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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

     

Research

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

  • Thousands of new species of ants from the monsoonal tropics have been discovered by researchers at Charles Darwin University (CDU), making ant populations in Northern Australia some of the most diverse in the world. Photo: Francois Brassard

    Researchers discover hundreds of new ant species in Northern Australia’s tropics

    Thousands of new species of ants from the monsoonal tropics have been discovered by researchers at Charles Darwin University (CDU), making ant populations in Northern Australia some of the most diverse in the world.

  • CDU Ecology researcher from the Research Institute of Environment and Livelihoods Dr Christine Schlesinger is leading field studies to help safeguard the longevity of river red gums in Central Australia.

    Buffel grass risk to ancient trees explored in Central Australia

    Long-term research at Charles Darwin University (CDU) could help safeguard the longevity of river red gums that have figured in the arid riverine woodlands of Central Australia for hundreds of years. 

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  • Front of turtle with head and leg extended from shell with bush in background

    Ensuring food safety in Freshwater Turtles

    The Finniss River floodplain Long-necked turtles have been hunted and eaten by the local first nations people for a long time. Recently, local hunters have noticed that the turtles seem to have become more difficult to find and their meat appears to look and taste different. 

    Read more