"The truth is that we need invertebrates but they don't need us. If human beings were to disappear tomorrow, the world would go on with little change. [...] But if invertebrates were to disappear, I doubt that the human species could last more than a few months. Most of the fishes, amphibians, birds, and mammals would crash to extinction about the same time. Next would go the bulk of the flowering plants and with them the physical structure of the majority of the forests and other terrestrial habitats of the world. The earth would rot. As dead vegetation piled up and dried out, narrowing and closing the channels of the nutrient cycles, other complex forms of vegetation would die off, and with them the last remnants of the vertebrates. The remaining fungi, after enjoying a population explosion of stupendous proportions, would also perish. Within a few decades the world would return to the state of a billion years ago, composed primarily of bacteria, algae, and a few other very simple multicellular plants."

Wilson, EO (1987) The Little Things That Run the World (The Importance and Conservation of Invertebrates). Conservation Biology 1(4)344-346.


Our Research

The Invertebrate Lab is based in the School of Science and Health and the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University. We aim to understand the evolution and ecology of invertebrates and promote their conservation. Situated at the foot of the Blue Mountains, and with field sites across Australia's Snowy Mountains, we tend to focus on high-country invertebrates and how climate change will influence their life histories. Through these aims we contribute to fundamental and applied research. 

Contact Us

You can find us all over the web! We are on twitter: @InvertebrateLab and facebook: www.facebook.com/invertebrateLab. In addition, each one of us has personal twitter accounts for you to follow, click on the link to the People page in the menu bar above. The People page also provides the info you need to contact Kate directly, an email to k.umbers [at] westernsydney.edu.au is your best approach. 

     Spring melt in Kosciuszko National Park photo: Kate Umbers

    Spring melt in Kosciuszko National Park photo: Kate Umbers