Alexandra J. R. Carthey

Alexandra J. R. Carthey
Macquarie University · Department of Biological Sciences

PhD, BSc (Hons 1), BA

About

46
Publications
22,762
Reads
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Citations
Introduction
My current research focuses on mammalian trophic interactions such as predation and herbivory, particularly in invaded and otherwise disturbed environments. I use a wide array of approaches from animal behaviour, foraging, evolutionary and chemical ecology, and am always interested in linking my research to conservation outcomes.
Additional affiliations
June 2016 - present
Macquarie University
Position
  • Fellow
January 2016 - June 2016
Macquarie University
Position
  • Research Associate
January 2015 - June 2015
Macquarie University
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (46)
Article
Full-text available
The invasion of alien species into areas beyond their native ranges is having profound effects on ecosystems around the world. In particular, novel alien predators are causing rapid extinctions or declines in many native prey species, and these impacts are generally attributed to ecological naïveté or the failure to recognise a novel enemy and resp...
Article
Through natural as well as anthropogenic processes, prey can lose historically important predators and gain novel ones. Both predator gain and loss frequently have deleterious consequences. While numerous hypotheses explain the response of individuals to novel and familiar predators, we lack a unifying conceptual model that predicts the fate of pre...
Article
Full-text available
Detecting enemies is crucial for survival and a trait that develops over an evolutionary timeframe. Introduced species disrupt coevolved systems of communication and detection in their new ranges, often leading to devastating impacts. The classic example is prey naivety towards alien predators, whereby prey fail to recognise a new predator. Yet exa...
Article
Microbes are now known to influence inter- and intraspecific olfactory signaling systems. They do so by producing metabolites that function as odorants. A unique attribute of such odorants is that they arise as a product of microbial-host interactions. These interactions need not be mutualistic, and indeed can be antagonistic. We develop an integra...
Article
We thank Morimoto and Baltrus for their attention to our paper, ‘The extended genotype: microbially mediated olfactory communication’ [ 1 ]. We agree with Morimoto and Baltrus that the genotype has been classically defined as the genes that are vertically inherited and we do not dispute this definition. However, we use the term ‘extended genotype’...
Article
Full-text available
Trait databases have become important resources for large-scale comparative studies in ecology and evolution. Here we introduce the AnimalTraits database, a curated database of body mass, metabolic rate and brain size, in standardised units, for terrestrial animals. The database has broad taxonomic breadth, including tetrapods, arthropods, molluscs...
Article
Despite research into the dynamics of seed transport in fluvial systems, few consider how far seeds will travel, and how far from local or upstream seed sources passive regeneration can occur. We experimentally test the seed floating time of 60 plant species (50 native and 10 exotic) commonly found in riparian corridors of southeastern Australia. A...
Article
Southern Australia’s 2019–20 wildfire season was unprecedented, but the ecological toll remains poorly understood. Estimates of three billion animals being affected by the fires attracted global attention, but how many of those animals succumbed to the flames? A recent systematic review of fire-induced mortality showed that a surprisingly high prop...
Article
Full-text available
Planet Earth is entering the age of megafire, pushing ecosystems to their limits and beyond. While fire causes mortality of animals across vast portions of the globe, scientists are only beginning to consider fire as an evolutionary force in animal ecology. Here, we generate a series of hypotheses regarding animal responses to fire by adopting insi...
Article
Species traits have much to offer conservation science. However, the selection and application of trait data in conservation requires rigor to avoid perverse or unexpected outcomes. To guide trait use, we review how traits are applied along the conservation continuum: the progression of conservation actions from assessing risk, to designing and pri...
Article
Context: It is widely recognised that red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are abundant within urban areas; however, it is difficult to apply lethal control measures using poison baits in cities because of concerns about the safety of domestic pets, particularly dogs (Canis familiaris). Aims: We tested canid pest ejectors (CPEs) as a potential method of fox...
Preprint
Planet Earth is entering the age of megafire, pushing ecosystems to their limits and beyond. While fire causes mortality of animals across vast portions of the globe, scientists are only beginning to consider fire as an evolutionary force in animal ecology. Here, we generate a series of hypotheses regarding animal responses to fire by adopting insi...
Article
Full-text available
The Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has established large populations in Australia’s urban and rural areas since its introduction following European settlement. The cryptic and highly adaptable nature of foxes allows them to invade cities and live among humans while remaining largely unnoticed. Urban living and access to anthropogenic food resources also i...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Preprint
Full-text available
