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Ladies Celebrating Science – three PhDs awarded through the IAE

It has been a big week for women in science, with three talented ladies being awarded their PhDs through the Institute for Applied Ecology. Maria Boyle, Larissa Schneider, and Veronika Vysna celebrated their graduation in the Great Hall at Parliament House.

Their research has contributed to a range of fields. Maria studied the impact of climate change on reptiles whose reproduction (sex determination) and juvenile survival is dependent on ambient temperature. “Little is known about population dynamics in vulnerable reptiles

Temperature can tip the scales in reptile sex determination

Sex-determining mechanisms in reptiles are broadly divided into two main categories: genotypic sex determination, and temperature dependent sex determination.

It was a widely held view that temperature-dependent and genotypic sex determination were incompatible mechanisms—in other words, a reptile’s sex is never under the influence of both sex chromosomes and environmental temperature.

But the University of Canberra genetics experts AR C Future Fellow Dr Tariq Ezaz, Professor Stephen Sarre and Distinguished Professor Arthur Georges have discovered that in one particular species, the central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps), both genes and temperature interact to determine sex.

Most significantly, they

Impact of climate change on endangered fresh water species

The management of our freshwater resources is one of the most important environmental and social challenges facing Australia in the 21st century.

As University of Canberra senior research fellow Dr Fiona Dyer explains, “Water isn’t just fundamental to our health and wellbeing, it underpins our economy and our environment.”

A freshwater scientist at the University’s Institute for Applied Ecology, Dr Dyer is leading a series of research projects investigating the possible effects that climate change and water resource management can have on changes in stream flow, water quality and ecological outcomes.

“There has been