The Calperum Ecosystem Research Site consists of a TERN OzFlux site and a TERN SuperSite. Each is governed by a contract between the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute and the TERN Facility lead organisation.

The Lead organisation for the TERN OzFlux Facility is CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research (CMAR) while that for the TERN Supersite Facility is James Cook University. The primary contact for each is Adjunct Professor Wayne Meyer.

The Calperum OzFlux site is part of the Australian Ozflux network. Staff from CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research (CMAR), headed by Facility Director Dr Suzanne Prober, oversee the OzFlux central node which has a primary role in coordinating the network data, providing technical assistance and overseeing data quality control. Central node staff have a primary role to:

  • Determine protocols for measurements, data processing and quality control,
  • Provide a database to archive data from each site, and
  • Provide training to site operators as required.

An OzFlux steering committee that includes members from the central node and several site Principal Investigators provides advice and guidance to the network. A seven member Steering Committee chaired by Dr Helen Cleugh (CMAR) provides scientific leadership for the network and coordinates logistics as required.

Monash University manages the server capability that houses the OzFlux data which is freely available through the OzFlux Data Portal.

The Australian SuperSite Network is administered by James Cook University with Associate Professor Mike Liddell as the Facility Director. A Supersite Steering Committee made up of central node staff and SuperSite Principle Investigators meets quarterly to provide advice and coordinate interactions across the Network. The data from each Supersite is lodged in a repository that is managed by the SuperSite/LTERN Data Team. Data is freely available through the SuperSites Data Portal.

A Calperum SuperSite Users Group, consisting of key researchers and contributors, meets twice per year to check on progress, identify collaborative opportunities, and identify any compatible research and education opportunities that could benefit from using the site. Current members are:

  • University of Adelaide – Wayne Meyer and Megan Lewis
  • Australian Landscape Trust – Peter Cale

For more information on the international networks which the OzFlux site contributes to, see the FLUXNET website.


Researchers to use the Calperum OzFlux Site include:

Prof Wayne S. Meyer (University of Adelaide)

Prof Meyer has a particular interest in establishing the water and carbon balances of the mallee ecosystem. The OzFlux site provides the opportunity to follow the seasonal and annual changes of the vegetation in response to climate and other influences like fire and grazing. The aim is to help manage and conserve this special ecosystem for the long term.

Dr Georgia Koerber (University of Adelaide)

Dr Koerber assists in maintaining the site and providing the expertise that ensures the quality of all of the environmental measurements. As a physiological ecologist she is interested in following the response of carbon exchange through the vegetation and soils and also on the adaptation of the mallee trees to water availability.

Dr Peter Cale (Australian Landscape Trust)

As the resident ecologist at Calperum, Dr Cale supervises the flora and fauna surveys that help establish the changes and trends happening in the ecosystem. He has established systematic monitoring of vegetation responses to fire from which a better understanding of fire management can be developed.

Prof David Chittleborough (University of Adelaide)

Prof Chittleborough is a highly experienced pedologist and soil scientist who is particularly interested in the geological development of the mallee landscape. He is interested in better understanding the interactions between the sedimentary and wind-blown material that make up the soils of the area and the vegetation that now exists.

Mr Qioaqi Sun (University of Adelaide)

As a PhD student, Mr Sun has used the OzFlux site to follow the course of soil respiration rates over a 12 month period and identified the significant effect that trees have on loss of carbon from the soil. Quantifying soil respiration is a critical part of understanding the gains and losses of carbon from the mallee ecosystem.

Prof Megan Lewis (University of Adelaide)

Prof Lewis is the leader of the SA node of the AusCover TERN facility and has coordinated the on-ground and remote sensed data gathering over the Calperum site. Spectral characteristics of the vegetation and ground surfaces have been combined with data from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), aircraft and satellite sources, both for calibration purposes and for characterising vegetation and surface condition of the ecosystem. This information is part of the Australia wide AusCover program headed by Dr Alex Held from CSIRO.

Mr Ben Sparrow (TERN AusPlots)

As Director of TERN AusPlots, Mr Sparrow has established a set of representative 1ha sites that includes the OzFlux site. The sites have been vegetation and soil surveyed to establish a benchmark of condition. Subsequently these sites will be regularly monitored to track changes in condition that can be related to climate and management influences.