Developments

Past Developments

Aquatic Habitat Restoration

The siltation problem in the dam was mitigated by dredging a 2m deep area at the Blackburn Road end of the lake. The lake was drained and the bed sloped from the deeper area at the face of the dam to meet the pre-existing bed profile at the western and northern ends of the lake.

A channel was formed in the bed to direct the inflow into the body of the lake with minimal reworking of bottom sediments. All Typha beds were removed. The dredgings from the lake were disposed on site near the south-eastern Blackburn Rd corner.

Restoration and Re-establishment of Native Vegetation

Natural regeneration of vegetation has been supplemented with plantings from locally seeded species. Careful consideration has been made for the selection of plants being planted in the reserve.

The state government EVC maps and historical records have been used extensively during this process. Over 1000 units of locally seeded plants have been planted in the reserve in the past 3 years. Extensive plantings occurred during the development of the Plant Sciences Complex in the north-eastern corner of the reserve.

Improved Access to Habitats and Facilities

Road access was constructed to building 42 and the new experimental ponds/mesocosms in 2006.

A board walk was also constructed over the treatment wetland connecting gravel paths which formed a circuit track around the lake and leading out to the southern pedestrian gate. Access to the deeper sections of the lake were improved by constructing two access piers (east and west). In 2011 a recycled tire rubber path was laid to provide access to the newly installed Environmental Education Centre.

The rubber path is made from 100% recycled road-truck tires and replaced an existing gravel path.

Interpretive Signage

Extensive permanent signage was posted along the western fence of the reserve and at the southern and northern entrances to the reserve. The signs outlined the facilities and ongoing research in the reserve with the aim of improving public outreach.

Establishment of Treatment Wetland

The existing dry channel leading into the head of the dam has been developed so that all storm water inflow from the Halls of Residence is now directed into it. Storm water enters the settling pond and continues through the wetland biological filters to the lake in the eastern end of the reserve. Water quality is improved through the system with the removal of unwanted heavy metals and reduced levels of phosphates and nitrates.

Facility for Aquatic Science, Teaching and Research (FASTR)

In 2006 major works were completed in the Environmental Labs - Building 42. Works included upgrades to the observation rooms attached to the outdoor enclosures. The observation rooms have been upgraded to functioning experimental tank rooms capable of housing a range of aquatic experiments. The rooms are temperature controlled and each has been fitted with 4mm brass air manifolds from the centrally fitted air compressor.

There is also tap access to freshwater and saltwater in the building.

Experimental Ponds/Mesocosms

A complex of experimental ponds and mesocosms are now available for departmental use. The ponds range from a set of 500L ground level bathtubs (25) to 1000L above ground experimental ponds and 9000L ground level mesocosms. A central storm water drain has been installed to facilitate draining of the ponds/mesocosms.

All water drained into this system is directed into the siltation pond near the head of the treatment wetland.

Experimental Aquatic Flumes

In 2008/2009 four recirculating flumes were constructed in Building 42. There are the biggest recirculating flumes in the Southern Hemisphere and the only replicate set that can be used in climate change experiments. The School of Biological Sciences identified the flumes as potential facilities for opportunities in the investigations of human impacts on freshwater communities, particularly in the areas of climate change and ecotoxicology. Several departments have used the flumes for a range of projects including researchers from Engineering, Chemistry and Biological Sciences.

These projects have included am ARC Linkage project and more recently a large National Climate Change Adaptation Research Fund project.

Future Developments

Establish a world class wi-fi remote sensing technology

In partnership with a Wi-Fi sensor provider, a network of wi-fi stations will be established across the grounds of the reserve. These will be used to monitor water quality moving through the reserve lake and treatment wetland. Future applications of the network will incorporate radio-tracking of potential marsupial populations and webcam observations of animal behaviour.

Re-establish a resident population of grazing marsupials

The population of marsupials (Tasmanian Pademelons) will provide an example of the native grazing fauna of the Clayton area, and to be a teaching and research resource. These animals will be radio-collared and intensively managed to maintain a stable population which can be sustained by the vegetation. Fencing will be used to exclude animals from restoration zones and areas within the reserve identified as sensitive

Establish a network of Next Boxes

To help maintain the biodiversity in the Jock Marshall Reserve the School of Biological Sciences will collaborate with The Office of Environment and Sustainability to produce and install a network of Nest Boxes throughout the reserve grounds. The nest boxes will target native hollow tree dwelling species.

Establish a network of remotely accessed critter cams

Via the established Wi-Fi access in the reserve a series of remotely accessed critter cams will be installed in the network of nest boxes. In line with the School Strategic Plan these cameras will be implemented as a part of the 'Eight mile to Eight Micron' programme. The high definition critter cams will be motion sensor triggered and fitted with the latest infra-red technology for the use of capturing nocturnal activities. A live stream will be incorporated into the Jock Marshall Reserve Google website and the LCD screen in the foyer entrance to Building 18.

Generate state of the art information sharing via QR code technology

A complete flora and fauna listing will be uploaded to the Jock Marshall Reserve Google website and accessed via a QR technology based system. This will provide first contact information sharing with visitors/staff/students in the reserve. Information in the QR codes will include - species and common name, habitat type, description (height/width/weight), natural distribution maps. regional references, identification keys, photos and illustrations, contextual history for the JMR, 3D imaging, micro-imaging, DNA bar-coding and access to live stream feeds from the network of critter cams.

JMR Naturewalk and footbridge

In 15 years the JMR, Nature Walk and its surrounding landscape will become a celebrated and renowned public realm asset of the Monash University City. The JMR naturewalk and raised footbridge will increase public awareness of the JMR by providing a unique local bushland experience, strengthen the presence of the JMR in relation to the surrounding landscapes and increase amenity of surrounding landscapes. Improved connectivity and access will improve connection between the JMR and interface landscapes, the Monash University campus and the wider community.

Key strategies will drive the Jock Marshall Reserve as a world-class teaching and research Ecological Sanctuary that is integrated with the latest technology. The process of ecologically restoring the reserve to accommodate flora and fauna will be well underway.

JMR Teaching Laboratory

The School's vision for the JMR Teaching Lab is to see the classroom as an extension of the JMR. It is important for there to be connectivity between the inside and outside spaces - visual contact with staff and students, integrated spaces with opening doors and windows. The new laboratory will greatly enhance teaching initiatives and improve the student experience. The laboratory will accommodate 112 students.