The Red fox ( Vulpes vulpes ) has established large populations in Australia’s urban and rural areas since its introduction following European settlement. Foxes’ cryptic and highly adaptable nature allows them to invade cities and live among humans while remaining largely unnoticed. Urban living and access to anthropogenic food resources also influ...
Article
Full-text available
With urban encroachment on wild landscapes accelerating globally, there is an urgent need to understand how wildlife is adapting to anthropogenic change. We compared the behaviour of the invasive red fox (Vulpes vulpes) at eight urban and eight peri-urban areas of Sydney, Australia. We observed fox behaviour around a lure and compared fox activity...
Article
A better understanding of context in decision-making—that is, the internal and external conditions that modulate decisions—is required to help bridge the gap between natural behaviors that evolved by natural selection and more arbitrary laboratory models of anxiety and fear. Because anxiety and fear are mechanisms evolved to manage threats from pre...
Article
Full-text available
Rivers provide crucial ecosystem services in water-stressed drylands. Australian dryland rivers are geomorphologically diverse, ranging from through-going, single channels to discontinuous, multi-channelled systems, yet we have limited understanding of their sensitivity to future hydroclimatic changes. Here, we characterise for the first time the g...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Full-text available
Synthesizing trait observations and knowledge across the Tree of Life remains a grand challenge for biodiversity science. Species traits are widely used in ecological and evolutionary science, and new data and methods have proliferated rapidly. Yet accessing and integrating disparate data sources remains a considerable challenge, slowing progress t...
Article
Full-text available
Organismal biology has undergone a dramatic paradigm shift in the last decade. The realization that host cells and genes are outnumbered by symbiotic microbial cells and their genes has forced us to rethink our focus on ‘individuals’. It is also becoming increasingly clear that the ecology and biology of animals and plants are intimately connected...
Article
Full-text available
The enemy release hypothesis (ERH) outlines the most widely tested and accepted invasion mechanism. Within the ERH there are two hypotheses, the evolution of increased competitive ability hypothesis (EICA) and the shift in defence hypothesis (SDH), which describe how this mechanism may work. To our knowledge these two hypotheses are yet to be compr...
Preprint
Full-text available
Synthesising trait observations and knowledge across the Tree of Life remains a grand challenge for biodiversity science. Despite the well-recognised importance of traits for addressing ecological and evolutionary questions, trait-based approaches still struggle with several basic data requirements to deliver openly accessible, reproducible, and tr...
Article
Full-text available
Alien species experience both costs and benefits in invaded environments, through naiveté of potential prey species, but also predation pressure from native predators. The question of whether alien prey recognise and respond to native predators has been relatively understudied, despite the hypothesised potential for native predators to provide biot...
Article
Full-text available
Prey naiveté is a failure to recognize novel predators and thought to cause exaggerated impacts of alien predators on native wildlife. Yet there is equivocal evidence in the literature for native prey naiveté towards aliens. To address this, we conducted a meta-analysis of Australian mammal responses to native and alien predators. Australia has the...
Article
Full-text available
Questions Fire is a crucial component of many ecosystems. Plants whose seeds germinate in response to smoke may benefit from resource availability in the post‐fire environment. Smoke can influence germination timing and success, as well as seedling vigour, resulting in burgeoning research interest in smoke‐responsive germination. Research in this f...
Article
Full-text available
Introduced predators have a global reputation for causing declines and extinctions of native species. Native prey naiveté towards novel predators is thought to be a key reason for predator impacts. However, naiveté is not necessarily forever: where coexistence establishes, it is likely that naiveté will be reduced through adaptation, and the once a...
Article
Full-text available
Many plants disperse their seeds in waterbodies via hydrochoric transport. Despite a growing body of research into hydrochory, little is known about the fundamental seed traits that determine floatation ability or hydrochoric transport behaviour more generally. Seeds are transported in fluvial systems in one of three phases: surface transport, with...
Article
Full-text available
Alien predators have wreaked havoc on isolated endemic and island fauna worldwide, a phenomenon generally attributed to prey naiveté, or a failure to display effective antipredator behaviour due to a lack of experience. While the failure to recognise and/or respond to a novel predator has devastating impacts in the short term after predators are in...
Article
Full-text available
Predation is an important selective force on prey species, but avoiding predators can be costly. Efficient decisions on who to avoid (predator recognition) and when (situations with different predation risk) will determine the chances of prey survival. In coevolved predator-prey systems, detection of predator odours generally induces a response in...
Chapter
Full-text available
