Free lecture to highlight vital climate change research


Professor Lindsay Hutley will deliver the final Professorial Lecture for 2017

Professor Lindsay Hutley will deliver the final Professorial Lecture for 2017

An environmental expert, who helped establish Australia’s first tropical savanna “SuperSite” in Litchfield National Park, will ask if Northern Australia has a “tipping point” when he delivers the final Charles Darwin University Professorial Lecture for 2017.

Professor Lindsay Hutley has more than two decades of expertise in tropical savannas and will present “From leaves to ecosystems: understanding the impacts and management of global change” on Wednesday, 25 October.

Professor Hutley’s research has provided crucial data for understanding the impacts of fire on carbon storage, energy exchange with the atmosphere, and biodiversity in the Northern Territory.

“Economic and population growth have rapidly increased since the 1950s, with feedback to the atmosphere, geosphere and biosphere now evident at global, regional and local scales,” Professor Hutley said.

“How will Northern landscapes change to increased climate variability or land use? Are they resilient and at what stage do we reach ‘tipping points’, where ecosystems may flip into another state?”

He said scientists played a crucial role in providing policy makers and the public with a firm understanding of the global threats to ecosystem viability and possible sustainable solutions.

“Ecosystems provide fundamental services such as food, fibre and clean water that sustain human societies,” Professor Hutley said.

“Understanding the carbon and water cycles in ecosystems of Northern Australia is vital to underpin future development and for feeding into global climate models.”

Professor Hutley is a plant physiologist with expertise in plant ecology, ecophysiology, ecohydrology, land-atmosphere exchange and soil science. He has held several post-doctoral fellowships at CDU and is now a Professor at the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods (RIEL).

His recent work has focused on quantifying fluxes of carbon, water and energy balance from a range of ecosystems, including mangroves, temperate old-growth forests and eucalypt-dominated tropical savanna ecosystems of North Australia.

The lecture will focus on the research programs underway at RIEL that aim to understand and predict the effects of human impacts with a focus on North Australian ecosystems.

The Professorial Lecture will be held on Wednesday, 25 October from 5:30pm to 7pm in the Charles Darwin Theatre, building Orange 3, Casuarina campus. All welcome, but bookings are essential: RSVP to E: or T: 08 8946 6554. ENDS

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