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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


UC researcher has freshwater in his blood

Dr Evan Harrison, a Research Fellow within the Institute for Applied Ecology, is one of the University of Canberra’s research rising stars.

In the short time since completing his PhD he has attracted significant funding for his research, the majority of which has been focused on the assessment of river health in the ACT and southern NSW.

“Having healthy rivers is extremely important to me,” Dr Harrison says. “I grew up in Goulburn, NSW, where water management has always been a big issue during times of drought.”

As well as managing