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Department of Environment and Science

Queensland Government

Science portfolio of the Department of Environment and Science

Department of Environment and Science

Ecosciences projects

Joe Vitelli examines Mexican feather grass.

Joe Vitelli examines Mexican feather grass.

A scientific look at the life and love of weeds

Weeds cost Queensland's farmers about $600 million a year. A research effort led by Biosecurity Queensland Principal Weed Scientist, Joe Vitelli, is providing insights into the life cycle and reproduction of weeds under Queensland conditions. This information is vital to eradication efforts.

Beating the bugs in grain storage

Australia is the fifth largest exporter of wheat worldwide, providing more than 10% of the world's exported wheat market. In Queensland, grain production is valued at about $700 million a year.

However, the industry faces new challenges. In recent years, stored grain pests have developed resistance to traditional chemical controls, putting the country's $7 billion grain industry at risk.

Scientists are looking to devise practical pest management strategies as well as develop effective non-chemical control methods. This research will protect our stored grain and provide Australia with a competitive edge over our main export rivals.

Research helps reduce cattle emissions

Scientists Anita Maguire and Athol Klieve conduct research to help reduce gas emissions by cattle.

Scientists Anita Maguire and Athol Klieve conduct research to help reduce gas emissions by cattle.

The Queensland Enteric Methane Hub, headed by Associate Professor Athol Klieve, is investigating ways to reduce the gas produced by cattle. These include feeding practices and the use of dietary additives, which make a real difference in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing productivity for beef producers.

Improving tiger prawn farming

Black tiger prawn

Black tiger prawn

One of the major challenges for the domestic aquaculture industry is producing enough prawns for the local market. CSIRO researchers are working with local prawn producers to develop an Australian prawn that breeds better and can be sustainably farmed.

Building climate-resilient agribusiness

Scientists are working with farmers to help them adapt to projected climate change as part of a 3-year project to develop strategies for a range of mixed cropping and grazing systems Australia-wide.

CSIRO robotic glider maps Queensland floods

CSIRO robotic glider

CSIRO robotic glider

CSIRO scientists are using a robotic glider to assess the ecological damage of flood plumes as they disperse into the sea. This will help scientists and governments predict the effects of future floods on marine environments.

Global soil map

Obtaining a better picture of soil health and its capacity for agricultural food production is critical to helping increase food security, protect natural resources, adapt to climate change and reduce the carbon footprint of agriculture.

A worldwide network of scientists has set up the GlobalSoilMap project—an online digital mapping resource that will provide more accurate information on soils globally. This data will help producers and governments develop effective land management practices tailored to local conditions.

Preserving the loggerhead turtle

Loggerhead turtle under water, Heron Island, Gladstone

Loggerhead turtle under water, Heron Island, Gladstone Courtesy of Tourism Queensland: photographed by Darren Jew

The Mon Repos Conservation Park, near Bundaberg, is critical to the survival of the loggerhead turtle species, with one of the most significant nesting populations in the South Pacific Ocean.

Queensland Government scientist Dr Col Limpus has been instrumental in helping to turn the tide on the animals' potential extinction in Queensland waters.

Protecting the Great Barrier Reef

Terrain coordinator, Michael Nash, and a farmer testing some water at one of our Reef Catchment sites.

Terrain coordinator, Michael Nash, and a farmer testing some water at one of our Reef Catchment sites.

The Queensland and Australian Governments are working together on the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan (Reef Plan). Queensland Government scientists play a key role in the Paddock to Reef program by undertaking catchment water quality monitoring and modelling, as well as remote sensing of landscape indicators including ground cover, riparian vegetation, wetlands and gully erosion.

These inputs form the basis of the annual Reef Plan report cards that track progress towards achieving the Reef Plan goals and targets. The information in these reports will determine the success of Reef Plan and further measures needed to address water quality in the Great Barrier Reef.

Last updated
6 December 2016