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Welcome to

Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods

Why choose RIEL?

  • 'Outstanding performance' in environmental science and management​, and ecology​

    2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) ranking: 5

  • Performance above world standard in ecological applications

    2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) ranking: 4


  • RIEL is ranked ‘High’ in engagement, impact and approach to impact

    2018 Engagement and Impact assessment (EI)​ ranking: High



Postgraduate study

Consultancy services

Sam Banks, head and shoulders, with green vegetation behind
Professor Sam Banks

Director's message

Welcome to the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods. We host and offer internationally significant research initiatives, postgraduate study and consultancy services related to natural and human systems in northern Australia and neighbouring regions.

Our teaching and research excellence, collaborative approach, and dynamic staff and students are making a RIEL difference across the region.

I feel privileged to be supporting such achievements at this important time for the north and hope to work with you soon.

- RIEL Director, Prof. Sam Banks

Find out more about RIEL (PDF, 857.2 KB)

Our research areas

Biodiversity conservation

Communities and livelihoods

Savanna and arid ecology

Water and catchments

Undergraduate study

Many of our world-class researchers also teach into the Environmental Science bachelors degree and other programs. If you are interested in studying environmental science as an undergraduate or honours student, watch this video and then find out how to apply for CDU's Science, Environmental Science and Management courses.

How to apply

RIEL news

  • New study looking into the movement and social habits of the iconic Thorny Devils

    School students inspire study into Central Australia’s infamous Thorny Devils

    A Central Australian researcher from Charles Darwin University is analysing the social behaviour and physiology of Australia’s Thorny Devil to answer unexplained questions about the iconic creature.

    Read more
  • Alyson Malpartida in grass with white bucket

    Ants and innovation: using insect genetics to assess ecosystem restoration

    A new research project at Charles Darwin University aims to take a genetic approach to using insects as indicators of ecosystem restoration

    Read more
  • reptiles

    More than one in five reptile species threatened with extinction globally

    New international research shows more than one in five reptile species are threatened with extinction globally, with Australia being a new priority region for better conservation efforts.

    Read more