Science & Nature

Keeping track of time

Volume 9 Number 2 February 11 - March 10 2013

From the early days of modern seafaring to the synchronisation of time over the internet, the world relies on clocks, and depends on their accuracy. By Annie Rahilly.

Calming the crowds in Mecca

Volume 9 Number 2 February 11 - March 10 2013

Modelling of crowd behaviours is a well-established field of research, but a new doctoral study in infrastructure engineering has investigated the behaviours of pilgrims to Mecca. By Katherine Smith.

Speaking up for the intellect

Volume 9 Number 1 January 14 - February 11 2013

ABC Radio’s Science Show presenter Robin Williams delivered an inspiring graduation address to Melbourne students recently, in which he argued for improved public conversation about science and innovation. Following is an edited extract of his address.

Our beaches under pressure

Volume 9 Number 1 January 14 - February 11 2013

Have you ever noticed that every time you go to your favourite beach it looks a little different? Is the character of your coastal town changing because everyone wants a house with a view? Nerissa Hannink and Rebecca Scott investigate the natural and not so natural changes occurring along the Australian coastline and the effects on our oceans.

How do you pack your DNA?

Volume 8 Number 12 December 10 2012 - January 14 2013

How do you pack your DNA? No, this isn’t a quiz about your summer holiday suitcase, but an important question in evolutionary biology. By Nerissa Hannink.

Vet’s book teaches kids to play safe with pets

Volume 8 Number 12 December 10 2012 - January 14 2013

Veterinarian Amanda Chin, a 1998 graduate of the Faculty of Veterinary Science, has combined her passion for animal welfare with an interest in the human-animal bond in a book teaching children how to play safely with their pets. By Lauren Hull with additional information from the book’s publisher, the American Animal Hospital Association.

Sustainability wins the day…twice

Volume 8 Number 11 November 12 - December 9 2012

Two University of Melbourne PhD candidates were recently awarded prizes by the Royal Society of Victoria. By Louise Bennet with David Scott.

Roadmaps and roadblocks to climate action

Volume 8 Number 11 November 12 - December 9 2012

Experts predict there are just 50 months left before we will be locked into runaway climate change, so researchers are examining the societal and political roadblocks to creating a world without carbon fuels. Nerissa Hannink reports.

Water for generations

Volume 8 Number 10 October 8 - November 11 2012

Take a national government, three states or territories, a water system that impacts on a vast number of people and industries and what do you have? While it sounds like our own Murray-Darling Basin that sustains up to two million people, the answer is also: the Krishna River Basin in India that influences the lives of up to 90 million people.

Mining for innovation in a boom industry

Volume 8 Number 10 October 8 - November 11 2012

Professor Doreen Thomas is the Head of Mechanical Engineering. The following is an edited extract of her presentation to the recent Melbourne Latin America Dialogue on the need for innovation in mining, together with Mathematics and Statistics’ Professor Hyam Rubinstein

Swans’ serenity masks stress of Grand Prix

Volume 8 Number 10 October 8 - November 11 2012

A study of the impact of the Grand Prix on the iconic swans on Albert Park lake has generated some surprising findings. By Rebecca Scott.

Land of plenty?

Volume 8 Number 10 October 8 - November 11 2012

Covering 14 per cent of Australia’s landmass, the Murray-Darling Basin is by far our largest agricultural region, feeding the nation, and contributing a huge amount to export income. But the recent rains may be lulling us into a false sense of security that this is a basin of plenty. Amid predictions of a warmer, drier climate and political pressures of river management, Melbourne researchers are looking at how to ensure environmentally sustainable food and water. By Nerissa Hannink and Katherine Smith