Top science prize to cane toad scientist

Issue 
Rick Shine.

University of Sydney professor Rick Shine has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science for his work in teaching Australia’s native animals to give cane toads a wide berth.

A conservation biologist, Shine is using evolutionary principles to boost the effectiveness of real-world conservation.

He has used “teacher toads” — small cane toads that are not big enough to kill but are unpleasant enough to encourage animals such as quolls and lizards to steer clear of eating bigger cane toads in future.

Shine’s research has also explored ways to stop cane toads reproducing, by lacing traps with pheromones from other species that attract cane toad tadpoles.

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