960604 Environmental Management Systems.
070203 Animal Management.
Koalas -- Habitat development
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AbstractDispersal by subadults is the principal source of gene flow between groups of koalas in Queensland, so understanding the behaviour of these immature animals is a priority for understanding the ecology of the species. Recent reports postulate that dispersing young koalas may inherit maternal tree selection, but avoid competing with adults. We compared the tree use and diet of adult female koalas with that of their offspring on St Bees Island, Queensland, using radio-tracking and faecal cuticle analysis, to examine this prediction. Koalas at St Bees Island used both fodder and non-fodder species during daytime, moving into fodder species at night. Koala diets were dominated by Eucalyptus tereticornis with E. platyphylla and Corymbia intermedia also represented. Utilisation of daytime tree species was diverse, but at night koalas were found almost exclusively in those species present in their diet. Use of trees during daytime by natal young and young adult koalas were similar to that of maternal adults, but tree use by intermediate stages (independent and dispersing young) during daytime varied from that of the mothers. This resource separation indicates that if tree utilisation for resting is learned from the mother, young animals are excluded from preferred trees while dispersing.
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From chameleons to koalas: exploring Australian culture with pre-service teachers through children's literture and international experienceStiles, James W. (The Ohio State University / OhioLINK, 2004-06-21)
Pre-service early childhood teachers and designers partnering for change at The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary: An interdisciplinary education and design for sustainability projectO'Gorman, Lyndal; Davis, Julie; Gibson, Megan; Osborne, Lindy; Wilson, Peta (2014-11-02)This presentation discusses and critiques a current case study of a project in which Early Childhood preservice teachers are working in partnership with Design students to develop principles and concepts for the design and construction of an early childhood centre. This centre, to be built on the grounds of the iconic Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane , focuses on Education for Sustainability (EfS), sustainable design and sustainable business. Interdisciplinary initiatives between QUT staff and students from two Faculties (Education and Creative Industries) have been situated in the real –world context of this project. This practical, authentic project has seen stakeholders take an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability, opening up new ways of thinking about early childhood centre design, particularly with respect to operation and function. Interdisciplinarity and a commitment to genuine partnerships have created intellectual spaces to re-think the potential of the disciplines to be interwoven so that future professionals from different fields might come together to learn from each other and to address the sustainability imperative. The case study documents and explores the possibilities that the Lone Pine project offers for academics and students from Early Childhood and Design to collaboratively inform the Sanctuary’s vision for the Centre. The research examines how students benefit from practical, real world, community-integrated learning; how academic staff across two disciplines are able to work collaboratively within a real-world context; and how external stakeholders experience and benefit from the partnership with university staff and students. Data were collected via a series of focus group and individual interviews designed to explore how the various stakeholders (staff, students, business partners) experienced their involvement in the interdisciplinary project. Inductive and deductive thematic analysis of these data suggest many benefits for participants as well as a number of challenges. Findings suggest that the project has provided students with ‘real world’ partnerships that reposition early childhood students’ identities from ‘novice’ to ‘professional’, where their knowledge, expertise and perspectives are simultaneously validated and challenged in their work with designers. These partnerships are enabling preservice teachers to practice a new model of early childhood leadership in sustainability, one that is vital for leading for change in an increasingly complex world. This presentation celebrates, critiques and problematises this project, exploring wider implications for other contexts in which university staff and students may seek to work across traditional boundaries, thus building partnerships for change.
