Luis Mata

Luis Mata
University of Melbourne and Cesar Australia

B Sc; M Sc; PhD

About

44
Publications
23,866
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676
Citations
Introduction
I'm an ecologist with an interest in complex systems, insects, urban environments, sustainable agriculture, citizen science, and science communication. I'm a Lead - Research Scientist at Cesar Australia (https://cesaraustralia.com/) and a researcher in the Urban Green Spaces Research Group (School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, University of Melbourne). I'm an alum of the Santa Fe Institute (https://www.santafe.edu/).

Publications

Publications (44)
Article
Full-text available
During the main COVID-19 global pandemic lockdown period of 2020 an impromptu set of pollination ecologists came together via social media and personal contacts to carry out standardised surveys of the flower visits and plants in gardens. The surveys involved 67 rural, suburban and urban gardens, of various sizes, ranging from 61.18° North in Norwa...
Article
Full-text available
Invertebrates comprise the most diversified animal group on Earth. Due to their long evolutionary history and small size, invertebrates occupy a remarkable range of ecological niches, and play an important role as “ecosystem engineers” by structuring networks of mutualistic and antagonistic ecological interactions in almost all terrestrial ecosyste...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity conservation and mental health and wellbeing are of increasing global concern, with growing relevance to planning and policy. A growing body of literature exploring the relationships between biodiversity and mental health and wellbeing—based on early research conducted largely from social science perspectives—suggests that particular q...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This research contributes to a growing body of work on urban human–nature relationships. An online survey was used to examine the motivations, characteristics, wildlife gardening meanings and choices, and activities of 294 wildlife gardeners in Victoria Australia, alongside their wildlife observations and the wellbeing benefits they attribute to th...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity in urban environments continues to decline, alongside diminution of human connections with nature and community. An integrated ethic and practice of caring for one’s human and ecological community could help address these issues. Here, we describe how wildlife gardening can be such a pathway. We provide an overview of related social dy...
Article
Full-text available
Human activities continue to inflict profound detrimental impacts on biodiversity, yet we have not observed a commensurate shift in people's mindsets to achieve a more harmonious relationship between people and nature. As such, the need to shift the publics' perspective and awareness of their interconnectedness with nature continues to drive educat...
Preprint
Full-text available
The detrimental effects of human-induced environmental change on people and other species are acutely manifested in urban environments. While urban greenspaces are known to mitigate these effects and support functionally diverse ecological communities, evidence of the ecological outcomes of urban greening remains scarce. We use a longitudinal obser...
Preprint
Full-text available
We present evidence of the recent introduction and quick spread of the European firebug Pyrrhocoris apterus in Australia, as documented on the citizen science platform iNaturalist. The first public record of the species was reported in December 2018 in the City of Brimbank (Melbourne, Victoria). Since then, the species distribution has quickly expa...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Whitehorse City Council is currently working to develop their next round of policy documents related to biodiversity and greenspace in their municipality. They invited researchers at The University of Melbourne to assist them with compiling baseline information related to a preliminary analysis of existing biodiversity, and wildlife habitat connect...
Article
Research disciplines in science have historically developed in silos but are increasingly multidisciplinary. Here, we assessed how the insect ecology literature published in ecological and entomological journals has developed over the last 20 years and which topics have crossed discipline boundaries. We used structural topic modelling to assess res...
Article
The contribution of urban greenspaces to support biodiversity and provide benefits for people is increasingly recognised. However, ongoing management practices favour vegetation oversimplification - often limiting greenspaces to lawns and tree canopy rather than multi-layered vegetation that includes under- and midstorey - and the use of nonnative...
Article
Full-text available
During the Anthropocene, ongoing rapid environmental changes are exposing many species to novel resources. However, scientists’ understanding of what novel resources are and how they impact species is still rudimentary. Here, we used a resource‐based approach to explore novel resources. First, we conceptualized novel resource use by species along t...
Preprint
Full-text available
The contribution of urban greenspaces to support biodiversity and provide benefits for people is increasingly recognised. However, ongoing management practices still favour (1) vegetation oversimplification, often limiting greenspaces to lawns and tree canopy rather than multi-layered vegetation that includes under and midstorey; and (2) the use of...
Article
Full-text available
Protecting nature is a fundamental aspect of local and Indigenous cultures that has more recently become an urban sustainability goal. The benefits provided by nature to people and other species have sparked an upsurge in research exploring how best to manage existing nature in urban environments. Here we expand this focus by drawing attention to a...
Article
Current global enthusiasm for urban greening and bringing nature back into cities is unprecedented. Evidence of the socioecological benefits of large, permanent greenspaces is mounting, but the collective potential for pop‐up parks (PUPs) – small, temporary greenspaces – to augment urban ecosystem services is unknown. To showcase the potential of P...
Article
Protecting biodiversity on private land is an important and growing part of global conservation efforts. Revolving funds are used by conservation organisations to buy, resell and permanently protect private land with important ecological values. By reinvesting proceeds from sales in additional properties, revolving funds offer a potentially cost-ef...
Article
