Amelia Nichele

Amelia Nichele

Amelia Nichele is a science journalist at The Royal Institution of Australia.

  • How wide is the ocean?

    If it’s the Atlantic, getting wider all the time.

    A geological phenomenon is pushing North and South America further apart from Europe and Africa a new study has found...

    January 28, 2021
  • Ice loss up

    Comprehensive survey finds global melt increasing at record rate.

    Study after study has shown that Earth is losing its glacial and polar ice. Previous research has focussed on specifi...

    January 27, 2021
  • Spotlight on air pollution in Europe

    Study identifies the European cities with highest mortality rates.

    Think of air pollution these days and you probably think of China. In 2017 alone air pollution is estimated to have c...

    January 21, 2021
  • The origins of money

    Standardised Bronze Age objects may have acted as ancient currency.

    From cowrie shells to native resources and animals, currency in some shape or form has long been a part of human hist...

    January 21, 2021
  • COVID inequality explained

    Higher expression of ACE2 protein is found in the elderly and men.

    As COVID-19 vaccine rollouts begin, a large focus has been on vaccinating target groups, including the elderly. Choos...

    January 20, 2021
  • Spice up your solar

    A touch of chilli may create more stable photovoltaic cells.

    Chilli is known to have a range of health benefits, from reducing infections to improving digestive performance. But ...

    January 15, 2021
  • Stark legacy: secrets of dire wolves revealed

    Forensic DNA reveals dire wolves are their own species.

    If you think dire wolves (Canis dirus) are closely related to other wolves then you know nothing, Jon Snow. A new ...

    January 14, 2021
  • Positive tipping points offer climate hope

    Analysing cases of successful societal shift points the way.

    While tipping points are often used to describe the negative impacts of climate change, researchers have found some p...

    January 13, 2021
  • The wolfish thylacine

    Skull scans demonstrate example of convergent evolution.

    The extinct Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus), remains one of Australia’s most iconic and myste...

    January 12, 2021
  • Year of extremes

    BOM looks back at the past year of climate.

    In 2020, Australia’s climate had more plot twists than an episode of Tiger King. From bushfires that ravaged the c...

    January 8, 2021
  • Fish, undammed

    Ingenious tube systems could reconnect ailing fish populations.

    You wouldn’t be a freshwater fish for quids in this world. As human culture and ingenuity has progressed, the cons...

    January 7, 2021
  • So tell us, what is up Skip?

    Kangaroos try to communicate, research suggests.

    Fans of the iconic television show Skippy (and that oft-repeated question, “what’s up Skip?”) will be pleased to know...

    December 17, 2020
  • Playing detective for native trees

    Help collect evidence about death and recovery.

    Dead trees are nothing new in the Australian landscape, but last summer was particularly severe. Following weeks o...

    December 15, 2020
  • Solace seeking in the Southern Ocean

    Australian team looking for answers in marine snow.

    Australian researchers are on a 45-day mission to capture the most detailed picture yet of how marine life in the Sou...

    December 15, 2020
  • Itching to stop mosquitoes?

    Mozzie Monitors launches a new program.

    From improvements to insecticides to understanding mosquito senses and even releasing genetically modified population...

    December 8, 2020
  • Monitoring coastline erosion risk

    Project makes an impact with drone technology.

    There’s no better picture of the Australian summer than people flocking to the beach to cool off. Aside from getting ...

    November 30, 2020
  • Changing behaviours of birds

    Observe how they are coping in altered environments.

    The sight of a sulphur-crested cockatoo raiding a household wheelie bin might do little more than irritate the averag...

    November 23, 2020
  • On the phone, want it now

    Study links screen time to impulsive decision making.

    We have a bit more evidence to suggest smartphone use and impulsive decision-making go hand in hand. In a recent s...

    November 19, 2020
  • Keeping an eye on coral health

    CoralWatch aims to protect our precious reefs.

    Coral bleaching is a devastating global issue. If temperatures continue to rise, the rate of bleaching events will in...

