I am an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow at The University of Sydney where I conduct applied research in disturbance, movement and predator-prey ecology, spanning local to global scales. I achieve this through field experiments, empirical modelling, quantitative syntheses and partnerships with industry and government.
Previously I was an Alfred Deakin Post-doctoral Research Fellow at Deakin University’s Centre for Integrative Ecology in Melbourne, Australia.
I lead a small team of PhD candidates and research assistants spread across The University of Sydney and Deakin University. I am always interested to hear from potential collaborators and research students, so please get in contact.
APPLIED ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH
(1) Impacts of anthropogenic disturbance and landscape change on animal movement
Movement is fundamental to the survival of animals, as it allows them to find resources, mates and shelter, and escape competition and predation. However, many animals must alter their movement patterns as they adapt to changes in resource availability and habitat connectivity caused by humans.
We are conducting both field-based and meta-analytical work to better understand how animals change their movement in response to disturbance and what the outcomes are for populations and communities.
(2) Managing the impacts of fire and invasive predators on native fauna
Invasive predators are responsible for massive biodiversity loss worldwide, but they do not act alone to impact native fauna. Their impacts can be exacerbated by other disturbances that make it easier for them to hunt. Emerging evidence suggests that the impacts of introduced foxes and feral cats on Australia fauna are greater following bushfires.
We are conducting field experiments in Victoria, Western Australia and New South Wales to better understand i) how cats and foxes respond to fire, ii) how small mammals and reptiles respond to the combined impacts of fire and predation, and iii) whether predator control or providing artificial refuges can improve fauna survival and abundance in the face of fire and predation.
(3) Mechanisms and consequences of habitat degradation in agricultural landscapes
Some species can persist in highly modified agricultural and urban environments, but their persistence may depend on habitat quality. While the impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation in human-dominated landscapes have been well documented, less attention has been paid to the impacts of habitat degradation. Gradual decreases in habitat quality occur over longer time scales and may be causing the silent loss of biodiversity from production landscapes.
We are studying the patterns and process of habitat degradation in central New South Wales, using mallee woodlands with a spinifex understorey as a model system. We are tackling this question from the perspective of both plants and animals (reptiles)
MAMMAL CONSERVATION IN POST-FIRE ENVIRONMENTS
Viv is investigating the role of refuges (both natural and artificial) and burning practices in protecting mammal populations in fire-prone environments. This project is supported by the NSW Environment Trust. Co-supervised by Chris Dickman and Dale Nimmo.
CONSERVING THREATENED MAMMALS IN THE FACE OF FIRE AND PREDATION
Working in the eastern Otway Ranges, Darcy is investigating the interactive effects of bushfire and invasive predators on native mammal populations. This project is generously supported by the Hermon Slade Foundation. Co-supervised by Barb Wilson and Don Driscoll.
ECOSYSTEM RESILIENCE TO FIRE
Ange is investigating the response of mammals, reptiles and frogs to time since fire in the mallee woodlands and heathlands of Victoria. This project is a collaboration with La Trobe University and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Co-supervised by Euan Ritchie, Don Driscoll and Dale Nimmo.
IMPACTS OF FIRE AND INTRODUCED PREDATORS ON REPTILES
Kristina is investigating the impacts of fire and introduced predators on reptile communities in south-western Victoria. This includes detailed population surveys and behavioural experiments. Supported by an ARC Linkage grant. Co-supervised by Don Driscoll and Bronwyn Hradsky.
ACCOUNTING FOR ECOLOGICAL INTERACTIONS TO IMPROVE ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT
Using desktop analyses and modelling, Billy is investigating how knowledge of interactions between threats and ecological processes can improve ecosystem management and conservation. Co-supervised by Euan Ritchie, Dale Nimmo & Ayesha Tulloch.
KEYSTONE HABITAT DYNAMICS IN AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES
Kris is researching the biotic and abiotic factors that drive the abundance and condition of spinifex grass (Triodia scariosa) in fragmented agricultural landscapes in central New South Wales. This project is generously supported by the Hermon Slade Foundation. Co-supervised by Don Driscoll.
IMPACTS OF HABITAT DISTURBANCE ON REPTILES
Sara is investigating how reptiles in agricultural landscapes in Australia and Pakistan respond to habitat degradation and fragmentation, using both population and behavioural studies. Supported by the Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment, National Geographic, Rufford Foundation and WWF. Co-supervised by Don Driscoll.
2022/23: Owen Lishmund, Behavioural responses of native lizards to feral cats.
2019/20: Mary Thorpe, Habitat associations and management of herbivores and predators in the Little Desert.
2019/20: Meg Farmer, Long-nosed potoroo ecology on French Island.
2019: Dylan Lees, Microhabitat use by small mammals with regard to fire and refuges.
2018: Vivianna Miritis, Potoroo and feral cat ecology on French Island.
2017/18: Charlie Fist, Movement ecology of bearded dragons in fragmented agricultural landscapes.
2017/18: Bec Cherubin, Evaluating the ecological impacts of feral horses in the Alps.
2016: Evie Jones, Factors influencing feral cat density and distribution in a mallee ecosystem.
2016: Gavin Trewella, Herbivore distribution and habitat use in the Big Desert.
Below I provide links to key papers grouped according to research themes.
Please visit my Google Scholar and ResearchGate profiles for a full publication list and email me for reprints.
*senior author ^student
KEY RECENT PAPERS
TS Doherty, WL Geary, V Miritis, DJ Watchorn (2023) Multiple threats affecting the marsupials of Australasia: impacts and management in American and Australasian Marsupials: An Evolutionary, Biogeographical, and Ecological Approach (eds. N Cáceres, CR Dickman), in press, pp xx–xx, Springer.
WL Geary^, AF Wayne, AIT Tulloch, EG Ritchie, MA Maxwell, TS Doherty* (2022) Fox and cat responses to fox baiting intensity, rainfall and prey abundance in the Upper Warren, Western Australia. Wildlife Research.
S Balouch^, DA Driscoll, A Naseer, M Rais, TS Doherty* (2022) Impacts of land cover on reptile movement and habitat use in farming landscapes. Animal Conservation.
TS Doherty, WL Geary, CJ Jolly, K Macdonald, V Miritis, DJ Watchorn, MJ Cherry, LM Conner, SM Legge, EG Ritchie, C Stawski, CR Dickman (2022) Fire as a driver and mediator of predator-prey interactions. Biological Reviews.
DJ Watchorn^, MA Cowan, DA Driscoll, DG Nimmo, KR Ashman, MJ Garkaklis, BA Wilson, TS Doherty* (2022) Artificial habitat structures for animal conservation: design and implementation, risks and opportunities. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.
D Lees^, DJ Watchorn, DA Driscoll, TS Doherty* (2022) Microhabitat selection by small mammals in response to fire. Australian Journal of Zoology.
TS Doherty TS, GC Hays, DA Driscoll (2021) Human disturbance causes widespread disruption of animal movement. Nature Ecology and Evolution.