Media & Outreach

Upcoming Events 2023

Future Science Talks 1st November 2023

University of Sydney Alumni Festival “Dr Karl and USYD Superstars of STEM” Panel Discussion 2nd December 2023

Past Events 2023

ABC Radio SydneyControlling Australia’s Invasive Species” Nightlife with Phillip Clark 11th October 2023

ABC Radio SydneyHow bugs help (and harm) us” Self Improvement Wednesday with Richard Glover 11th October 2023

University of Sydney “Threads of Life: Unravelling Biodiversity’s Complexity Across Disciplines” Biodiversity Panel Discussion 21st September 2023

University of Sydney Applied Life Sciences “Biodiversity and Science Communication” Lecture 15th September 2023

Engadine High School “The Life of Science” Student Talk and Q&A 11th September 2023

University of Sydney Masters of Sustainability “Biodiversity is big business” Lecture 11th September 2023

Sutherland Shire Library “Threatened species and our cities7th September 2023

Catch up online Threatened Species and Our Cities with Dr Eliza Middleton – YouTube

University of Sydney Biodiversity Themed Sustainability Tour 7th September 2023

SBS News “Invasive species a major threat to world’s biodiversity” 5th September 2023

ABC Radio Sydney Self Improvement Wednesday with Richard Glover 16th August 2023

City of Sydney National Science Week City Farm Open Day 12 August 2023

ABC Radio Sydney “Art critics and dancing, bees can do more than you think” – Self Improvement Wednesday with Richard Glover 31 May 2023

The University of Sydney Science Society (SciSoc) Careers Panel 19 April 2023

ABC Radio Sydney Which animals and plants get all the attention and why – Self Improvement Wednesday with Richard Glover 8 February 2023

Recent qualifications

Environmental Accounts with Accounting for Nature;

Accounting for Nature Accredited Expert, Fauna

Experts help users of the Accounting for Nature® Framework to develop Environmental Accounts. Asset Experts have specific scientific experience in one of the environmental asset-classes, and some methods require an Asset Expert.

Certifications from RMIT;

Business Analytics and Visualisation

Business analytics utilises data to draw insights, helping inform a business’ decisions with improved accuracy and efficiency. This courses utilises Excel and Tableau for analysing and visualising data.

Business analytics with SQL and Python

This course utilises SQL, or Structured Query Language, to extract data from tables within a database, and Python, a programming language that has data analysis libraries built on top of it, allowing for data to be analysed and manipulated in order to tell compelling stories and drive business decisions.  

Recent Publications

McCormick, J, Middleton, EJT, White, TE, Latty, T (2023) “Information cascades spread adaptive and maladaptive behaviours in group living animals” Under review

RESEARCH: Accepted, Animal Behaviour

Chapman, KM, Richardson, FJ, Forster, CY, Middleton, EJT, White, TE, Burke, PF, Latty, T (2023) “Artificial flowers as a tool for investigating multimodal flower choice in free flying insects” Under review

RESEARCH: Accepted, Ecology and Evolution

Forster, CY, Middleton, EJT, Gloag, R, Hochuli, DF, White, TE, Laty, T (2023) “Impact of empty flowers on foraging choice and movement within floral patches by the Honey bee, Apis mellifera” Under review

RESEARCH: Currently under review

Middleton, EJT, Hochuli, DF, Keith, R, White, TE, Latty, T, Forster, CY* (2023) “Social media conservation messaging mirrors age-old taxonomic biases in public domain” Austral Ecology 48(4):687-698 *shared first authorship https://doi.org/10.1111/aec.13288

RESEARCH: The Threatened Species Bake Off competition is a social media initiative created by the Australian Government in 2017 to raise awareness of nationally listed threatened species. In this study, we assessed the trends of the competition by collating entries via Instagram and Twitter in its first 5 years. Representations of 356 unique species were baked, 261 of which were listed as nationally threatened species. This is evidence of taxonomic bias towards the charismatic animals, and a problematic lack of representation of other threatened species, such as plants. Public engagement in this competition reflects current conservation messaging, including media and education focus on charismatic animals, demonstrating engrained biases. Future competitions should address this by highlighting less popular but equally important threatened species, especially plants.

Herringe, CA, Middleton, EJ, Boyd, KC, Latty, T, & White, TE (2022) “Benefits and costs of social foraging in velvet worms” Ethology 128(3):197-206 https://doi.org/10.1111/eth.13256

RESEARCH: Velvet worms are enigmatic and charismatic invertebrates that have long captured the intrigue of researchers. As the only known  social living and foraging Onychophoran species, there are many behavioural questions to explore. Our work examined the effect of natural group size and controlled prey size on the latency to attack and begin consuming prey, the likelihood of complete prey consumption and the time taken to completely consume prey, demonstrating the costs and benefits of group living in E. rowelli.

Oberhauser, FB, Middleton, EJT, Latty, T & Czaczkes, TJ (2019) “Meat ants cut more trail shortcuts when facing long detours” Journal of Experimental Biology 222(21) https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.205773

RESEARCH: Meat ants are ubiquitous in the Australian outback and are famous for their distinct trail networks. In this research we demonstrate their ability to clear trails in a directed manner when detour costs around an obstacle are high. Further, meat ants quickly establish cleared trails to food by focusing on a central, vertically aligned trail.

Middleton, EJT, Garnier, S, Latty, T & Reid, CR (2019) “Temporal and spatial pattern of trail clearing in the Australian meat ant, Iridomyrmex purpureusAnimal Behaviour 150:97-111 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2019.02.006

RESEARCH: Although trail clearing is thought to be beneficial in decreasing travel time, the physical process of clearing requires an investment of time and energy. Given that trail clearing is a decentralized process, how do colonies decide when to invest in clearing? In this study, we examined trail clearing using artificial semipermeable barriers mimicking grass. Meat ants cleared low abundance/low toughness obstacles more than high abundance/high toughness. We further found that the paths were not optimally efficient, however a percolation analysis showed that the ants strategically deployed clearing, taking multiple factors into account when deciding to invest in this strategy. The resultant clearing patterns provided shorter travel routes for foraging ants than would be expected by the random removal of obstacles.

CONTACT me

If you’re interested in my services as a scientific consultant, engaging me for a speaking event or media interview, or would like to collaborate with me on a project, get in touch through the form below and I’ll get back to you shortly. Alternatively, if you would like to register your interest for an event, please check out my booking calendar.