Twenty students representing seven countries and nine universities are at The University of Western Australia for a summer school where they are sharing their global perspectives on responses to climate change.
From around the World Universities Network (WUN), the graduate students from a wide range of scientific disciplines will spend some of their time at UWA's Future Farm near Pingelly looking particularly at landscape and soil-related climate change issues that are fundamental to the future of the planet. They will be at UWA until 13 February.
WUN Executive Director, Professor John Hearn, said the location for the Network's first summer school could not be more appropriate: the south-west of WA was a recognised global biodiversity hotspot - the only one in Australia - and home to the WUN Critical Zones Observatory.
This part of Australia had undergone significant climate change since the 1960s, with an average increase in temperature of almost one degree Centigrade and an associated 30 per cent reduction of rainfall.
WUN summer school co-convenors, UWA's Dr Matthias Leopold and Dr Deirdre Gleeson have been working with the students who had been identified by their universities as future leaders in their field.
"This experience will further enhance not only their academic abilities but equip them with valuable networking and leadership skills," Dr Leopold said.
Switzerland's University of Basel joined the WUN this month, meaning 18 of the world's leading universities are now members of the network.
WUN provides new opportunities for international collaboration and exposure for researchers, bringing together people from around the world to work towards developing solutions to problems that are common to all our countries, drawing on each other's research strengths and expertise.
Dr Matthias Leopold (UWA School of Earth and Environment) (+61 8) 6488 2769
Dr Deirdre Gleeson (UWA School of Earth and Environment) (+61 8) 6488 3593
Nicholas Haskins (WUN General Manager) (+61 2) 9036 7219
David Stacey (UWA Media and Public Relations Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716