    November 16, 2020
  • Rare Bigfin Squid in Australian waters

    Scientists record some striking footage.

    Australia is home to a host of weird and wonderful creatures, and now it can add the rare Bigfin Squid to its invento...

    November 12, 2020
  • Is that meat fresh? Check your phone

    Colour-changing barcode behind novel e-nose.

    Your phone might soon be able to do a sniff test for you. Credit: NTU Singapore Researchers are working on an a...

    November 12, 2020
  • The Great Cicada Blitz

    In search of the sound of the Australian summer.

    There’s no louder announcement of the start of summer than cicadas’ song. The insect, which spends most of its life u...

    November 9, 2020
  • Mangrove forests act as plastic sinks

    Study highlights ability to capture carbon and microplastics.

    A new study highlights the heavy lifting marine ecosystems do in combatting environmental issues, finding that mangro...

    November 6, 2020
  • Grow some spines for EchidnaCSI

    Opportunities for a little monotreme detective work.

    There’s nothing quite like catching sight of a wild echidna meandering in the bush. However, getting a glimpse of the...

    November 3, 2020
  • Super pea could reduce diabetes risk

    Natural mutation prevents sugar spikes.

    Don’t turn your nose up at wrinkled peas: they could be a life saver. A new study has found that a natural mutation i...

    October 28, 2020
  • Aussie Backyard Bird Count takes flight

    Join in on one of Australia’s largest citizen science events.

    In celebration of National Bird Week, Australia’s largest annual citizen science event has kicked off, running until ...

    October 22, 2020
  • Your at-home guide to appreciating snails

    Watch what they do, then tell their stories.

    Ah, the humble snail. They’re slow, slimy and a have a lousy habit of devouring our hard-grown veggies. However, like...

    October 19, 2020
  • Bridging gaps in rare gibbon’s habitat

    Researchers and primates know the ropes.

    The Hainan gibbon (Nomascus hainanus) is the rarest primate on Earth, with no more than 30 individuals thought to rem...

    October 17, 2020
  • How some ants feed without drowning

    Sand structures help them syphon liquids safely.

    Animals have been known to develop clever tricks to ensure a full stomach. Some dolphins, for example, use empty shel...

    October 9, 2020
  • Yes, the megalodon was really big

    Researchers confirm gigantism of the extinct species.

    The megalodon (Otodus megalodon) has a long-standing reputation as one of the largest sharks to have roamed the ocean...

    October 6, 2020
  • Unlocking Universal secrets

    AstroQuest is calling for volunteer stargazers.

    Astronomical observations have certainly come a long way. In the past, observatories had astronomers, mainly men, ...

    October 2, 2020
  • A missing part of the rock art gallery

    Newly described images show human-animal relationships.

    Arnhem Land rock art is continuing to provide a window into Australia’s past, with scientists describing 572 previous...

    October 1, 2020
  • A warming climate’s impact

    ClimateWatch is observing flora and fauna behaviour.

    Over the past decade ClimateWatch has made some important contributions to understanding the phenology of Australian ...

    September 28, 2020
  • Dives of distinction

    Cuvier’s beaked whales continue to surprise.

    Cuvier’s beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) are continuing to prove why they’re considered the superstars of the div...

    September 25, 2020
  • Forest regrowth’s role in carbon capture

    Study maps potential accumulation globally.

    Reforesting is considered a prominent strategy in mitigating climate change, with previous research highlighting the ...

    September 24, 2020
  • Finding the powerful owl

    Australia’s largest owl is an accomplished hiding expert.

    The powerful owl (Ninox strenua) is Australia’s largest owl. With big yellow eyes and an impressive wingspan of up to...

    September 21, 2020
  • Flight of the sniffer bees

    Honeybee scent training could make pollination more effective.

    Honeybees continue to cause quite a buzz with their smarts. Previous studies have found that not only can they unders...

