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My research explores the factors that influence the successful colonisation and persistence of wildlife in human-dominated landscapes. My passion for conservation biology and curiosity for understanding natural phenomena has led to a diverse research background in animal behaviour, spatial analysis, urban ecology, invasion biology and ecological theory. Currently, I am investigating the environmental benefits of regenerative farming as part of the H3 programme (www.h3.ac.uk).
November 2018 - November 2021
- PhD Student
- I’m using a variety of methods to understand and predict the influence of green space design on plant-insect relationships, including a year-long observation study of garden beds in the City of Melbourne, complimented by metabarcoding pollen from bees and hoverflies collected during Spring 2019, and deploying experimental “phytometres” in Munich in 2018. I plan to use the outcomes of this research to inform better greenspace design practice for enhancing biodiversity in cities.
March 2016 - July 2017
- Research Assistant
- Macquarie University and North Sydney council have come together to transform the new Coal Loader Green Roof into a living lab for community engagement and biodiversity enhancement. My particular focus is on developing biodiversity monitoring strategies.
February 2016 - November 2017
- Research Assistant
- During my stay at Macquarie University I worked on a NSW ENV Trust project looking at the ecological impact of the invasive myrtle rust fungus. The project used a combination of spatial analysis, glasshouse trials and field studies to identify species or communities most at risk from infection and prioritise management actions.
Most people today live in cities1, and cities are planned primarily for the benefit of humans. Yet, cities also provide habitat to many other species2–6. There is a growing agreement on the need to safeguard urban biodiversity7–9, and that urban green is important for the occurrence of species in cities10. Urban green has many components, and our u...
Green roof retrofits offer a promising avenue to increase greenspace and thus biodiversity in the city. The successful colonisation and establishment of plants and animals on green roofs is limited by the location and context of the green roof. Here we use a before, after, control, impact (BACI) design to monitor the colonisation of a new retrofit...
The ability of insects to persist in urban greenspace depends on their ability to usefully interact with available plant resources. Greenspace design influences plant–insect interactions by: (1) limiting the plant-species pool available for interaction through plant choice, (2) limiting the insects that are available for interaction through site-oc...
Biodiversity within cities is fundamental for human health and well-being, and delivers a wide range of critical ecosystem services. However, biodiversity is often viewed as an afterthought or final addition once an urban development nears completion. As such, provisions for biodiversity are typically tokenistic and do not achieve the experience of...
The classification of plant species as native or exotic has ramifications for how they are treated within urban green space policy and practice. Green spaces are built or managed to fulfil a range of ecological and social functions, and decisions must be made about which plants to include to achieve these functions. There is growing literary and po...
In 2010, the invasive pathogen Austropuccinia psidii was detected in Australia, posing a threat to vegetation communities containing susceptible Myrtaceae species. A large-scale field experiment tested the direct and indirect effects resulting from the infection of two highly susceptible rainforest species, Rhodamnia rubescens and Rhodomyrtus psidi...
Austropuccinia psidii (myrtle rust) is an invasive fungus native to South America that infects the young growing tissues of species in the Myrtaceae family, one of the dominant plant families in Australia. To date, 360 native species from 49 genera have been found to be susceptible in Australia, but the vast majority remain untested (81%). The aim...
Austropuccinia psidii is a plant fungus native to South and Central America which causes myrtle rust disease, affecting the growth and reproduction of species in the Myrtaceae family. Austropuccinia psidii was first detected in Australia 8 years ago in New South Wales. Since then it has spread rapidly along the east coast, and to date is known to i...
Myrtle rust (Austropuccinia psidii) is an invasive rust fungus that attacks species of the Myrtaceae family, one of the most dominant plant families in Australia. The potential extent of myrtle rust affected areas and the high number of potential host species make a species prioritisation scheme essential to direct conservation and management effor...
Adaptive responses of native species are important in enabling their persistence in the face of unprecedented biotic exchange. In the present paper I discuss how native species respond to invasive species both from a mechanistic and trait-based perspective. An earlier review by Strauss et al. (Ecol Lett 9:357-374, 2006) discussed a conceptual model...
If animals are trained with two similar stimuli such that one is rewarding (S+) and one punishing (S-), then following training animals show a greatest preference not for the S+, but for a novel stimulus that is slightly more different from the S- than the S+ is. This peak shift phenomenon has been widely reported for vertebrates and has recently b...