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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, 858.17 KB)

RIEL annual report 2022 (PDF, 4.73 MB)

Our research areas

Biodiversity conservation

Communities and livelihoods

Savanna and arid ecology

Water and catchments

Research Institute for Northern Agriculture

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

  • Charles Darwin University (CDU) researchers will investigate the role of women in commercial seafood industry in the Northern Territory.

    Study to explore growing the number of women in the NT seafood industry

    Charles Darwin University (CDU) researchers will investigate ways to grow and retain women working in the Northern Territory’s commercial seafood industry, a sector where worldwide they are significantly underrepresented.

    Read more
  • CDU PhD candidate Adam Rexroade

    From Chicago to the NT: CDU PhD candidate on tropical quest to study carbon unknown

    The Northern Territory’s dusty red tracks are a long way from the city streets of Chicago, but for Charles Darwin University (CDU) PhD candidate Adam Rexroade, his commute to work is far more exciting and adventurous down under.

    Read more
  • The study with Charles Darwin University's Dr Dylan Irvine explored the opportunities and limitations of ChatGPT in hydrological science practices.

    AI could free up time to solve the world’s problems

    A Charles Darwin University (CDU) water expert who uses ChatGPT to analyse hydrological data in a fraction of time says Artificial Intelligence (AI) could allow researchers to dedicate more time to the world’s most pressing problems.

    Read more
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