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Nicky Phillips

Nicky Phillips is Science Editor for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Toxic estuaries in NSW making rock oysters infertile

Nicky Phillips High concentrations of metals in Port Jackson, Port Kembla and Botany Bay are having a major impact on marine life, researchers have found.

Tasmanian tiger's cousin was a more ferocious killer

Nicky Phillips The Tasmanian tiger had the fierce name, but new research has found a distant cousin was a far more ferocious killer.

Thorny issue of finding a new frog


Nicky Phillips Jodi Rowley can barely contain her excitement when she describes the bizarre new species of frog she helped discover in Vietnam.

Dog gone: scientists confirm the dingo is a unique species


Nicky Phillips Since the arrival of westerners in Australia more than 200 years ago, the dingo has been known as Australia's native dog. But it turns out that our native mutt is not really a mutt.

Climate change to make downpours more violent: expert


Nicky Phillips If you're sick of the heavy rain, you better get used to it. The intense downpours and flash flooding Sydney and the Illawarra experienced over the past few days are going to become more frequent, a...

Humble hut plays key role in climate change research


Nicky Phillips It's easy to miss the old hut that stands behind Casey station on the Antarctic coastline.

Human activity altering rainfall patterns, satellite data shows

Image from Japan Meteorological Agency satellite MTSAT-1R via Bureau of Meteorology. Captured: Saturday 5 March 2011 06:30 UTC. SHD News. 5 March 2011

Nicky Phillips Human activities are altering rainfall patterns across the global, a world first study using satellite data has found.

Giant, meat-eating platypus identified from one fossil tooth

platypus fossil

Nicky Phillips An extinct species of giant, toothed platypus, about a metre in length, has been discovered and identified in far north-west Queensland, using a single tooth.

Antarctic drilling project to get to core issues of climate change


Nicky Phillips Australia will lead a mission to the heart of Antarctica this summer to drill several ice cores that will be used to fill gaps in scientist's understanding of recent climate records.

Inferno expected to generate abnormal, high-altitude cloud


Nicky Phillips A bizarre weather phenomenon known as a fire cloud is likely to form over the fire raging between Lithgow and Bilpin if weather conditions deteriorate from Tuesday, as predicted, say fire analysts.

New climates for Melbourne, Sydney predicted

Melbourne sunset

Nicky Phillips Melbourne has just endured its hottest September on record.

Scientists pinpoint date to restart record books

Sydney's Cronulla Beach.

Nicky Phillips Sydney endured its hottest September on record this year. Thursday may be our hottest October day. But when do we stop talking about breaking records and admit we've got a radically different...

Turning turtle to find new species

Nicky Phillips ''Come on, take off your clothes and get in.'' Scientist Arthur White is neck-deep in a murky creek about 200 kilometres north of Mount Isa, making me an offer I'd rather refuse.

Zoo's elder statesman steps down without a fight

Old Silverback Kibabu in his enclosure at Taronga Zoo.

Nicky Phillips Humans aren't the only primates who retire to the seaside.

Great Barrier Reef now rated 'poor'

The Great Barrier Reef

Ben Cubby, Nicky Phillips The health of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef has been downgraded to "poor" as the government quietly pushed some of the pollution targets that were supposed to be achieved this year...

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Carbon dioxide a threat to krill

The Age,NEWS,Portland,Whales
A single Nyctiphanes Australis,commonly known as krill, on blue whale researcher  Peter Gills fingers.The vast  swarms of krill in the Portland area is  what the Blue  whales are feeding on.
Pic Sandy Scheltema.040404.001.001

Nicky Phillips Almost half of Antarctic krill offspring might struggle to survive by the end of the century.

Climate campaigner warns of burning need to keep coal in the ground

Author and enviromentalist as well as founder of, Bill McKibben in Sydney. News photo: Marco Del Grande on 3rd. June, 2013

Nicky Phillips Not many people can attract a decent-sized crowd to present what is essentially a maths lesson.

Climate campaigner warns of burning need to keep coal in the ground

Bill McKibben

Nicky Phillips Not many people can attract a decent sized crowd to give what is essentially a maths lesson.

Tusk, tusk - it's a woolly tale of mammoth blood

Nicky Phillips Russian scientists claim they have extracted blood from a woolly mammoth buried in Siberia, a discovery they hope will aid their attempt to revive the extinct species.

Spotlight on cockatoo, winged wanderer who loves city life

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.
24th April 2013
Photo: Wolter Peeters
The Sydney Morning Herald

Nicky Phillips Columbus (01) prefers Mosman, while Pina Colada (05) is a regular on the balconies of Potts Point. A true north shore type, Burt (09), has never been spotted south of the bridge.