Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN)

Hosted by The University of Queensland. Queensland Partners: James Cook University, Queensland University of Technology and CSIRO.

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Far north Queensland ecosystem observatory

TERN is Australia’s land ecosystem observatory. We observe, measure and record critical terrestrial ecosystem parameters and conditions for Australia over time from continental scale to field sites at hundreds of representative locations. This information is standardised, integrated and transformed into model-ready data, enabling researchers to discern and interpret changes in land ecosystems.

Website https://www.tern.org.au

Key science sectors

Strengths and capabilities

  • Data collection
  • Data processing, storage and publication
  • Integration, analysis and synthesis
  • Site
  • based research equipment
  • Multidisciplinary networks
  • Future focus (infrastructure for long-term ecosystem science)
  • Environmental Sensors
  • Ecological Methods
  • Environmental research and management tools

Facilities and major equipment

  • Landscapes (remote sensing platform)
  • Ecosystem Surveillance (national network of monitoring plots)
  • Ecosystem Processes (network of ecosystem observatories)
  • Data services & analytics (including data portal & research tools)
  • >700 environmental monitoring sites
  • Soil and vegetation sample library
  • Flux towers measuring energy, carbon and water exchanges
  • Soil and Landscape Grid of Australia (national soils mapping)
  • Tools that support the discovery, analysis and re
  • use of data

Number of research staff

Up to 20 research staff


TERN, Goddard Building, Building 8, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Q, 4072

Lead researcher

  • Dr Siddeswara Guru—Led the development of a virtual desktop tool, CoESRA, which the Victorian EPA use to reliably understand health impacts by pollutant source

Achievements of the centre

Organisation type

  • National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme
  • Research Infrastructure Co-investment Fund

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