News: Evolutionary Biology

New citizen science project to create a buzz in rural Australian schools

Butterfly image - Insect Investigators

School students will be able to document their local insect biodiversity and potentially discover new species in their area, as part of a new project led by SA Museum and University of Adelaide scientists.

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Tall Poppy awards for Uni of Adelaide researchers

SA Tall Poppy Award winners from the University of Adelaide. L to R Dr Hannah Wardill, Dr Alice Jones, Dr Catia Malvaso and Dr Dominic McAfee. (Absent: Dr Linda Armbrecht)

Five University of Adelaide researchers have won 2021 South Australian Young Tall Poppy Science Awards.

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How did sugar-eating birds co-evolve with plants that produce nectar?

New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) feeding on nectar of Acorn Banksia (Banksia prionotes). Photograph by Todd J. McWhorter.

Research led by the University of Adelaide has shown, for the first time, that the digestive systems of nectar-eating birds co-evolved with the nectar-composition in flowers.

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Scientists unearth secrets about the evolution of soil-burrowing cockroaches

A giant burrowing cockroach (Macropanesthia rhinoceros), a species commonly bought as a pet that can reach up to eight centimetres long and weigh 30 grams. Image by Yi-Kai Tea

Evolutionary biologists have assessed the phenomenon of parallelism in soil-burrowing cockroaches for the first time.

[Read more about Scientists unearth secrets about the evolution of soil-burrowing cockroaches ]

Coronaviruses have been hijacking human genes for 20,000 years

Coronavirus graphic. Image by Gerd Altmann, from Pixabay.

Humans have been exposed to coronaviruses for more than 20,000 years, according to new University of Adelaide research.

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DNA tracking of timber to increase forest sustainability and integrity

A teak tree is sampling in Laos - Photo by Double Helix Tracking Technologies

University of Adelaide scientists have created a DNA fingerprint map to link teak timber back to its plantation of origin and help reduce the $40 billion illicit trade of timber in the Asia Pacific region.

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Which environments did ancient Aboriginal peoples forage in Australia’s Western Desert?

Habitat suitability model. Excavated rockshelter sites with long archaeological sequences (lime green) include: (1) Karnatukul (Serpent’s Glen), (2) Bushturkey-3, (3) Kaalpi, (4) Puntuntjarpa, (5) Parnkupirti, (6) Puritjarra, (7) Glen Thirsty, (8) Tjungkupu, and (9) Kulpi Mara.

Scientists have used more than two decades of satellite-derived environmental data to suggest the possible foraging habitats of pre-contact Aboriginal peoples living in the Western Desert.

[Read more about Which environments did ancient Aboriginal peoples forage in Australia’s Western Desert?]

On a mission to discover unknown Australian species

Insect collections Braggs labs

New technologies to play vital role in discovering and documenting all unknown Australian species by 2050.

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Scientists use DNA testing to help reduce the illegal export of endangered medicine tree

Cameroon forest aerial photo

The Advanced DNA Identification and Forensics Facility is helping reduce the illegal export of timber, by testing for genetic variation between populations of the endangered African Cherry tree.

[Read more about Scientists use DNA testing to help reduce the illegal export of endangered medicine tree]

They're strange, alien-like creatures from the Flinders Ranges - but how do they eat?

Ediacara Biota P Trusler

University of Adelaide scientists have discovered the feeding mode of Pentaradial Arkarua, a strange, alien-like creature that once roamed the Flinders Ranges.

[Read more about They're strange, alien-like creatures from the Flinders Ranges - but how do they eat?]

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