I’m interested in the effects of environmental change on biodiversity (especially birds), with a particular focus on climate change and vegetation degradation. Much of my work focuses around the theme of ecological refugia, that is, identifying landscapes and environmental characteristics that are likely to protect biodiversity from ongoing declines caused by climate change and habitat degradation. This has included evaluating the effects of prolonged drought on woodland birds, and investigating the potential of high productivity vegetation, such as floodplain and riparian refuges, to buffer declines.

I also have a keen interest in identifying the proximal drivers of population responses to environmental change. A growing theme in my work is the effects of climatic pressures (such as drought and aridity), and vegetation degradation on demographic measures, especially bird breeding activity.

I consider myself both a field ecologist and a quantitative ecologist. I have experience with a wide range of ecological data (e.g. my own fine scale field data, Bird Atlas datasets, long-term monitoring programs, remotely sensed data) and quantitative analyses (including bayesian hierarchical models, species distribution modelling methods, spatial optimisation, meta-analyses, GIS). Having spent several years working in environmental policy for the Australian government, I also have a strong interest in conducting research with direct conservation applications.

I’m currently based in the Quantitative and Applied Ecology group at the University of Melbourne, as a postdoctoral research fellow with the NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub (with Brendan Wintle and Heini Kujala). I received my PhD in 2017 from Monash University (supervised by Ralph Mac Nally, Melodie McGeoch and Rohan Clarke).

Contact: katherine[dot]selwood[at]unimelb.edu.au