More information to come...


Beginning the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) 2010

A consortium of the SA Universities and Government Agencies lead by Prof Wayne Meyer and Prof Andy Lowe submitted proposals to the $20m TERN program of the National Collaborative Infrastructure Scheme (NCRIS). SA managed projects will receive $7.75m over the next 2.5 years.
The University of Adelaide and Department of Environment and Heritage will manage two components of TERN, the national data management development ($4m) and national arid zone vegetation condition monitoring ($3.5). The University of Adelaide will set up one of the national water and carbon flux measurement sites in the Lower Murray Calperum-Chowilla Mallee to connect into the Australian (“Ozflux”) monitoring system.
The next step is signing contracts between the University of Queensland (the TERN national office and agent) and the University of Adelaide to deliver the project components.

Climate Change, Communities and Environment (CCCE)

Premier's Science and Research Fund (PSRF) 2009 - 2013

The aim was to build research capability to identify climate change vulnerability and adaptation options for South Australian landscapes
A new and exciting research team lead by Prof Wayne Meyer formed to position SA natural resource management research and regional implementation in the vanguard of adaptation to climate change. The multi-agency team identified those conservation areas and land use practices that are most at risk from adverse effects of climate change and identified adaptation strategies and policy options to support planning and implementation by regional natural resource management agencies. The research intended to identify alternative regional land use, institutional, service and business arrangements that assisted the adaptation of regional communities to warmer temperatures, less reliable rainfall and more limited surface water resources.

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Australia's Farming Future Climate Change Research Program

Identifying climate change vulnerability and adaptation options for farming systems within natural resource management on Eyre Peninsula SA
Eyre Peninsula in South Australia is a key climate change indicator region for Australia because of its comparatively recent agricultural development and a significant area of low rainfall farming that is vulnerable to a warming and drying trend. This project will engage with the regional community, gather and collate extensive base information and undertake a landscape futures analysis that identifies the likely distribution of viable farming systems in the face of future climate and technology scenarios. This will identify the regional distribution of vulnerable areas and practices and indicate the most effective adaptation options at individual farm business and regional NRM level.
The methodology developed and demonstrated can:
  • Assemble the extensive and diverse information about the region including projections of possible climate change scenarios,
  • Identify priorities and complementarities between agricultural systems and regional natural resource conservation objectives,
  • Provide a structured and repeatable information collation and analysis capability, and
  • Provide a quantifiable assessment of management options that account for the effects of climate variability, climate change and commodity shifts. 

Adapted future landscapes – from aspiration to implementation 2012 - 2013

Helping regions in Australia plan for and implement changes in the way we use our land for food and conservation in the face of changing climate, markets and social requirements is important. Researchers have developed ways of bringing all the information about a region together and then making projections about how we might change what we do where on the land that will help us adapt into the future. It is possible to show that we can adapt well but this will require changes and hence policy incentives and guidance to guide what we plan to do.

This new project will work with two natural resource management regions to develop an experimental implementation process that uses future land use projections and allows assessment of possible policy and guidance incentives. If the experimental process is successful then other regions in Australia can be expected to take up the process and use it in their planning for a better future. This will help regional areas and communities become more “climate change ready”.

We plan to capitalize on the projections made by Landscape Futures Analysis that illustrates that regional adaptation to climate, market and social changes is possible by changing what we do where on the land (Bryan et al. 2011). Local and regional productivity and conservation goals and social aspirations can be achieved by farming to land capability, changing land use to capitalise on the emerging carbon market and identifying practices that give a mosaic of production and conservation with benefits for multiple ecosystems services.
It is possible to make estimates of the costs and foregone returns for such transformations. Within this there is real and perceived risk. The challenge of this project that explicitly addresses “integrated landscape adaptation to climate change risks, impacts and opportunities” is to identify and test an implementation process that sees individuals, localities and regions take the projections together with a considered assessment of the risks of change and embed them into their planning processes. If this is achieved then integrated landscape adaptation that is evidence informed will have begun.

Climate Change, Community and Environment (CCCE)

Building research capability to identify climate change vulnerability and adaptation options for South Australian Landscapes.

This project brought together a talented group of researchers to plan for adaptation to climate change in regional South Australia.
We identified those land use practices and conservation areas that are most at risk from adverse effects of climate change and identified adaptation strategies and policy options to support planning and implementation by regional natural resource management agencies. In so doing we identified the management investments that get the best improvement in natural resource condition while looking after jobs and services for the regional community.
This was a $3 million project with contributions from seven organizations:
The University of Adelaide, CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship, SARDI/PIRSA, DWLBC, DEH, SA Murray-Darling Basin NRM Board, Eyre Peninsula NRM Board
We focused on the SA Murray- Darling Basin and Eyre Peninsula NRM regions as a way of directing the outcomes from our research and developing our capability.
The research team aimed to assess the effects of a range of climate adaptations options through:
  • Modelling biophysical impacts including water, carbon, nutrients, and biodiversity under changed climate conditions.
  • Quantifying the economic and social impacts such as income, jobs, and food and energy security.
  • Provide alternative, spatially-explicit policy and management options which increase resilience and reduce climate change vulnerability of our regional social-ecological systems.
We developed the understanding, expertise and tools that resulted in more evidence based planning and implementation of regional NRM. The net result should be more cost effective conservation and more resilient viable regional communities.
The project employed two Post Doctoral Fellows together with a Project Officer that was located in each of the two NRM study regions.
The University of Adelaide was the project agent. An Advisory Group of senior representatives from the two NRM regions, independent NRM consultants and a senior ecological researcher provided advice to the Project Leader and Research Team. The Project Leader Prof. Wayne Meyer worked with a Partner Management Group to deliver the project. Annual reports were complemented with a vigorous communication and publication effort.