Notes from the field: Cape Barren Island

By Simon Haberle


It is great to collaborate on Country with the Truwana Rangers — land managers for the island of Truwana (Cape Barren Island). We are working together using palaeoecology to better understand the relationship between fire, plants, and water quality through time.

We collected cores at Big Reedy Swamp and Piano Point Lagoon as part of  Matthew Adeleye’s PhD project on the interaction between fire, climate, plants and people on Truwana. Grass trees or Yacca (Xanthorrhoea australis) are abundant across the island, though areas are under threat from Phytophthora infestation.

Learn more about our Climate research theme.

Our research with the Truwana Rangers included a day at the Cape Barren Island School where students had the opportunity to interact with visiting scientists and participate in fieldwork activities.

Students, ranging from Grade 3 to Grade 7, accompanied us on a coring trip to Big Reedy Swamp, a 15,000-year-old wetland that details the past sea level, climate and fire regime changes in the pollen and charcoal records. The following day we were interviewed by students in the classroom, who wanted to know “how we got into science?”.

Piano Point Lagoon

Simon Haberle

CABAH Chief Investigator and Landscape Theme Leader

December 12, 2019

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