Murdoch’s new Environmental Science Centre on Barrow Island

Murdoch University research on remote Barrow Island will set a new world standard for protection of delicate ecosystems alongside industrial development.

The Harry Butler Science Centre is named in honour of a famed Australian environmental pioneer, after whom the University’s environmental science research institute is also named.

Murdoch University Vice Chancellor Eeva Leinonen said the new facility provided an essential resource for researchers and students: “Murdoch University is pioneering environmental research to support the delicate balance between conservation and industrial development in fragile environments such as Barrow Island.”

The Harry Butler Science Centre will accommodate up to 20 researchers and students carrying out detailed studies to support the management of Barrow Island’s distinct plant and animal species.

Professor Simon McKirdy, Director of the Harry Butler Institute said: “Barrow Island is an environment ungrazed by exotic species with very few weeds – making it a unique location for researching endemic species of plants and native animals.

“It has many unique species including vertebrates, the white-winged fairy wren, boodie, euro, spectacled hair wallaby, and more than 3,500 invertebrate species — the majority of which are yet to be fully identified by science.

“Our first step will be to detect any invasive species that pose a significant risk to the unique flora and fauna of the island.”

Going forward, the Institute will be offering new academic pathways for students, and supporting research programmes that promote sustainability and environmental protection.

If you would like to find out more about studying programmes in environmental science in Australia, contact us for a course list.

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