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)