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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

  • Person crouching on ground holding cage door open, with quoll leaping out

    More Quoll-ity research from RIEL PhD students

    Australia has the worst mammal extinction record of any country and the Northern Quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus) is struggling.

    Read more
  • Two people standing on high rock with green plain in background and sun low in sky

    Learning about livelihoods, business and culture on country: A CDU intensive course

    A small group of lucky Charles Darwin University (CDU) students recently found themselves looking across the majestic Nardab floodplains of the East Alligator River, right on sunset.

    Read more
  • virtual-reality-santos-science-experience

    Inspiring NT school students towards science study and career pathways

    About 100 Northern Territory Year 9 students have spent three days participating in various STEM-related activities and workshops at Charles Darwin University (CDU)’s Casuarina Campus as part of the Santos Science Experience from 21-23 September.

    Read more