Despite decades of research into predator control, predation by exotic predators is the leading cause of reintroduction failure in Australia and New Zealand. A variety of methods are used to deal with the threat of predation, including excluding and controlling predators and improving prey responses. Fenced reserves and islands are becoming increas...
Article
Full-text available
The giving-up density framework is an elegant and widely adopted mathematical approach to measuring animals’ foraging decisions at non-replenishing artificial resource patches. Under this framework, an animal should “give up” when the benefits of foraging are outweighed by the costs (e.g., predation risk, energetic, and/or missed opportunity costs)...
Chapter
Full-text available
Olfaction plays a central role in the game of evasion and detection in predator-prey interactions. Odours are a necessary consequence of metabolic processes and are also used by both predators and prey as social signals in the form of long-lasting scent marks. Because of their longevity, odours are open to exploitation by predators to help them fin...
Article
Full-text available
Naïveté can occur within any novel antagonistic interaction, and competitive forces play a fundamental role in shaping community structure, yet competitive naïveté has received very little attention in the literature to date. Naïveté towards a novel competitor is unlikely to result in immediate mortality, but could potentially affect access to reso...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Key Points • Of the over 9400 seedlings that emerged from the seed bank, 128 species were identified, 67 % of which were native. There was a 30 % overlap in species found in the seed bank and local standing vegetation. • Bars and benches are statistically similar in their seed bank characteristics, but bars are significantly different to benches an...
Thesis
Full-text available
Alien predators have devastating impacts on native prey in invaded ecosystems worldwide, a fact commonly attributed to ecological naiveté or the failure of native prey to defend themselves against a novel predator due to a lack of experience. Despite this, few studies have convincingly demonstrated naiveté in native prey. Ecological naiveté is of p...
Article
Full-text available
The giving-up density (GUD) framework provides a powerful experimental approach with a strong theoretical underpinning to quantify foraging outcomes in heterogeneous landscapes. Since its inception, the GUD approach has been applied successfully to a vast range of foraging species and foraging scenarios. However, its application is not simple, as a...
Article
Full-text available
Many animals use olfaction to find food and avoid predators, and must negotiate environments containing odors of varying compositions, strengths, and ages to distinguish useful cues from background noise. Temporal variation in odor cues (i.e., “freshness”) seems an obvious way that animals could distinguish cues, yet there is little experimental ev...
Poster
Full-text available
The Giving Up Density (GUD) framework provides a powerful experimental approach, with strong theoretical underpinning, for quantifying foraging outcomes in heterogeneous landscapes. Since its inception, GUD has been applied successfully to a vast range of foraging species and foraging scenarios. Commonly, but not exclusively, it has been used to qu...
Article
Full-text available
The impact of alien predators on native prey populations is often attributed to prey naiveté towards a novel threat. Yet evolutionary theory predicts that alien predators cannot remain eternally novel; prey species must either become extinct or learn and adapt to the new threat. As local enemies lose their naiveté and coexistence becomes possible,...
Data
Details of contingency table analysis and category pooling. (DOC)
Presentation
Full-text available
The Giving Up Density (GUD) framework provides a powerful experimental approach, with strong theoretical underpinning, for quantifying foraging outcomes in heterogeneous landscapes. Since its inception, GUD has been applied successfully to a vast range of foraging species and foraging scenarios. Commonly, but not exclusively, it has been used to qu...
Article
1. Olfactory predator search processes differ fundamentally to those based on vision, particularly when odour cues are deposited rather than airborne or emanating from a point source. When searching for visually cryptic prey that may have moved some distance from a deposited odour cue, cue context and spatial variability are the most likely sources...
Thesis
Full-text available
Olfactory cues may linger in the environment long past the departure of prey, whilst visual cues are fleeting and often instantaneous. Thus predators in olfactory systems must make decisions not only about which prey to hunt, but also which odour cue to follow. Optimal foraging theory predicts that predators should be able to use information em...

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Projects

Projects (7)
Archived project
Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are an invasive predator implicated in the decline and extinction of many Australian native species, and are thought to thrive better in urban than in natural areas. We investigated the behaviour of foxes towards a novel object (a control device – canid pest ejector), temporal activity, and interactions with potential prey and domestic predators, by comparing behaviour among site types and to several environmental variables. We assessed the risk of using this device via visitation by domestic dogs, and in relation to distance from human habitations. We used camera-traps in 16 sites around Sydney to record temporal activity, visitation, and behaviour of our study species.