Sustainable Landscapes Group Resources
We are a research group that works on solutions for environmental sustainability mostly at landscape and larger scales based sat the University of Queensland. Our work is highly quantitative and multi-disciplinary and draws on the disciplines of landscape ecology, ecosystem service science, biodiversity conservation, decision science, and the social and economic sciences. We are mostly (bit not entirely) based in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (SEES) and are part of the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science (CBCS). We work collaboratively with a wide range of researchers from different disciplines within UQ, nationally, and internationally and with end-users of our research (particularly governments and NGOs).
We use a group email list for communication and the email address for the group email list is firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that you can only send an email to group of you are a member of the group. If you need to be added to the email list please email Jonathan Rhodes (email@example.com).
CBCS also has an email list for communication. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the CBCS email list and receive information about CBCS news and activities.
Group Meetings and Group Activities
We have regular informal group meetings over lunch every 2 weeks (Fridays at 12). These meetings are used to update the group on what everyone is doing and to provide an opportunity for us to interact and share ideas.
We also run other types of activities throughout the year, including:
- Research Presentations and Seminars. If you would like to give a presentation or seminar to the group then contact Nanda Budhathoki (email@example.com).
- Skills Development and Training. If you have an idea for skills development or training then contact Brooke Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Lab Retreat. We aim to run a lab retreat each year.
In addition, the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science has morning teas followed by a seminar every Tuesday from 10.30 - 12.00. Get on the CBCS email list to receive information about these morning teas and seminars.
We have a group website (powered by Wix) at https://www.sustainable-landscapes-group.com/ where we list group members and post news and information about our research, publications, and opportunities. Each group member should have access to the website, have their profile represented, and be able to add blog posts or edit other aspects of the website. If you have some news of interest that you would like to post on the website then you can either post it yourself or contact Alex Watkins (email@example.com).
Mentoring and Buddy System
In order to provide mentoring for new people joining the group we pair up new people with a buddy who has been in the group for a while. This provides an opportunity to ask any questions and seek advice and get to know people. The group as a whole also has ongoing discussions around mentoring and well-being and we welcome suggestions about how to do these aspects better.
Research Higher Degree Student Support
UQ provides support ranging from information on settling in and getting oriented at UQ to mentoring and workshop resources, and details about diversity, disability and inclusion. For the full list of essential student resources, click here.
There are a number of resources to help guide RHD students through their candidature. For resources regarding organising and attaining milestones (e.g., Confirmation, Mid-candidature, and Thesis Review) and for extending milestones and scholarships here.
The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences has additional links and resources for helping students get started at UQ and for course and project help here.
The UQ Library provides training for students across a range of topics, see the current list of training here.
Mental Health and Well-being
UQ provides a number of student and staff resources for mental health, including free sessions with mental health counsellors. Students have access to 10 free counselling sessions each year, including face-to-face and online support. For more information about this student service, click here. Staff have access to mental health services via the Employee Assistance Program, with up to 6 counselling sessions from a third-party provider, BeneStar. For more information about this service click here.
The School of Earth and Environmental Science (SEES) also has a Mental Health and Well-being Working Group, which is focused on providing resources and activities to maximise mental health and well-being of SEES students and staff. For example, the working group leads a monthly social sporting event at UQ (e.g., soccer, frisbee, volleyball) on the last Wednesday of every month. They also provide sporting equipment and board games. For more information about the working group, contact Eve McDonald-Madden at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Animal and Human Ethics
If you are working directly with animals or human then it is likely the you will need animal or human ethics approval. Details of applying for animal or human ethics at UQ can be found here.
Data Management, Reproducibility, and Collaboration Tools
In this group we aim to follow the principles of open science where the science we undertake is transparent and repeatable. For some information on these principles see the Centre for Open Science.
Research Data Manager
UQ provides a collaborative, safe, and secure large-storage system called the Research Data Manager (RDM). The RDM is an integrated data management system covering the entire research data lifecycle. The RDM provides initial storage of 1 TB per project, with options to increase storage if needed. Students and staff can create as many projects in the RDM as needed and can access these folders from the ‘R’ network drive on UQ-owned computers. More information about the features of the RDM can be found here. Everyone in the group should be using the RDM for managing data for their projects. We also have a group record on the RDM (named “SUSLAND”) that you will be given access to when you join and we use this for sharing of documents and for joint projects.
We use GitHub to manage, track version control, and share our analysis code. All members of the group should have a GitHub account and use it to develop and share the scripts/code for their analyses so that it is transparent and repeatable. The group has it’s own GitHub organisation here and if you would like to be given access contact Jonathan Rhodes (email@example.com).
Members of the group should make data used for publications available in online repositories unless there are restrictions on allowing that (e.g., when a data license or ethical reasons do not permit it). The most convenient place to archive data is via UQ eSpace and there are convenient tools to do that via the RDM as explained here.
As a group we are increasingly using tools such as Google Docs in Google Drive to collaboratively work on papers and other documents together. The advantage of this is that multiple people can works simultaneously on papers and speeds up the collaboration process. With new add-on tools for Google Docs such as Paperpile for citing literature and Auto-Latex Equations for mathematical notation these tools are becoming increasingly easy to use for the entire paper writing process.
When creating a UQ RDM record you can also ask to create a LabArchives record. LabArchives provides an web-based application for documenting your project and is an excellent resource for transparency and documentation with mechanisms for sharing with other members of the project. We recommend members of the group to utilise this or similar resources where possible.
For some projects tools for project management may be useful. One useful tool that members of the group have use is Trello as it is simple, easy to use, and free. However, there other similar tools out there.
Computational Resources and Software
If you need help with any Information Technology matters then you can put a request in to UQ’s ITS here.
We have access to three Windows servers for running computationally intensive tasks. If you would like access to these then email Jonathan Rhodes (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details. These servers are generally accessed through a remote desktop connection and can be accessed from home with VPN running.
High Performance Computing Centre (HPC)
UQ provides a range of high performance computing resources for running computational tasks and details can be found here.
On UQ computers a range of software applications can be accessed through Software Centre, but the range of software applications available for home computers varies. Information on software available can be found here.
Presentation and infographic tools: The UQ Library has summarised resources for creating and displaying presentations and infographics, with information on free training. More information can be found here.
Writing resources: There are a wide range of writing resources available on the web, but one resource our group has found particularly useful is Joshua Schimel’s “Writing Science”, which is available from the library. This is an easy to read and highly practical guide to writing science for high impact publications and grant applications.
Media: As a group we aim to engage with the media in disseminating our research so as to maximise our impact. UQ News and The Conversation are excellent first ports of call for disseminating research. If you want advice on getting your research into the media then please ask as the group has a wide range of experience in working with the media.