Issue 8
Monday, 05 October 2020
Charles Darwin University
One of the finalists is a team which aims to solve environmental management problems in Kakadu National Park
One of the finalists is a team which aims to solve environmental management problems in Kakadu National Park

CDU researchers take places as Eureka finalists

By Leanne Miles

Charles Darwin University researchers are part of two teams announced as finalists in categories of the prestigious Australian Museum Eureka Prizes.

The Cat Ecology, Impact and Management Team led by CDU’s Professor John Woinarski in partnership with researchers from the Australian National University and the University of Sydney is a finalist in the Prize for Applied Environmental Research.

The team includes Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods researchers Hayley Geyle, Dr Alyson Stobo-Wilson, Dr Hugh Davies and Associate Professor Brett Murphy. Through the Threatened Species Recovery Hub of the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program (NESP) the team is investigating the impacts of feral cats on Australian wildlife  and looking at ways to reduce this impact.

“On average, each day cats are killing over 3.1 million mammals, 1.8 million reptiles and 1.3 million birds in Australia,” Professor Woinarski said. “Many of Australia’s native species at risk of extinction unless the problem of cats in Australia is solved.” 

CDU-CSIRO Responsible Innovation Research Fellow Dr Jennifer Macdonald is part of the Kakadu NESP team working to solve complex environmental management problems in Kakadu National Park who are finalists in the Prize for STEM Inclusion. 

The Indigenous-led science to monitor Kakadu project is unique, mixing responsible artificial intelligence and modern science with traditional knowledge to care for animal species and habitats. 

The Northern Institute researcher said the project aims to ensure that Indigenous knowledge is protected appropriately.

“We need to make sure Indigenous knowledge is used appropriately to guide management decisions, and that we weave science, including AI, so that together, we can deliver healthy country outcomes,” Dr Macdonald said.

The project led by Cathy Robinson at CSIRO is a partnership through the NESP Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub, and brings together Kakadu Traditional Owners and Indigenous Rangers, Microsoft, Parks Australia, The University of Western Australia, and CDU.