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Science and management challenges in northern Australia

Northern Australia is undergoing rapid development and a number of land uses and industries compete for natural resources. Urban and peri-urban development, tourism, mining, agriculture, pastoralism, aquaculture, fishing and nature conservation are all major contributors to the region's economy that depend on these resources.

The science and management challenges facing tropical, including savanna, landscapes in northern Australia make it imperative to consider research from a broad range of perspectives.

James Cook University, in partnership with CSIRO, established the Tropical Landscapes Joint Venture (TLJV) in order to develop a collaborative portfolio of research drawing on the expertise of JCU and CSIRO researchers.

The Joint Venture is part of the development of the Australian Tropical Science and Innovation Precinct (ATSIP) in Townsville, and also includes CSIRO's Atherton Laboratory and the Australian Tropical Forest Institute in Cairns.

The TLJV concentrates on research to underpin the sustainable management of tropical landscapes, including the wet and dry tropics. Its main aim is to foster collaboration between JCU and CSIRO scientists.

The TLJV has an approach that incorporates not only ecological components but which also has an explicit focus on the economic, social and policy aspects of the dynamics of these landscapes.

Objective of the Joint Venture

The objective of the TLJV is to foster collaboration between JCU and CSIRO to:

  • leverage the joint strengths of the institutions to perform research relevant to the tropical landscapes of the northern Australian environment
  • demonstrate collaboration to internal and external stakeholders
  • build relevant expertise for the future strategic directions of CSIRO and JCU.

Structure and governance

The TLJV is governed through the following structures.

TLJV Management Committee

Prof Andrew Krockenberger

Dean, Research (James Cook University)

Prof Marcus Lane

Deputy Vice Chancellor Tropical Environments and Societies (James Cook University)

Dr Graham Bonnett

Interim Leader Drought Resilience Mission (AGRICULTURE & FOOD)

Dr Dan Metcalfe

Director, Oceans and Atmosphere (Oceans & Atmosphere)

TLJV Director

TLJV Research Fellows

James Cook University and CSIRO have jointly funded the three year TLJV Research Fellow appointments of Dr Diane Jarvis and Dr Jane Addison.

In their Research Fellow role Dr Jarvis and Dr Addison will provide a quantitative, integrative approach to understanding the complex problems related to the development of northern Australia, identifying pathways towards the development of solutions to these problems. They will take an innovative and solution-focused approach to a range of issues relevant to the development of tropical landscapes in northern Australia and more broadly. Working in multi-disciplinary teams consisting of external stakeholders and experts from JCU and CSIRO they will help build a portfolio of applied research projects using systems approaches to investigate environmental, social and economic trade-offs and synergies related to the development of natural resources.

Dr Jarvis and Dr Addison are also involved in Northern Australia Water Resource Assessment (NAWRA) and the National Environmental Science Program (NESP)

TLJV Seminar Series

The Tropical Landscapes Joint Venture hosts the "Science with Sushi" Seminar Series, providing a forum for scientists, students, visitors and collaborators to share their latest research findings, projects or other topics of interest relative to the tropical landscapes of northern Australia and beyond.

Seminar Co-ordinators are:

Tropical Landscapes Joint Venture Seminars are promoted on the CSIRO events page.

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