Munoz Rojas, Mr Wolfgang Lewandrowski.

Nahlah Alsuwaiyan completed her Master of Biological Science - Seed priming to induce stress tolerance for restoration. Supervised by Dr Jason Stevens and Dr David Merritt. Read more about Restoration Seedbank Initiative.

7 December 2015

Seven Kings Park summer scholarship students commenced their 12-week placements. These competitive scholarships are advertised in September each year to provide a bridge between undergraduate and postgraduate study at Kings Park. Read more about the scholars of 2015.

3 December 2015

PhD student Ben Anderson won the Pauline Ladiges Prize for best oral presentation by a student at the Australasian Systematic Botany Society Annual Conference in Canberra, for his talk 'Using genotyping by sequencing to resolve evolutionary relationships in a species complex of Australian arid zone grasses (Triodia)'. Ben's research is part of an ARC funded research project on spinifex restoration genetics.

15 November 2015

His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, visited the Biodiversity Conservation Centre as part of the Royal Tour of Australia and New Zealand. During the visit, Prince Charles met with PhD students to discuss their research projects and learn more about BGPA's innovative conservation efforts.

3 November 2015

Dr's Russell and Matthew Barrett describe 50 new Western Australian plant species celebrating the WA Botanic Garden's 50 year anniversary. The Journal of the WA Herbarium – Nuytsia: Western Australia's Journal of Systematic Botany has published these works online. WA boasts one of the highest rates of discovery of new plant species anywhere on Earth and the issue in which 50 new Western Australian species are named represents an outstanding contribution by Kings Park and Botanic Garden staff, particularly by the principal authors Russell and Matthew Barrett.

30 October 2015

Dr David Merritt (BGPA), with colleagues A/Prof Gavin Flematti (UWA), Dr Mark Waters (UWA), Prof Kingsley Dixon (Curtin U) and Prof Maria Perez Fernandez (Universidad Pablo de Olavide Sevilla) were successful in their application for an ARC Discovery grant on 'Smoke-derived karrikins reveal a new pathway for plant development'. Read more about Dr Merritt's research.

16 October 2015

The Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute (WABSI) was officially opened by Premier Colin Barnett at The University of Western Australia. WABSI aims to coordinate and align a state-wide biodiversity knowledge system to remove roadblocks to the responsible advancement and development of Western Australia, while also protecting the State's significant biodiversity assets. WABSI is a co-operative project between founding members: Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, The University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Murdoch University, CSIRO, the West Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife, the Western Australian Museum, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

20 August 2015

Todd Erickson had his PhD thesis entitled 'Seed dormancy and germination traits of 89 arid zone species targeted for mine-site restoration in the Pilbara region of Western Australia' passed by the Board of the graduate research school at the University of Western Australia. Read more about Dr Erickson's work.

29 July 2015

Bryn Funnekotter had his PhD thesis entitled 'The Role of Oxidative Stress in Successful Cryopreservation of South-west Western Australian Plant Species' passed by Curtin University. Read more about cryopreservation research in the Conservation Biotechnology section.

1 July 2015

Dr Ben Miller is appointed as the new Director of Science. Dr Miller replaces Prof Kingsley Dixon, who after 31 years as Director, has accepted a position as professor at Curtin University. More information on Dr Miller can be found on his staff page.

26 June 2015

Belinda Newman, with colleagues, publishes a new paper showing that the widespread orchid Pheladenia deformis utilizes a single, widespread fungus, enabling a widespread distribution despite high specificity. Read more via an external online library.

15 June 2015

Ms Nicole Bezemer commences her new PhD research project under the supervision of Dr Siegy Krauss (BGPA), Prof Steve Hopper (UWA) and Dr Dave Roberts (UWA). Bronwyn's research addresses the evolutionary and conservation consequences of pollination by nectar feeding birds for eucalypts and banksias. Nicole's research contributes to a broader research program addressing bird-pollination with funding from the Australian Research Council Discovery grant.

3 June 2015

Ryan Tangney (Curtin University) commences his PhD under the supervision of Ben Miller (BGPA), David Merritt (BGPA) and Kingsley Dixon (Curtin). Ryan's research will assess how variation of season and fire intensity leads to different seed fates in Banksia woodlands. More information on the Kings Park burn study can be found on the project page.

20 May 2015

The Australian Research Council announces outcomes for the Industrial Transformation Training Centre (ITTC) Scheme for 2015. BGPA researchers were instrumental in crafting an application for an ITTC for Minesite Restoration, which was awarded funding of $4.96M over 5 years. The ITTCMR brings together researchers at BGPA, Curtin University and the University of Western Australia with 7 mining industry partners, and will fund 4 postdoctoral fellowships, 13 PhD scholarships and a centre manager. Read more via Australian Research Council's website.

19 May 2015

Todd Erickson co-authored a paper titled: 'Comparing ecological restoration in South Africa and Western Australia: the benefits of a 'travelling workshop' in Ecological Management and Restoration'. Todd reports on a traveling workshop across several South African and Western Australian biomes to discuss and evaluate the various approaches currently being utilised in ecological restoration. Key findings highlighted the contrasting nature of ecological restoration undertaken in these two ecologically similar but socially and politically different regions. Read more via an external online library.

14 May 2015

Todd Erickson co-authored a paper titled: 'Advances in restoration ecology: rising to the challenges of the coming decades' that was accepted in the journal Ecosphere. 

12 May 2015

Wolfgang Lewandrowski submitted his PhD thesis today through UWA. Wolf's research addressed the interaction between rainfall and seed germination processes in driving seedling establishment for better restoration outcomes in the Pilbara. Read more via UWA's website.

7 May 2015

Dr Ben Miller conducted an experimental burn in Kings Park as part of a research project: Assessing impacts of varying fire and weed management approaches on native species diversity, weed cover and fuel loads in an urban Banksia woodland.

20 April 2015

Alison Ritchie had her PhD thesis entitled 'Ecological and genetic indicators of restoration success' passed by the Board of the graduate research school at UWA. Congratulations Dr Alison Ritchie! Read more via UWA's website.

16 April 2015

Dr Ryan Phillips, Dr Siegy Krauss, Dr Janet Anthony, and Prof Kingsley Dixon co-authored a paper titled 'Mismatch in the distribution of floral ecotypes and pollinators: insights into the evolution of sexually deceptive orchids' in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology 28:601-612. Read more via an external online library.

9 March 2015

Ms Bronwyn Ayre commences her new PhD research project under the supervision of Dr Siegy Krauss (BGPA), Dr Dave Roberts (UWA), Prof Steve Hopper (UWA) and Dr Janet Anthony (BGPA). Bronwyn's research addresses the evolutionary and conservation consequences of pollination by nectar feeding birds for kangaroo paws (Anigozanthos). Bronwyn's research contributes to a broader research program addressing bird-pollination with funding from the Australian Research Council Discovery grant.

The Science team undertakes integrated and innovative research in native plant biology, underpinning conservation and ecological restoration of Western Australia's unique biodiversity, and biodiversity generally. Successful conservation outcomes are achieved through world-class research and strategic alliances with industry, land managers, the community and other research organisations.

Research is focused in the key areas of restoration ecology, seed science, conservation genetics, conservation biotechnology, orchid conservation, and systematics, with a focus on extension to practitioners and land managers.

The Authority has a long history of successful post-graduate student supervision in collaboration with Western Australian universities and contributes to undergraduate teaching, predominantly in conservation biology and restoration ecology.