Research

 

Current projects (as part of the NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub):

 

Spatial conservation planning for Christmas Island

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Christmas Island

I’m modelling the distributions of threatened and priority species on Christmas Island and using spatial prioritisation to identify top conservation priority areas for this biologically unique island.

Better offsets for threatened species

In this project we’re reviewing the options available for making biodiversity offsets more strategic.

Identifying opportunities for the conservation of threatened birds in Murray-Darling Basin wetland and floodplain habitat 

I’m leading a project to evaluate the use of floodplain and wetland habitat by threatened birds in the Murray Darling Basin to identify key habitat and drought refugia, in order to inform options for environmental water use and floodplain management (commencing mid-2018).

 

Past/continuing research projects:

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Ground surveys of river red gum stand condition

Identifying ecological havens in river red gum forest

In this project we used spatially explicit models of river red gum floodplain forest stand condition over time to identify key ‘havens’ for biotic resistance and resilience to drought in Parks Victoria’s river red gum reserve system.

Either side of the Big Wet- How resilient is our biota to long-term drying?

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Gunbower Island floodplain

This project explores the responses of the biota to the longest recorded drought in the region’s history (1997–2010, the “Big Dry”) followed by two years of very high rainfall (2010–12, the “Big Wet”) and subsequent years of more average rainfall. My PhD (The significance and future prospects of floodplains for birds in a drying climate, supervised by Ralph Mac Nally, Melodie McGeoch and Rohan Clarke, completed in 2017) was associated with this Linkage Project. My PhD fieldwork was located on the Barmah and Gunbower Island floodplains on the Murray River, where I measured forest stand condition and bird responses to the Big Wet. I also analysed Bird Atlas data in the Murray-Darling Basin to assess broader trends in avifauna, and assess the value of floodplain as drought refugia.

 

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