    September 18, 2020
  • Keeping track of moving marine life

    Let Redmap know if you see something out of place.

    Each week Cosmos takes a look at projects and news about citizen science in Australia. This week, we talk to Gretta P...

    September 14, 2020
  • Gen Z isn’t swallowing lab-grown meat

    Survey highlights taste, health and sustainability concerns.

    Technologies like smartphones and virtual reality have been eagerly embraced by the younger generation, known as Gen ...

    September 9, 2020
  • The strongest ocean currents are heating up

    Study highlights areas of intense warming.

    Over the next 30 years, the intensity of heatwave events in some of the world’s strongest ocean currents is expected ...

    September 4, 2020
  • Lyrical lyrebird also an ecosystem engineer

    Its soil displacement tops the global rankings.

    The superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) is known for its impressive mimicry of other birds’ songs and even camer...

    September 3, 2020
  • Flying foxes are very mobile mammals

    That brings benefits, but also conservation challenges.

    Australia’s flying foxes are known for their nomadic lifestyle. Now, a new study has ranked them among the most mobil...

    August 22, 2020
  • Could your phone tell you’ve been drinking?

    It may be as simple, and valuable, as watching you walk.

    The best guide to whether you’ve had too much to drink may already be in your pocket. Medical researchers from Sta...

    August 19, 2020
  • Why seeing fake faces isn’t, well, weird

    Our brains are attuned to the basic patterns, study suggests.

    If you think this roof is watching you, don’t be alarmed. The phenomenon of seeing faces in everyday objects is no...

    August 18, 2020
  • Plug it into the wall

    Chemists create ‘smart bricks’ for energy storage.

    The humble house brick could one day help power electronic devices, if researchers at Washington University, US, are ...

    August 12, 2020
  • New Guinea home to richest island flora

    Co-ordinated effort finally reveals true number of species.

    New Guinea boasts the greatest plant diversity of any island in the world, according to a new study published in the ...

    August 7, 2020
  • Angelfish are clever breeders

    Hybridisation isn’t limited to closely related species.

    Natural hybridisation isn’t uncommon among marine life. Two different species often mate and produce hybrid offspring...

    August 6, 2020
  • Grooming and the social lives of cows

    Study highlights link to mood and behaviour.

    Cows, it seems, are more complex creatures than we thought. Earlier this year, Cosmos reported on the mood swings ...

    August 5, 2020
  • These new species are things to Marvel at

    CSIRO turns to heroes in this year’s list.

    CSIRO has released its annual list of newly named species and this time it’s paying homage to the good guys. After...

    July 29, 2020
  • Earlier warning of Pacific cyclones

    New model makes predictions four months ahead.

    Many vulnerable Pacific nations will have more time to prepare for tropical cyclones thanks to a new model that can g...

    July 22, 2020
  • Ultra-black more than a fashion statement

    These fish use it to make sure they really can’t be seen.

    In the darkness of the deep ocean a single photon of light can expose an animal to predators, so many species have ev...

    July 20, 2020
  • How some marine species navigate

    Two studies shine a light on different behaviours.

    The way marine animals navigate has long fascinated scientists. Now, two new tracking studies have highlighted some c...

    July 17, 2020
  • How old do you think your dog is?

    It seems you can’t just multiply by 7.

    Accepted wisdom has it that to work out a dog’s age in human years you just multiply it by seven. Apparently, it’s...

    July 3, 2020
  • China’s approach to conservation

    China’s path to sustainability is unique, but there are takeaways.

    In the wake of an apocalyptic bushfire season, Australia’s land management and environmental policies have been thrus...

    June 24, 2020
  • Border control won’t contain COVID-19

    Need for additional containment measures confirmed.

    Two new studies suggest the importance of using a suite of containment measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, rangi...

    March 17, 2020
  • A Scottish stegosaurus

    Researchers unveil a new dinosaur stomping ground.

    The stegosaurus, one of the most familiar plant-eating dinosaurs from the Jurassic Period that resembles a dragon, le...

