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

Recent highlights include:


2 December

Six summer scholarship students commence their 12-week research projects under the supervision of Kings Park Science scientists.

11 November

Nicole Bezemer submits her PhD on 'Sex on the rocks: genetic structure, pollen dispersal and mating patterns in Eucalyptus caesia'. This research is part of the broader genetic consequences of vertebrate pollination project.

10 November

PhD student Michael Just publishes a paper with Drs David Merritt, Shane Turner and colleagues in Australian Journal of Botany on the germination biology of the Albany pitcher plant, Cephalotus follicularis.

6 November

Drs Siegy Krauss, Janet Anthony and colleagues publish a paper showing that restored populations of Melaleuca acuminata are comparable to natural remnant populations for genetic diversity, mating system and reproductive output.

29 October

A new paper published in Plant Ecology on Eucalyptus caesia by Nicole Bezemer and colleagues finds no evidence for early inbreeding depression in planted seedlings.

23 October

Dr Matt Barrett co-authors a paper in Nature on the one thousand transcriptome project, which provides a new robust framework for examining the evolution of green plants.

10 October

Dr Wolfgang Lewandrowski and colleagues from Federation University, and University of Melbourne published a new paper in AoB Plants on the germination sensitivity of species to water stress in ecosystems with unpredictable rainfall.

9 October

New paper published in Molecular Ecology by PhD student Nicole Bezemer and colleagues finds divergent consequences for pollen dispersal and mating in different populations of Eucalyptus caesia.

6 October

Amber Bateman and Dr Miriam Munoz-Rojas attended and presented at the Soil Organic Matter 2019 Conference in Adelaide.

27 September

Bronwyn Ayre submits her PhD on 'The critical role of birds as pollinators of the Red and Green Kangaroo Paw Anigozanthos manglesii'. This research is part of the broader genetic consequences of vertebrate pollination project.

24 September

Kings Park Science research was presented and symposiums were hosted at the Society for Ecological Restoration Conference in South Africa, and was attended by Drs Todd Erickson, Carole Elliott, Vanessa Brown, Alison Ritchie, Ebony Cowan, Bahram Mirfakhraei and Ben Miller.

20 September

Dr Carole Elliott attended the Mount Mulanje Cedar Restoration Project workshop in Malawi, led by the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), Global Trees Campaign, Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust and the Forestry Research Institute of Malawi.

15 September

New paper published in Restoration Ecology on the use of bio-priming seed with cyanobacteria for restoration, by Drs Miriam Munoz-Rojas, Todd Erickson and David Merritt and colleagues.

10 September

Dr Wolfgang Lewandrowski and colleagues from Federation University, and University of Melbourne published a paper on seed traits from dominant dryland plant species in south-western NSW in PLOS|ONE.

29 August

Dr Ben Miller co-authors results from a large international collaboration across Mediterranean climate regions reporting on a survey of researchers, NGO’s, industry, government and consulting experts seeking to identify research priorities across 10 research themes.

20 August

Ben Miller co-authors a framework for developing mine-site completion criteria in Western Australia.

6 August

New paper published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution by Russell Miller and colleagues reviews the mechanisms of fire seasonality effects on plant populations.

Dr Olga Kildisheva publishes a new paper that optimises physiological dormancy break in cold desert perennials to improve restoration outcomes.

Dr Todd Erickson ran the Pilbara Rehabilitation Form at the University of Western Australia, that was attended by people from Industry, Government, Academic & Private sectors.

29 July

David Merritt attends the International Society for Seed Science Seed Ecology VI conference in Regensburg, Germany to present on Kings Park Science’s seed enhancement research that is contributing to improved seed handling practices for restoration.

21 July

Dr Siegy Krauss attended the International Conference for Conservation Biology (ICCB), and presented on 'Measuring and managing genetic erosion in plant translocation: lessons from 20 years of recovering Grevillea scapigera'.

2 July

PhD student Nicole Bezemer publishes new research showing that conservation of old individual trees and small populations are integral to maintain species’ genetic diversity.

