Mathew Crowther

Mathew Crowther
The University of Sydney · School of Life and Environmental Sciences

PhD

About

199
Publications
56,384
Reads
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3,467
Citations
Citations since 2016
117 Research Items
2330 Citations
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Introduction
I use quantitative approaches to answer question in wildlife ecology, evolution, management and conservation. I use a range of approaches in the field and lab, and my work is interdisciplinary through collaboration with my colleagues. I mainly work on Australian fauna, particularly koalas, dingoes and small mammals, but do not limit myself to any organism.
Additional affiliations
January 2016 - December 2019
The University of Sydney
Position
  • Professor
January 2013 - December 2015
The University of Sydney
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2002 - December 2012
The University of Sydney
Position
  • Lecturer
Education
March 1997 - March 2001
The University of Sydney
Field of study
  • Ecology and Evolution
March 1992 - November 1995
UNSW Sydney
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (199)
Article
In many youth sports, selection into elite training academies is dominated by athletes born earlier in the year. Previous research suggests this is partly due to these athletes being more physically developed than their younger peers. How athletes born later in the year survive in elite academies is less understood. Here, we tested the hypothesis t...
Article
Carrion is an ubiquitous resource that drives the dynamics of scavenger populations and shapes the structure and composition of their communities. Corvids (Family: Corvidae) are among the most common scavengers globally, facilitating carcass discovery by other species and contributing to carcass biomass removal. Here, we examine how environmental f...
Article
Context: It is notoriously difficult to estimate the size of animal populations, especially for cryptic or threatened species that occur in low numbers. Recent advances with acoustic sensors make the detection of animal populations cost effective when coupled with software that can recognise species-specific calls. Aims: We assess the potential fo...
Article
Full-text available
Research on use of foraging patches has focused on why herbivores visit or quit patches, yet little is known about visits to patches over time. Food quality, as reflected by higher nutritional quality and lower plant defenses, and physical patch characteristics, which offer protection from predators and weather, affect patch use and hence should in...
Article
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Cryptococcosis caused by yeasts of the Cryptococcus gattii species complex is an increasingly important mycological disease in humans and other mammals. In Australia, cases of C. gattii-related cryptococcosis are more prevalent in the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) compared to humans and other animals, likely due to the close association that both...
Article
Carrion is a vital resource in terrestrial ecosystems, supporting complex networks of interacting consumer organisms. The insect community attending carrion forms a vital part of this food web, but the functional roles of insects as scavengers can be altered by invasive species via the effects of predation and competition. European wasps (Vespula g...
Article
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Hybridisation between wild and domestic canids is a global conservation and management issue. In Australia, dingoes are a distinct lineage of wild-living canid with a controversial domestication status. They are mainland Australia’s apex terrestrial predator. There is ongoing concern that the identity of dingoes has been threatened from breeding wi...
Article
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The impact of hybridisation between dingoes and domestic dogs, and the subsequent introgression of domestic dog genes into dingo populations, remains a topic of significant impact. It has been claimed, but with little evidence or logical argumentation, that dingoes with significant dog introgression have different effects on agriculture and ecosyst...
Article
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Public opposition has shaped management of wild animals in Australia, but public interest in dingo control has been minimal. We hypothesised that this is due to lack of awareness of dingo management practices, in part because using the term “wild dogs” to describe management renders “dingoes” invisible, framing the issue as one of control of introd...
Article
Full-text available
We used two survey methods-citizen science for private land and cameras for protected areas-to map the distribution of dingoes/wild dogs and foxes in NSW. Dingo/wild dog records were mostly confined to the east coast and ranges, with scattered locations in western NSW. This contrasts to the distribution of foxes, in which occupancy was high across...
Article
Full-text available
Sensitivity to predator-related cues and performance of antipredator behaviors are universal among prey species. Rodents exhibit a diverse suite of antipredator behaviors that have been examined in both field and laboratory studies. However, the results from the laboratory have not always translated to the field. While laboratory studies consistent...
Article
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Biological invasions can massively disrupt ecosystems, but evolutionary and ecological adjustments may modify the magnitude of that impact through time. Such post-colonisation shifts can change priorities for management. We quantified the abundance of two species of giant monitor lizards, and of the availability of their mammalian prey, across 45 s...
Article
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Shortly after the enactment of restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19, various local government and public health authorities around the world reported an increased sighting of rats. Such reports have yet to be empirically validated. Here we combined data from multi-catch rodent stations (providing data on rodent captures), rodent ba...
Article
Full-text available
