Ash on the beach, fire in the bush: Australia reflections part 1

Prof. Jeff Ollerton - consultant ecological scientist and author

2019-12-13 12.17.43

Although we’ve only been in Australia for less that two weeks, it feels as if we’ve been here forever; once we got over the jetlag and the weird sleeping patterns, Karin and I have easily settled into the life of a Southern Hemisphere summer.  It’s hard to believe that back home in the UK it’s cold, wet and (politically) miserable….

We’re based at Coogee Beach in the eastern suburbs of sprawling Sydney, just a short walk from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) where I’ve spent most of my time, and an even shorter walk from sand and surf.  It sounds idyllic but one of the recurring features of the past week has been the amount of ash and charred leaves washing up on the beaches from the bush fires that surround Sydney at the moment:

2019-12-06 17.53.212019-12-06 18.18.34

The region is in the midst of an extended drought and this has…

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