Morphologic and genomic characterisation of the koala Chlamydia pneumoniae strainMitchell, Candice Melissa (Queensland University of Technology, 2010)Chlamydia pneumoniae is a common human and animal pathogen associated with a wide range of upper and lower respiratory tract infections. In more recent years there has been increasing evidence to suggest a link between C. pneumoniae and chronic diseases in humans, including atherosclerosis, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. C. pneumoniae human strains show little genetic variation, indicating that the human-derived strain originated from a common ancestor in the recent past. Despite extensive information on the genetics and morphology processes of the human strain, knowledge concerning many other hosts (including marsupials, amphibians, reptiles and equines) remains virtually unexplored. The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) is a native Australian marsupial under threat due to habitat loss, predation and disease. Koalas are very susceptible to chlamydial infections, most commonly affecting the conjunctiva, urogenital tract and/or respiratory tract. To address this gap in the literature, the present study (i) provides a detailed description of the morphologic and genomic architecture of the C. pneumoniae koala (and human) strain, and shows that the koala strain is microscopically, developmentally and genetically distinct from the C. pneumoniae human strain, and (ii) examines the genetic relationship of geographically diverse C. pneumoniae isolates from human, marsupial, amphibian, reptilian and equine hosts, and identifies two distinct lineages that have arisen from animal-to-human cross species transmissions. Chapter One of this thesis explores the scientific problem and aims of this study, while Chapter Two provides a detailed literature review of the background in this field of work. Chapter Three, the first results chapter, describes the morphology and developmental stages of C. pneumoniae koala isolate LPCoLN, as revealed by fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy. The profile of this isolate, when cultured in HEp-2 human epithelial cells, was quite different to the human AR39 isolate. Koala LPCoLN inclusions were larger; the elementary bodies did not have the characteristic pear-shaped appearance, and the developmental cycle was completed within a shorter period of time (as confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR). These in vitro findings might reflect biological differences between koala LPCoLN and human AR39 in vivo. Chapter Four describes the complete genome sequence of the koala respiratory pathogen, C. pneumoniae LPCoLN. This is the first animal isolate of C. pneumoniae to be fully-sequenced. The genome sequence provides new insights into genomic ‘plasticity’ (organisation), evolution and biology of koala LPCoLN, relative to four complete C. pneumoniae human genomes (AR39, CWL029, J138 and TW183). Koala LPCoLN contains a plasmid that is not shared with any of the human isolates, there is evidence of gene loss in nucleotide salvage pathways, and there are 10 hot spot genomic regions of variation that were previously not identified in the C. pneumoniae human genomes. Sequence (partial-length) from a second, independent, wild koala isolate (EBB) at several gene loci confirmed that the koala LPCoLN isolate was representative of a koala C. pneumoniae strain. The combined sequence data provides evidence that the C. pneumoniae animal (koala LPCoLN) genome is ancestral to the C. pneumoniae human genomes and that human infections may have originated from zoonotic infections. Chapter Five examines key genome components of the five C. pneumoniae genomes in more detail. This analysis reveals genomic features that are shared by and/or contribute to the broad ecological adaptability and evolution of C. pneumoniae. This analysis resulted in the identification of 65 gene sequences for further analysis of intraspecific variation, and revealed some interesting differences, including fragmentation, truncation and gene decay (loss of redundant ancestral traits). This study provides valuable insights into metabolic diversity, adaptation and evolution of C. pneumoniae. Chapter Six utilises a subset of 23 target genes identified from the previous genomic comparisons and makes a significant contribution to our understanding of genetic variability among C. pneumoniae human (11) and animal (6 amphibian, 5 reptilian, 1 equine and 7 marsupial hosts) isolates. It has been shown that the animal isolates are genetically diverse, unlike the human isolates that are virtually clonal. More convincing evidence that C. pneumoniae originated in animals and recently (in the last few hundred thousand years) crossed host species to infect humans is provided in this study. It is proposed that two animal-to-human cross species events have occurred in the context of the results, one evident by the nearly clonal human genotype circulating in the world today, and the other by a more animal-like genotype apparent in Indigenous Australians. Taken together, these data indicate that the C. pneumoniae koala LPCoLN isolate has morphologic and genomic characteristics that are distinct from the human isolates. These differences may affect the survival and activity of the C. pneumoniae koala pathogen in its natural host, in vivo. This study, by utilising the genetic diversity of C. pneumoniae, identified new genetic markers for distinguishing human and animal isolates. However, not all C. pneumoniae isolates were genetically diverse; in fact, several isolates were highly conserved, if not identical in sequence (i.e. Australian marsupials) emphasising that at some stage in the evolution of this pathogen, there has been an adaptation/s to a particular host, providing some stability in the genome. The outcomes of this study by experimental and bioinformatic approaches have significantly enhanced our knowledge of the biology of this pathogen and will advance opportunities for the investigation of novel vaccine targets, antimicrobial therapy, or blocking of pathogenic pathways.