Ross B Cunningham

Ross B Cunningham
Australian National University | ANU · Fenner School of Environment & Society

BSc,DipEd,MSc,PhD

About

263
Publications
32,763
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11,050
Citations
Additional affiliations
March 2001 - present
Australian National University
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (263)
Article
Full-text available
Body mass index (BMI, body mass/height²) is biased toward height in children. Here we investigate how change in population height affected change in BMI-based estimates of the prevalence of overweight and obesity in Australian children. Height, weight, and percent body fat (%BF) were measured at ages 8, 10, and 12 years (1855 sets of measures). Age...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: To determine (1) the effect of a 40-minute steady-state run on muscle membrane integrity of elite athletes as reflected by serum creatine kinase (CK), (2) whether antioxidant supplementation (AS) with vitamins E and C has a protective effect, and (3) if a minimal blood concentration of vitamin E or C is required for any such protection....
Article
Full-text available
Simplification of stand structure of forests and woodlands through human-induced modification is a serious threat to biodiversity. Restoring lost habitat complexity and heterogeneity, such as woody debris, requires an understanding of the relationships between different elements that contribute to stand structure. In this study, we examine the stru...
Article
The eastern bettong (Bettongia gaimardi), a medium-sized digging marsupial, was reintroduced to a predator-free reserve after 100 years of absence from the Australian mainland. The bettong may have the potential to restore temperate woodlands degraded by a history of livestock grazing, by creating numerous small disturbances by digging. We investig...
Article
Physical activity may benefit mental health, yet the potentially protective role of elementary school physical education (PE) on childhood mental health is unknown. The aim of the current study was to determine the effect of a specialist-taught PE program on indicators of childhood mental health. In this cluster-randomized controlled trial, partici...
Article
In Australian government-funded primary schools, the responsibility for physical education (PE) falls mainly on general classroom teachers, many of whom possess limited PE training. This study sought to examine the impact of specialist-taught PE on eye-hand coordination (EHC) development. In this 4-year cluster-randomized intervention, participants...
Conference Paper
Background: Eye-hand coordination (EHC) is positively associated with physical activity levels and negatively associated with obesity. This paper combines 3 studies on the same cohort that indicate the importance of eye-hand coordination in children. We use our recent trial and observational studies to explore the longitudinal development of throw-...
Article
Scattered trees are considered ‘keystone structures’ in many agricultural landscapes worldwide because of the disproportionate effect they have on ecosystem function and biodiversity. Populations of these trees are in decline in many regions. Understanding the processes driving these declines is crucial for better management. Here, we examine the i...
Article
Aim: To provide, through a large-scale long-term field study, an empirical evaluation of the extent to which revegetated patches act as refuges for woodland bird species in the face of enhanced abundance of a native despotic species in a highly fragmented landscape. Location: South-west slopes, New South Wales, Australia. Methods: Birds were survey...
Article
The eastern bettong Bettongia gaimardi , a potoroid marsupial, has been extinct on the Australian mainland since the 1920s. Sixty adult bettongs were reintroduced from the island of Tasmania to two predator-free fenced reserves on mainland Australia. We examined baseline health parameters (body weight, haematology and biochemistry, parasites and in...
Article
Full-text available
Parrots (Psittaciformes) are among the most threatened bird orders with 28 % (111 of 398) of extant species classified as threatened under IUCN criteria. We confirmed that parrots have a lower Red List Index (higher aggregate extinction risk) than other comparable bird groups, and modeled the factors associated with extinction risk. Our analyses in...
Article
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Migratory birds spend a large proportion of their lives within non-breeding habitats. However, knowledge of how they respond to variable winter resources is limited, especially for small migratory species. Citizen science programs provide an effective way to collect data on small migrants over large spatio-Temporal scales. Here we present survey da...
Conference Paper
Title: Does physical education influence eye-hand coordination? A longitudinal intervention study Authors Wicks LJ, Telford RM, Cunningham RB, Semple SJ and Telford RD Abstract Purpose In Australian government-funded primary schools the responsibility of physical education (PE) mainly falls on general classroom teachers who often possess little P...
Article
To investigate the longitudinal effect of sport participation in physical activity, fitness and body fat changes during childhood and adolescence. Longitudinal study (134 boys, 155 girls) of Australian youth aged 8-16 years. Physical activity was assessed by pedometers and accelerometers, fitness by the 20m shuttle-run, body fat by DEXA and club sp...
Conference Paper
Title: Examining the change in throw-catch eye-hand coordination from childhood to mid-adolescence Abstract name(s): Wicks LJ, Telford RM, Cunningham RB, Semple SJ and Telford RD Abstract organisation: University of Canberra, Research Institute for Sport and Exercise; Australian National University Abstract: Background and Objectives: Enhanced eye...
Article
We tested whether an artificial food additive, truffle oil, improved detection of mycophagous mammals when added to a standard bait type of peanut butter and rolled oats used with camera traps. Sixteen mammalian taxa were subsequently recorded, the most common being antechinus, bush rat (Rattus fuscipes), swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor) and long-n...
Article
Access to nest sites is critical to species survival and habitat suitability for most faunal species worldwide. We report on nest-site selection and use by the long-nosed bandicoot (Perameles nasuta) following a wildfire in late 2003. Thirty-eight bandicoots were tracked to 213 nests. The number of nests, frequency of nest use, nest range, nest siz...
Article
Full-text available