28 June

Siegy Krauss and colleagues publish an assessment of genetic diversity and mating system of Acacia cyclops in restoration and remnant populations.

22 June

PhD student Amber Bateman published a new paper showing that water availability drives the effectiveness of inorganic amendments to increase plant growth.

21 June

PhD student Bronwyn Ayre publishes new research showing that the bird-pollinated Anigosanthos manglesii has near-neighbour optimal outcrossing.

20 June

Drs Todd Erickson and David Merritt, as part of a team from University of Western Australia, co-authored a paper on how practitioner perceptions into the future design of mechanical direct seeders for native seeds needs to factored into restoration.

1 June

Bianca Berto (UWA) submitted her Honours thesis 'Seed enhancement technologies applied in combination improves germination and handling in two Australian natives grasses', supervised by Todd Erickson and Alison Ritchie. 

Emma Stock (Murdoch) submitted her MSc thesis 'Experimenting with modified extruded seed pellets for large scale mine rehabilitation', supervised by Rachel Standish, Todd Erickson, Miriam Muñoz-Rojas and Richard Bell.

27 May

Joshua Kestel (UWA) submitted his honours thesis 'Genetic consequences of bird pollination for the common catspaw (Anigozanthos humilis)', supervised by Dr Siegy Krauss and Dr Janet Anthony.

16 May

Drs Carole Elliott, Wolfgang Lewandrowski, Ben Miller, Matt Barrett and Shane Turner publish new research on the identification of germination opportunities for threatened plants species in episodic ecosystems.

10 May

Drs Emma Dalziell, Bryn Funnekotter, David Merritt and colleagues from Curtin University publish new research on the seed storage behaviour of Nymphaea species.

7 May

New paper published in Restoration Ecology by PhD student Vanessa Brown and colleagues addresses seed pelleting solutions for restoring natural plant communities.

6 May

New research on demographic, seed and microsite limitations to seedling recruitment in semi-arid mine site restoration published by Dr Lucy Commander and colleagues.

16 April

PhD student Amber Bateman published a new paper on the effects of inorganic soil amendments on seedling performance in post-mining arid zone rehabilitation.

12 April

Dr Peter Golos publishes research finding that mixing waste rock from mining can improve micro-site potential and seedling emergence from broadcast seeds in an arid environment.

28 March

Dr Ben Anderson publishes a new paper that identifies recent range expansion for spinifex in response to increasing aridification.

27 March

Dr Alison Ritchie publishes new research showing that wide outcrossing and pollination by nectar-feeding birds provides functional connectivity for new and old Banksia populations within a fragmented urban landscape.

13 March

PhD student Jessica Huss publishes a paper detailing the remarkable insulating capacity of Banksia seed pods and their role in protecting seeds against fire. This is the third and final paper of Jessica's thesis and forms part of a collaborative project between Dr David Merritt and Dr Ben Miller and the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Germany.

5 March

PhD student Nicole Bezemer was awarded best student paper in 2018 by the Australian Journal of Botany for her sole-authored paper 'Wild seedlings of a tree endemic on granite outcrops show no evidence of inbreeding depression'.

21 February

Digging deeper into the formation of Australia Fairy Circles. Dr Stephan Getzin and colleagues, including Dr Todd Erickson and Dr Miriam Muñoz-Rojas from Kings Park Science, publish a new paper in Ecosphere providing new evidence on the cause of this unique, large-scale hexagonal pattern of Pilbara spinifex.


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Connect to protect your bike

Did you know more than 9,000 bicycles are reported stolen in Western Australia each year?

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WA has its say about Kings Park

Western Australia has returned a glowing report card to Kings Park via a community survey conducted early in 2020, with clear expectations for the park’s role in conserving the State’s flora and supporting the health of the community in its future management.

Invitation to comment

The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority is seeking community feedback on the Draft Kings Park and Botanic Garden Management Plan 2021-2025 that will guide park management over the next five years.

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