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The life of a dung beetle in Maleny

Ever wondered about the life of the humble dung beetle? They actually have a really important gig of transferring nutrients from dung into the soil.

This October, Kathy Ebert from the University of Queensland, will research the dung beetles that call Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve home during Tiny Giants – a study into Mary’s amazing invertebrates.

What research will you be doing?

I am surveying the native dung beetles of Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, to see how many different kinds of dung beetles live here in this particular patch of remnant rainforest.

Why is it important?

Dung beetles have the really important job of transferring nutrients from dung and other composting materials into the soil. Their dung burial activities help to improve soil fertility and aeration, as well as reduce parasites. If you’ve got a diverse dung beetle population then you likely have a healthy rainforest and a healthy mammal population.

What will you do with the research after the event?

Results from this survey will add to our knowledge of biodiversity for Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, as well as provide baseline data with which we can monitor changes.

BOOK NOW for a workshop, talk or walk to discover the rainforest’s Tiny Giants for yourself – October 21–24.

About Kathy Ebert

Kathy Ebert, is a postdoctoral researcher and teaching assistant at the University of Queensland who enjoys teaching students of all ages about amazing insects.

Her primary research interests are in dung beetle behaviour and taxonomy.

Ebert dung beetle specimen

Twelve scientists joining in the research project

  • Dr Christine Lambkin (QM Curator of Entomology)
  • Dr Chris Burwell (QM Senior Curator of Insects)
  • Dr Mike Rix (QM Principal Curator of Arachnology)
  • Kathryn Ebert (Postdoctural researcher at University of Queensland)
  • Owen Seeman (QM Collection Manager of Arachnids)
  • Dr Penny Mills (Entomological Society of Queensland)
  • Chris Moeseneder (Research Associate, Australian Museum)
  • Jessa Thurman (PhD candidate University of Queensland)
  • Dr Jason Maté (Entomological Society of Queensland)
  • Dr Andrew Maynard ( Entomological Society of Queensland)
  • Wesley Jenkinson (Entomological Society of Queensland)
  • Dr Vivian Sandoval Gomèz ( Honorary Research Fellow of the Queensland)

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