New paper: Dingo removal changes the shape of desert dunes

Our new paper, “Linking trophic cascades to changes in desert dune geomorphology using high-resolution drone data” is out now in Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

This paper, led by Mitch Lyons, details how the trophic cascade induced by removal of the dingo from the “inside” of the dingo fence in eastern Australia has resulted in shifts in the mammal communities, which in turn has led to increased shrubs. Shrubs have a major role in shaping sand dunes, so their increase means that where there are no dingoes there are taller, more variable, more stable sand dunes.

Read the paper here.

A diagram of how shrubs change the flow of wind-borne particles is at the end of this piece (image credit to Mitch Lyons).

The paper has been very well received, with coverage by:

ABC News: “Culling dingoes start of ‘domino effect’ that may be changing the shape of Australia’s landscape”

Science Magazine: “A fence built to keep out wild dogs has dramatically altered the Australian landscape”


The Atlantic (by Emma Marris): “Dingoes have changes the actual shape of the Australian desert”


In Situ Science – podcast feature

I recently featured on a podcast by James O’Hanlon of In Situ Science. It was an absolute pleasure talking to James about all things red sand and PhD, but I like to think my Aussie accent is not usually so strong!

Listen to the podcast here.

Follow In Situ Science on Facebook and Twitter and your preferred podcast supplier to hear more like this.