    March 13, 2020
  • Natural contaminant threatens groundwater

    Climate change and urbanisation drive the looming crisis.

    More than half of the world’s population faces an impending threat to the quality and availability of drinking water ...

    March 11, 2020
  • Animals can alter fires in unexpected ways

    They can be a useful tool in fire reduction if used properly.

    Animals eating plants might appear to be an obvious way to suppress fires, with the likes of goats, deer and cows alr...

    March 9, 2020
  • The many fears of pet dogs

    Anxiety is prevalent across different breeds.

    If you think your pet’s personal problems are down to your dog’s breed, then new Finnish research has a bone to pick ...

    March 5, 2020
  • Pesticides impair baby bee brain development

    Adult bees bring contaminated food back to the colony.

    Pesticides have proven to be toxic to adult bees, contributing to mass declines amongst bee species across the world....

    March 4, 2020
  • Gently does it

    Soft robotic fingers lift jellyfish without stress.

    Soft robots have many uses, and now we can add lifting jellyfish to that list. US researchers have shown that captur...

    February 24, 2020
  • Teen cows get moody too

    Puberty makes their personalities inconsistent.

    Mood swings are a well-known part of puberty, and it seems that’s it’s not just humans. Canadian research suggests da...

    February 12, 2020
  • Bumblebees can fly in ‘economy mode’

    Exactly how they do it isn’t clear, however.

    We’re learning a lot about bees. In the past year alone, Cosmos has reported on their ability to learn maths and surf...

    February 9, 2020
  • What can a primate tell us about cat allergies?

    Its venom points to a feline defence mechanism.

    The toxin from the world’s only venomous primate appears to have given researchers an unexpected insight into the ori...

    February 6, 2020
  • We need to look out for sharks

    Two studies look at the difficult task of sharing the oceans.

    New Australian research highlights the delicate nature of the relationship between humans and sharks. A study of the...

    January 26, 2020
  • Hiding behind its iridescence

    Jewel beetle uses bright colour as camouflage.

    In the animal kingdom, bright colours usually have two main purposes: attracting a mate or warning off predators. ...

    January 23, 2020
  • New sharks and rediscovered rays

    Australian marine researchers report a double success.

    Marine researchers from Australia’s University of Queensland have discovered four new species of walking shark and a ...

    January 21, 2020
  • Wearing silk may help seeds grow

    Engineers develop a clever coating.

    A protective silk coating that supplies essential nutrients may make it possible to grow seeds in soil that is otherw...

    November 25, 2019
  • Dr Karl wins prestigious Kalinga Prize

    He’s been popularising science for almost 40 years.

    Dr Karl Kruszelnicki – or simply Dr Karl as he is best known – has become the first Australian to win the UNESCO Kali...

    November 20, 2019
  • A monster galaxy found lurking in the dust

    It provides insight into the first growing steps of galaxies.

    Astronomers have uncovered the footprints of a previously unknown monster galaxy in the early Universe.   The discov...

    October 23, 2019
  • Winners of The Prime Minister’s Science Prizes

    Recipients of Australia’s Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science.

    The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science are Australia’s most prestigious science awards. Seven prizes are awarded for...

    October 16, 2019
  • Microfactory turns recycling on its head

    Transforming recyclables into useful plastic products.

    In 2018 China stopped buying our recycling. Then, in July of this year, Indonesia started turning it back by the cont...

    October 10, 2019
  • Genetics may play a role in sexuality

    But it’s complicated.

    A new study has found that there is no “single gay gene". Instead, researchers suggest there are thousands of genetic...

    August 30, 2019
  • There is no single ‘gay gene’

    Because we’re human, there are many factors, study finds.

    A study of more than 470,000 people has confirmed that there is no single “gay gene”. There are thousands of genetic ...

    August 29, 2019
  • Don’t count your corals before they attach

    A big piece of pumice probably won’t save a really big reef. Amelia Nichele reports.

