Front line scientists call for mental health support in the wake of catastrophic ecosystem loss

When ecologist Daniella Teixeira visited her bushfire-ravaged study site on Kangaroo Island, South Australia in February this year, the scale of the damage hit her hard.

Teixeira, an ecologist at The University of Queensland, Australia, felt numb and deeply sad as she set foot among the blackened trees and melted nest boxes that were once home to the black glossy cockatoos she studied during her PhD. The fires had burnt through one-third of the island since they started in December 2019.

“Going back to the sites where I did my research was the hardest thing,” says Teixeira. “It was like a graveyard.”

But Teixeira was unsure about where to seek support for the emotional toll she was experiencing. She was also discomfited to hear other researchers urging the community to focus on action instead of anxiety and sadness.

Read full article here