How to manage hybridization and introgression in wild animals is controversial. Wildlife managers and researchers may often rely upon phenotypic variables such as coat colour to inform on ground management decisions. In Australia, dingoes are typically believed to be ginger in colour, and unusual coat colours such as brin-dle or sable are widely po...
Article
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In addition to feeding on animal remains, many scavengers also function as predators. Carcasses may therefore affect local animal communities by attracting facultative scavengers and increasing predation risk for other species in the vicinity of the carcasses. This risk may be elevated in low productivity environments, especially where humans incre...
Article
Full-text available
Context. Precise and accurate estimates of animal numbers are often essential for population and epidemiological models, as well as for guidance for population management and conservation. This is particularly true for threatened species in landscapes facing multiple threats. Estimates can be derived by different methods, but the question remains a...
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Achieving conservation goals, such as coexistence between wildlife and humans, requires an evidence-based understanding of the factors that shape conservation contexts. For addressing conflict between humans and wildlife, this means understanding the barriers and opportunities to changing human behaviors toward wildlife. Here, we develop a Theory o...
Article
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Kicking powerfully and accurately is essential in soccer, and players who kick proficiently with both feet are highly sought after. Assessing performance in youth players is often confounded by more physically developed players outperforming their smaller peers. To alleviate such bias, we present a testing protocol and normative data developed with...
Article
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Habitat fragmentation changes landscape patterns and can disrupt many important ecological processes. Movement allows individuals to find resource patches to maintain their fitness and habitat fragmentation can disrupt this process. We explored the ecological impact of habitat fragmentation on movement and space use of a specialist folivore, the ko...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding wild animal responses to stressors underpins effective wildlife management. In order for responses to stressors to be correctly interpreted, it is critical that measurements are taken on wild animals using minimally invasive techniques. Studies investigating wild animal responses to stressors often measure either a single physiologica...
Preprint
Full-text available
Shortly after the enactment of restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19, local governments and public health authorities around the world reported an increased sighting of rats. We combined multi-catch rodent station data, rodent bait stations data, and rodent-related residents’ complaints data to explore the effects that social distan...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding human attitudes toward wildlife management is critical to implementing effective conservation action and policy. Understanding the factors that shape public attitudes toward different wildlife management actions is limited, however, which can result in unpredictable public responses to interventions. We drew on comparisons between res...
Article
Pollution and pesticide use have been linked to evolution of chemical resistance and phenotypic shifts in invertebrates, but less so in vertebrates. Here we provide evidence that poisoning directed towards a mammalian carnivore, the dingo (Canis dingo), is linked to an increase in dingo body mass. We compared the skull length of dingoes, a proxy fo...
Article
Full-text available
Pollution and pesticide use have been linked to evolution of chemical resistance and phenotypic shifts in invertebrates, but less so in vertebrates. Here we provide evidence that poisoning directed towards a mammalian carnivore, the dingo (Canis dingo), is linked to an increase in dingo body mass. We compared the skull length of dingoes, a proxy fo...
Article
Full-text available
Human behaviors can determine the success of efforts to restore predators to ecosystems. While behaviors such as lethal predator control may impede predator restoration, other land management practices can facilitate coexistence between predators and humans. Socio‐psychological theories provide useful tools for understanding and improving these hum...
Article
Full-text available
Hybridisation resulting from human-driven shifts in species ranges is a global conservation concern. In Australia, hybridisa-tion between dingoes (Canis dingo) and domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) has been identified as an extinction threat to the dingo, and is thought to be particularly widespread in southeastern Australia. Here, we investigated t...
Article
Full-text available
Arboreal folivores are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of extreme climate change-driven heatwaves and droughts as they rely on leaf moisture to maintain hydration. During these increasingly frequent and intense weather events, leaf water content may not be enough to meet their moisture requirements, potentially leading to large-scale mortali...
Article
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The strong innate fear response shown by laboratory rodents to predator cues could provide powerful and innovative tools for pest management. Predator cues are routinely used to induce fear and anxiety in laboratory rodents for pharmacological studies. However, research on the fear response induced by predator cues in different species of rodents i...
Article
Full-text available
The taxonomic status and systematic nomenclature of the Australian dingo remain contentious, resulting in decades of inconsistent applications in the scientific literature and in policy. Prompted by a recent publication calling for dingoes to be considered taxonomically as domestic dogs (Jackson et al. 2017, Zootaxa 4317, 201-224), we review the is...
Article
Livestock producers and governments have managed predators to protect livestock for millennia. But in recent decades attitudes towards predators and their management have shifted from solely killing towards coexistence and even conservation. In Australia, a continent-wide survey of graziers conducted in the 1950s provides an opportunity to consider...