Curious Climate schools
Curious Climate schools

Dr Grant Williamson

Affiliation
The Fire Centre, University of Tasmania
Research Areas
Fire ecology, forest ecology, climate
Why I do what I do
I am fascinated by the complexities of the way fire, a process that is both naturally occuring and influenced strongly by humans, interacts with the natural environment. I do my research because I'm interested in ways humans can learn to live with and manage fire under a changing climate.
Something interesting about me
Love to play guitar, bass and make music at home.

Questions answered by this expert

How do we make a vacuum car to suck up car fumes and fire gases?
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What will be the first effects of climate change that we will notice in Tasmania?
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We asked a wetland ecologist, a fire scientist, and a Tasmanian Aboriginal person to answer this question. Their answers may surprise you - because climate change is already affecting Tasmania.

Indigenous perspective

Tasmanian Aboriginal People have been seeing climate change effects for well over 15 years now, we have noticed these effects on our traditional cultural resources such as the marineer shells, Mutton Birds, and dog wood trees/saplings. 

Marineer Shells are used in traditional shell necklace making (mental health, connection to country). The shells come in a variety of colours and sizes. They are an iridescent metallic green or blue colour and are often representative of status or valued highly as a trade item, depending on the quality, quantity, and shell variety. 

Some of the climate change affects which has been seen on the shells are discoloration, spotted corrosion, thinning of the shell walls, and becoming more brittle because of this. Their numbers are reducing, the water they live in has become more acidic, the weeds they live in and on have reduced in number and coverage per hectare, in some cases being pushed out of the area by other weeds. 

Marineer shells in a necklace. Photo: Dean Greeno.

Mutton birds are being affected by micro plastics in the water, and the blockages are interfering with their energy levels for their long-haul migrations and breeding cycles. Dog wood (used for making spears and clap sticks) saplings are growing at a faster rate and are being shown to not grow as straight nor with the same internal strength qualities that have been apparent for thousands of years. 

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