Cities are rapidly expanding worldwide and there is an increasing urgency to protect urban biodiversity, principally through the provision of suitable habitat, most of which is in urban green spaces. Despite this, clear guidelines of how to reverse biodiversity loss or increase it within a given urban green space is lacking. 2.We examined the taxa-...
Article
Full-text available
Cities are increasingly considered important places for biodiversity conservation because they can harbor threatened species and because conservation in cities represents an opportunity to reconnect people with nature and the range of health and well-being benefits it provides. However, urbanization can be catastrophic for native species, and is a...
Article
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The critically endangered golden sun-moth Synemon plana occurs in urban fringe areas of southeastern Australia that are currently experiencing rapid and extensive development. The urban fringe is a complex and uncertain environment in which to manage threatened species with the intersection of fragmented natural habitats, built environments and hum...
Article
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Kareiva and Fuller (2016) consider the future prospects for biodiversity conservation in the face of the profound disruptions of the Anthropocene. They argue that more flexible and entrepreneurial approaches to conservation are needed. While some of the approaches they promote may work in particular situations, we believe their proposal risks unint...
Poster
Full-text available
Butterflies are arguably one of the most charismatic animal groups in the world and play a key role in plant-pollinators and plant-herbivore ecological networks. Although butterfly biodiversity and ecology has been thoroughly studied in most ecosystems, there is still very little recorded knowledge of their distribution and ecological interactions...
Article
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Insects are key components of urban ecological networks and are greatly impacted by anthropogenic activities. Yet, few studies have examined how insect functional groups respond to changes to urban vegetation associated with different management actions. We investigated the response of herbivorous and predatory heteropteran bugs to differences in v...
Technical Report
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How did The Little Things that Run the City get its name? The Little Things that Run the City has been inspired by Edward O. Wilson’s famous quote: “…let me say a word on behalf of these little things that run the world” The quote was part of an address given by Wilson on occasion of the opening of the invertebrate exhibit of the National Zoolog...
Article
Full-text available
Carbon farming programs typically aim to maximise landholder participation rates to achieve desired environmental outcomes. This is critical for programs aiming to tackle both climate change and biodiversity loss simultaneously, as landholder participation in those schemes directly determines the level of carbon sequestered and the potential biodiv...
Technical Report
Full-text available
On the 16th February 2016, the Urban Sustainability Branch of the City of Melbourne conducted a workshop with a working group of plant, fungi, bird, reptile, frog, mammal, insect and mollusc experts with the objective of identifying appropriate target species for rewilding, monitoring and public engagement in the City of Melbourne. The workshop was...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding how global environmental change impacts insect biodiversity is central to the core principals of conservation biology. To preserve the ecosystem services provided by insects in cities, it is crucial to understand how insect species are influenced by the degree of urbanization of the surrounding landscape. Using a hierarchical occupanc...
Article
Full-text available
We summarize data from published entomological literature, collected specimens, field observations, and biodiversity web resources to review the state of knowledge regarding Pyrrhocoridae from the Iberian Peninsula, including their taxonomical diagnosis, contemporary systematics, general biology and geographic distribution. An identification key to...
Article
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Article
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Spilostethus furcula (Herrich-Schaeffer, 1850), primera cita en el NE ibérico, y otros heterópteros interesantes de la región (Heteroptera, Lygaeidae) Resumen.– Se aportan citas interesantes de Heterópteros para el NE ibérico. Spilostethus furcula (Herrich-Schaeffer, 1850) es novedad para la región, y el registro más septentrional de la especie has...
Article
Full-text available
The authors report the first record of Orthotylus (Parapachylops) caprai Wagner, 1955, in the Iberian Peninsula, from five specimens collected in a domestic garden and one specimen collected in a municipal park, both in the city of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain). The host plant at both collecting sites was the ornamental tree Cupressus sempervirens L...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
This project aims to establish a network of integrated urban greening study sites from across CAUL to understand, quantify and qualify the multiple benefits of urban greening, including for biodiversity outcomes and for human health and wellbeing using multidisciplinary methods and across multiple sites. It will develop sampling protocols and approaches that can be used for different urban greening projects at a range of different sites and scales. Integrated study sites require strong collaborative planning with local stakeholders to understand the actors, drivers, successes and barriers of different urban greening initiatives but they will provide an evidence base for the comparison of biodiversity, community and ecosystem service benefits of different urban greening initiatives according to landscape context, and scale. They will hopefully act as a unifying activity across all themes in the CAUL Hub to provide a unique and truly multi-disciplinary assessment of urban greening initiatives and highlight the need to address competing objectives through scientific process understanding, optimisation and compromise. Upper Stony Creek in Sunshine North is being transformed from a concrete channel into an accessible urban wetland and park. A multidisciplinary team from RMIT University and the University of Melbourne are conducting a longitudinal study which aims to determine the impact of Upper Stony Creek Transformation project on residents, with a focus on psychological, social and physical health outcomes as well as biodiversity benefits.