J. Ryan Shipley


                 An emerald labyrinth located parallel to the Great Barrier Reef in northeastern Queensland’s is one of Australia’s few rainforests. This region is driven by orographic precipitation, or rainfall that is produced when moist warm air is lifted and cooled over mountains. The Great Dividing Range is located to the west and is responsible for the high levels of rainfall as warm moist air from Pacific Ocean is cooled causing precipitation on… Read More

            A quick glance across the countryside of the northern 3 states of Australia (Western Australia, Northern Territory, and Queensland) and you are likely to see large earthen mounds dotting the landscape. Ranging from barely above ground level to an impressive 6 meters tall (~18 feet), these mounds are the construction results of one of several species of termite, smaller conical ones from Magnetic Termites (Amitermes meridionalis) or the massive buttressed cathedrals… Read More

            Part of what draws my research to far-away lands is studying how the history of different geographic regions have shaped the flora and fauna found within, known as the study of biogeography. This time around, I find myself in Australia – technically the largest island in the world (not going to delve into the island versus continent argument, technically Europe is just a series of peninsulas off Asia but I digress…)… Read More