I’m Ian Lunt and I work as a freelance science and nature writer. I write about animals, plants and the people who work to save them. This page showcases some of my favourite projects.
Before freelancing, I worked for more than 25 years as a research ecologist and university lecturer. For much of that time I was an Associate Professor at Charles Sturt University.
In 2016 and 2017, I worked with the amazing Country Needs People and Modern Outback teams at Pew Charitable Trusts. We created two stunning reports on the inspiring work that’s being done by Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians to sustain nature in the Australian outback: one of the last, large, natural areas left on earth. The two reports – My Country, Our Outback and Protecting Nature For All of Us – contain hundreds of beautiful photos and are free to download from the web.
Saving biodiversity under climate change
What can we do to save biodiversity under climate change? Lots of things – like working together, accepting change, connecting landscapes, keeping positive, and much more. In 2015/16, I worked with the VNPA, the University of Melbourne’s Bio21 Institute and the Royal Society of Victoria to create VicNature2050: a report and web site on saving biodiversity under climate change. (Image by John Sampson, Ecotype.)
Ecology for Australia
For four years, from 2011-2015, I created one of Australia’s most popular ecology blogs, Ecology for Australia, posting more than 100 stories, one every fortnight. There aren’t many new posts nowadays but you can still read all the posts here. Two of the most popular stories are on vanishing woodlands and how to write a great science story.
Australia’s Best Ecology Blogs
Hundreds of great nature blogs are posted every week in Australia alone, but who has time to read them all? To connect writers with readers, I created Australia’s Best Ecology Blogs. It showcases the best blogs on nature and ecology by Australian scientists and naturalists. Thousands of followers get daily updates on Facebook and Twitter. In mid-2016, I passed on the management of Australia’s Best Ecology Blogs to a new site manager.
Fun with Science
If a picture tells a thousand words, a movie tells a million. Animations enliven traditional charts and graphs. This moving chart is from a story I wrote on how mallee bushland changes after fire. Should you be wondering, Delma is a small legless lizard that lives in the prickly spinifex grass, Triodia. (If this image looks blurry on your screen, click on it to see a larger, clearer version.)
Australia’s Best Science Writing
In 2015, an essay of mine called Field Guide to the Future – about field guides to plants and birds, in books and apps – was included in the collection Australia’s Best Science Writing 2015, published by NewSouth Books. You can read an early online version of the article for free or buy a copy of the fantastic book from UNSW Press.
As well as writing, I give informative and entertaining talks to professional and community groups. Recent highlights include:
- Opening plenary address at the Annual Conference of the Ecological Society of Australia in 2012, to an audience of 800 people.
- Opening keynote address at the Australasian Plant Conservation Conference in Hobart, November 2014.
- Opening keynote talk at the Biodiversity Across the Borders conference in Ballarat in June 2015. You can watch the video online.
And before all of this I wrote more than a hundred papers and reports about ecology and conservation. You can find them all on my Google Scholar, ResearchGate and old PDFs pages. My university web page contains more details from my university career.