Fungi and other soil microbes are critical to the health of soil and our food systems yet ‘conservation biodiversity’ often overlooks them for more charismatic wildlife.  Fungi by Alan Hern | Flickr | CC BY 2.0

The Futile War between Conservationists and Farmers: Conservation and Production Biodiversity

Beattie, Andrew

Recent high profile conservation articles blame the loss of biodiversity on agriculture (e.g.: Biodiversity: The ravages of […]

Heyfield Fire 18-20th Jan 2013 in Victoria, Australia by Sascha Grant Flickr | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Australian Bushfires Signal New Climate Dangers

Beattie, Andrew, Paul R. Ehrlich, Turnbull, Christine

The recent bushfires in Western Australia were much more than “bush” fires as they raged through mature […]

NessieNoodle | Flickr | CC BY-SA

Our obsession with metrics is corrupting science

Beattie, Andrew, Calver, Mike

 Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. – William Bruce […]

Rifle fish (Archer fish), totemic animal of Rifle Fish Clan  
Photo by Paul Ehrlich and Chris Turnbull

Quinkan Art: Preserving the Deep Past

Beattie, Andrew, Ehrlich, Anne H., Paul R. Ehrlich, Turnbull, Christine

Humanity does not have a good record when it comes to caring for signs of its past accomplishments. Napoleon’s gunners famously […]

Male leaving the nest hole in the termite mound after feeding a chick, which can be seen  in the entrance to the cavity, which is deep enough for the young to retreat far inside | Photo by Paul R. Ehrlich

Another Aussie Parrot at Risk

Beattie, Andrew, Ehrlich, Anne H., Paul R. Ehrlich, Turnbull, Christine

In a previous post to the MAHB Blog the story of the endangered orange-bellied parrot of Tasmania […]

Photo by Michał Ochman via Flickr (, CC BY-NC-SA

The next generation of antibiotics might be right under our feet

Beattie, Andrew

The discovery of a new antibiotic called teixobactin was announced by international team of researchers, in January […]

Photo by Pat Dumas via Flickr ( |CC BY-NC-SA

Don’t overlook what’s underfoot – save the bugs and germs

Beattie, Andrew

One of the biggest problems for conservation today is that it ignores 95% of all known species […]

Harvest Time by Cryon via Flickr ( | CC BY

The supply chain in farming – do we count all the assets?

Beattie, Andrew

Most people understand the idea of a supply chain so that, for example, to make a car […]

Graphic by J. Alves 

What Have Germs Ever Done for Us?

Beattie, Andrew

Substituting ‘germs’ for ‘Romans’ the famous question from Monty Python “What have the Romans ever done for […]

angry summer

The Angry Summer: The Politics of Climate Change in Australia

Beattie, Andrew

In February 2011 the Labour Federal Government of Australia, led by the Prime Minister Julia Gillard, established […]


Geoengineering: An Idea Whose Time Has Gone

Beattie, Andrew, Paul R. Ehrlich

As it has become more and more evident that humanity is not going to rapidly stop burning […]

bugs in our lives

The Bugs in Our Lives

Beattie, Andrew, Paul R. Ehrlich

The idea that each and every one of us is daily indebted to millions of tiny species […]


De-extinction: Moral Hazard Writ Large

Beattie, Andrew, Paul R. Ehrlich

A scheme like geoengineering, one similarly unfortunate, is being hatched to recreate extinct species and restore them […]