CSU’s 'Tall Poppy' scientist one to look up to
Finding solutions to the modern extinction crisis is a tall order but it's the motivation driving award-winning CSU scientist, Dr Dale Nimmo. The ecologist and conservation biologist has been named a NSW Young Tall Poppy by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science, an organisation which aims to 'recognise and celebrate Australian intellectual and scientific excellence and to encourage younger Australians to follow in the footsteps of our outstanding achievers'. "Alarmingly, scientists who study modern ecosystems have now concluded that the earth is amidst a sixth mass extinction event caused by changes to the global ecosystem caused by humans," Dale said. "I study ecosystems around the world – from bird communities in Papua New Guinea, bears and wolves in Romanian farmland, to dingoes and possums in the Australian outback – to reveal how big disturbances like wildfire, droughts, invasive species, habitat loss and climate change affect ecosystems. "I collect large datasets to build complex statistical models that allow me to identify the best ways of managing landscapes to protect wildlife. By understanding how ecosystems are affected by disturbances, my research aims to find ways of balancing the needs of humans and nature."
Does the full moon bring out lunatics?
As the full moon rises many police officers brace for a hectic night believing it's when 'lunatics come out' but CSU research has dispelled the myth. For his doctoral research through CSU's Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security, Dr Geoffrey Sheldon examined eight years of data from the Queensland Police Service. Geoffrey has been a police officer for more than 30 years and is a Detective Inspector within the South Brisbane District of the Queensland Police Service. "Most police the world over firmly believe in a lunar influence upon behaviour and, accordingly, their workload. "I decided to check if the urban myth that police are busier at a full moon was true." Geoffrey examined more than 900,000 jobs attended by Queensland Police from 2004 to 2011, covering 99 full moon events. "I looked at both the number of jobs and types of jobs that had appeared in previous literature, or were generally indicative of disturbed behaviour. This included calls relating to mentally ill people, domestic violence, general disturbances, rape, homicide, suicide, wilful exposure and fatal traffic accidents." Contrary to world-wide policing folklore, Geoffry found there was no increase in calls for service at the full moon. "My study demonstrates the art of organisational discourse and how the more experienced police tell stories of such events which affirms the 'lunar hypothesis' to following generations of officers.”
CHARLES STURT UNIVERSITY ALUMNI