Research

Feel free to contact me about potential student projects

Current research

Grey-headed flying-foxes, Parramatta Park. Image: By Optimusprimetransformer CC BY-SA 4.0
Grey-headed flying-foxes, Parramatta Park. Image: Optimusprimetransformer CC BY-SA 4.0

Mitigating tensions around new and established urban flying-fox roosts
Collaborators: Brendan Wintle, Kathryn Williams, Justin Welbergen, Dave Kendal, Rod van der Ree, David Westcott, Kylie Soanes

This ARC Linkage project aims to address the issues surrounding flying-fox roosts in Australia’s towns and cities. Flying-foxes are nationally protected and highly mobile mammals that are pivotal to Australia’s forest ecosystems, and continue to be threatened by habitat loss, extreme weather, and persecution. They are now increasingly urban, and this causes community concern because they can be noisy, smelly, can damage vegetation and property, and are perceived to introduce risk of disease transmission. Management interventions to disperse roosts require sustained efforts, can cost millions of dollars, and typically either fail to move the bats along or force them into even more contentious areas. This project will draw together ecological and social analysis in a decision-theoretic framework to identify alternative management strategies to mitigate human-flying fox conflict.

 

The impacts of changes in global trade on biodiversity
Collaborators: Brendan Wintle, Tom Kompas, Mark Burgman, Brett Bryan, Joshua Lawler
Trade influences land-use and habitat by driving demand for commodities that are directly or indirectly derived from the land, and this influence will increase with growth in international trade. Accurate predictions of trade impacts and opportunities would allow governments to maximise ecological and economic benefits and minimise impacts through judicious planning and regulation.  This ARC Discovery project involves the integration of state-of-the-art economic and ecological analyses to better understand and predict the economic and ecological implications of trade policy.

 

Improving recognition and management of threatened species in urban areas 
Koala and swift parrotCollaborators: Kylie Soanes, Caragh Threlfall, Karen Ikin, Georgia Garrard, Dave Kendal, Luis Mata, Leonie Valentine, Kirsten Parris, Sarah Bekessy

This project is jointly funded through the NESP Clean Air & Urban Landscapes, and Threatened Species Recovery Hubs. Previous work by our group has shown that approximately 30% of Australia’s threatened species occur in our cities and towns, but for the most part members of the public are not aware of this and interventions used to conserve these species in rural areas cannot be applied in urban settings. This project aims to improve our understanding of the distribution and ecology of these urban threatened species, as well as explore novel management options in recognition of the unique opportunities and challenges urban areas present to conservation.

 

Past research

The conservation value of Australia’s Stock Route Network

Trait-based approaches to predicting native bee responses to land use change

Surrogacy and connectivity in systematic conservation planning

 

Postgraduate students

  • Kaye Currey, MEnv current, Management approaches to urban flying-fox camps
  • Rebecca Sutherland, MEnv 2016, Remote estimation of bat box occupancy
  • Mauricio Mora, MEnv 2015, Population viability of South America’s most endangered deer
  • Tanja Straka, PhD 2015,  Linking the needs of  bats and people at urban wetlands
  • Madeline Brenker, MSc 2014, Viability of mammals under different revegetation strategies

 

Examples of media features

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