Neem Trees mean no medals

I have a message for the Australian Olympic Committee: If you’d like to win gold medals this year in Rio, you should probably cut down the Neem Trees in in the town of Derby, Western Australia – at least I’ve heard that this would be a good start.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 9.58.08 am

Continue reading

Ginkgo enigma

There are many enigmatic plants out there in addition to the boab. One is the ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba).  It is such a different tree, biologically unique, really deserving of the moniker living fossil.  Millions of years ago it grew all across the world, and today people are familiar with it as a common street and park tree in virtually all temperate climates zones, yet its presence in “the wild” is limited to a few mountains in China – and the wildness of these populations is disputed.   It went extinct nearly everywhere, only to be brought back to life – and proliferated – due to its association with people who cultivated it and celebrated it.   Continue reading

Indigenous people and invasive species

dnbIn February 2014 a number of Indigenous groups and their research partners gathered in Sydney at the World Parks Congress to share their experiences of living with and managing invasive species. In partnership with the Bunuba Rangers, our research group contributed a presentation and report about the rangers’ place-based weed management at sites along the Fitzroy River in the central Kimberley. Alongside ours, each story that was shared as a part of this symposium has recently been collated into a booklet titled Indigenous People and Invasive Species: Perceptions, management, challenges and uses. Continue reading

‘Wicked Weeds’ – just a tagline

I’ve heard the phrase ‘wicked problems’ a bit recently. The term is not new, but it has seemed to crop up more frequently lately, probably due to the climate change talks in Paris. This time it hooked me and I looked into it. Specifically, I thought that it might have potential for framing issues of weeds and invasive species – ‘Wicked Weeds’, seemed like a catchy tagline. Continue reading