Koala Life Research Series: Professor Delene Weber

29 Sep. 2022 5 min read

Professor Delene Weber is a Professor of Environmental Science at the University of South Australia. Her area of expertise is the interactions between humans and the environment, and she is working with Koala Life on several projects based around koalas and community.

Her work is not just about enhancing koala offerings and learning experiences but about how to integrate those lessons into daily life and create a better world for koalas.

“We're hoping we get people understanding more about koalas, about their role in koala protection and conservation, and about how they can work to help the environment more generally,” says Professor Weber.

Some of her tips for how you can help koalas include driving a bit slower in koala areas, keeping a phone number in your glove box of koala caring groups, keeping your dog on a lead, and considering your personal impact on habitat fragmentation. Because of the koala’s specialized diet and behavior, they are especially vulnerable to habitat fragmentation and having to traverse larger distances between food sources can tire them out and make them more vulnerable to predators.

“The integrated approach that Koala Life is taking is really important. Their idea of survival science is critical to helping protect koalas. But we want to use the science now to move forward and see how we can actually do this better.”

As borders continue to open, her work will also move to focus on an international perspective. Koalas are a major part of Australia’s tourism industry and the last time a major economic study was done, koalas were valued at $3.2 billion dollars per year, indirectly creating 30,000 jobs for Australians.

You can hear more about Professor Delene Weber’s work in the video below or on YouTube here. You can also contact her if you are interested in participating in one of her projects at delene.weber@unisa.edu.au.