    A giant pumice “raft” is floating across the Pacific Ocean towards Australia, raising hopes it could restock the Grea...

    August 28, 2019
  • Photo exhibition celebrates Moon landing

    Not all about the event, but the technology that got us there.

    A new exhibition in the Ballarat Municipal Observatory and Museum in Victoria, Australia, is celebrating all things t...

    August 23, 2019
  • Tweets from the park aren’t all from the birds

    Social media users are enjoying being there too.

    Recent studies have shown how green spaces have a positive effect on our mental health, and now social media has prov...

    August 20, 2019
  • Advice: dentures out before anaesthetic

    In one case, a simple operation turned into quite a saga.

    Here’s a tip for all denture wearers – remove them before you go into surgery. Writing in the journal BMJ, a British...

    August 13, 2019
  • Why some sharks glow in the dark

    An entirely new form of marine biofluorescence.

    US researchers have discovered a family of small-molecule metabolites that explains how and why some sharks can glow ...

    August 8, 2019
  • A clever way to find killer bacteria

    Australian approach uses quantum dots and a smartphone.

    Australian researchers say they have found a way to confirm the presence of the antibiotic-resistant bacterium golden...

    August 6, 2019
  • Who will defend the defenders?

    Businesses need to be more accountable.

    The gunfire rang out. One bullet lodged into the wall next to Marivicc's head, another pierced the corrugated iron ro...

    August 6, 2019
  • Women ‘missing out on best heart care’

    Study finds women less likely to get recommended medications.

    A mistaken belief that coronary heart disease (CHD) affects only middle-aged men could be the reason why both women a...

    July 26, 2019
  • Don’t forget – less chilli

    Study finds possible link to cognitive decline.

    Perhaps think twice about that extra kick of chilli sauce. Research suggests a spicy diet could be linked to cognitiv...

    July 25, 2019
  • An apple, and a few bacteria, a day

    Organic gives you a better batch, research shows.

    If you eat your apples, core and all, you’re consuming 100 million bacteria each time, new research has found. That’...

    July 24, 2019
  • Garlic on broccoli may keep pests away

    The right odours can repel insects.

    Strong flavours such as garlic, thyme and cinnamon are a good way to hide the flavours of vegetables you don’t like. ...

    July 23, 2019
  • Laugh tracks do make us laugh – no joke

    But it’s better if it’s real laughter, study suggests.

    It’s annoying to have to report this, but is seems that “laugh tracks” work. They even make really corny “dad jokes” ...

    July 22, 2019
  • Double trouble for invasive mosquitoes

    Researchers combine techniques to reduce their chances to breed.

    More than 90% of disease-carrying mosquitoes have been eliminated in a field trial in China by combining two techniqu...

    July 17, 2019
  • The strategy of augmentative biocontrol

    Augmentative biocontrol involves some complexities.

    The effectiveness of releasing natural enemies to combat crop pests depends on the landscape surrounding the field, n...

    July 16, 2019
  • Watching Nemo can cause problems

    Artificial night light affects clownfish hatching.

    Artificial light has the potential to reduce the reproductive fitness of fish that inhabit reefs near populated shore...

    July 10, 2019
  • Robot Academy lets anyone build robots

    Students from 175 countries have learnt how to build robots.

    Inspiration often strikes at the most unexpected of times. For Queensland University of Technology robotics professor...

    May 17, 2019
  • Australia’s biggest science film festival

    The biggest science movie festival kicks off.

    The southern hemisphere’s biggest science themed film festival, SCINEMA, kicks off in Australia on Tuesday May 28.  ...

    May 15, 2019
  • One million species on brink of extinction

    Life on Earth is declining at a rate unrivalled.

    The assessment by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has fo...

    May 10, 2019
  • Bisexual people’s mental health issue

    Significantly poorer than gay, lesbian and heterosexual people.

    While studies have consistently found that bisexual people experience lower quality mental health, the reasons behind...

    May 6, 2019

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