It is widely postulated that nutritional factors drive bottom-up, resource-based patterns in herbivore ecology and distribution. There is, however, much controversy over the roles of different plant constituents and how these influence individual herbivores and herbivore populations. The density of koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) populations varies...
Article
Full-text available
Ecogeographical rules help explain spatial and temporal patterns in intraspecific body size. However, many of these rules, when applied to ectothermic organisms such as reptiles, are controversial and require further investigation. To explore factors that influence body size in reptiles, we performed a heuristic study to examine body size variation...
Article
Full-text available
Human activities, particularly agriculture, have transformed much of the world's terrestrial environment. Within these anthropogenic landscapes, a variety of relictual and semi-natural habitats exist, which we term countryside elements. The habitat value of countryside elements (hereafter termed 'elements') is increasingly recognised. We quantify t...
Article
Purpose: This study aims to determine whether blood lipids in healthy preadolescent children are sensitive to normally occurring changes in percent body fat, physical activity (PA), cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), and macronutrient intake. Methods: Repeated measurements of fasting serum LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides (TG);...
Article
The feral Goat (Capra hircus) has successfully exploited a range of landscapes around the world with occurrences of overabundance resulting in significant damage to ecological values. In forested ecosystems in Australia, there are currently limited means to control the species when compared to the range of management techniques available for other...
Article
Scale is a key concept in ecology, but the statistically based quantification of scale effects has often proved difficult. This is exemplified by the challenges of quantifying relationships between biodiversity and vegetation cover at different spatial scales to guide restoration and conservation efforts in agricultural environments. We used data f...
Conference Paper
Title: Longitudinal patterns of change in eye-hand coordination in children aged 8 to 16 years Wicks LJ, Telford RM, Cunningham RB, Semple SJ and Telford RD. Background and Objectives: Eye-hand coordination (EHC) is known to be associated with higher participation in organized sport and physical activity in general. Given reports of reduced organ...
Article
Tree cavities provide important habitat for wildlife. Effective landscape-scale management of cavity- dependent wildlife requires an understanding of where cavities occur, but tree cavities can be cryptic and difficult to survey. We assessed whether a landscape-scale map of mature forest habitat availability, derived from aerial photographs, reflec...
Article
We report on the effects of broad-scale restoration treatments on the ground layer of eucalypt grassy woodland in south-eastern Australia. The experiment was conducted in two conservation reserves from which livestock grazing had previously been removed. Changes in biomass, species diversity, ground-cover attributes and life-form were analysed over...
Article
Full-text available
Elevated blood lipids during childhood are predictive of dyslipidemia in adults. Although obese and inactive children have elevated values, any potentially protective role of elementary school physical education is unknown. Our objective was to determine the effect of a modern elementary school physical education (PE) program on the blood lipid con...
Article
The index of body mass related to stature, (body mass index, BMI, kgm(-2) ), is widely used as a proxy for percent body fat (%BF) in cross-sectional and longitudinal investigations. BMI does not distinguish between lean and fat mass and in children, the cross-sectional relationship between %BF and BMI changes with age and sex. While BMI increases l...
Article
Full-text available
Background Data on longitudinal monitoring of daily physical activity (PA) patterns in youth over successive years is scarce but may provide valuable information for intervention strategies aiming to promote PA. Methods Participants were 853 children (starting age ~8 years) recruited from 29 Australian elementary schools. Pedometers were worn for...
Article
Full-text available
Runners are prone to delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) during long distance training. This especially holds for unaccustomed training volumes at moderate to high intensities. We investigated the effects of a marine oil complex, PCSO-524®, derived from the New Zealand green-lipped mussel (formulated as Lyprinol® and Omega XL®) on DOMS after a 30...
Article
We investigated longitudinal and cross-sectional relationships between eye-hand coordination (EHC) and cardiorespiratory fitness (multistage run), physical activity (pedometers), percent body fat (%BF, dual energy x-ray absorptiometry), body image, and organized sport participation (questionnaires) in 406 boys and 384 girls at 8 and 10 years of age...
Article
Purpose: As impaired glucose metabolism may arise progressively during childhood, we sought to determine whether the introduction of specialist-taught school physical education (PE) based on sound educational principles could improve insulin resistance (IR) in elementary school children. Methods: In this 4-yr cluster-randomized intervention stud...
Article
Restoration projects often do not effectively restore some key biological resources that take time, often centuries, to accumulate. Such resources are often characteristic of ‘natural’ ecosystems and are critical to successful ecosystem recovery. Deadwood or ‘coarse woody debris’ (CWD) is one such example. Coarse woody debris is depauperate in many...
Article
AimTo quantify at multiple spatial scales: (1) spatial dependence in several measures of aggregate bird biodiversity, (2) the role of native vegetation cover in explaining variation in aggregate bird biodiversity and (3) relationships between change over 8years in bird diversity and changes in native vegetation. LocationSouth-eastern Australia. Met...
Article
Background: Among children relationships between body image and body fat are well documented but less attention has been given to relationships with physical activity and fitness. This study examined longitudinal relationships of children's body image with physical activity, fitness and percent body fat whilst accounting for a number of potential c...
Article
Full-text available
To contribute to the current debate as to the relative influences of dietary intake and physical activity on the development of adiposity in community-based children. Participants were 734 boys and girls measured at age 8, 10 and 12 years for percent body fat (dual emission x-ray absorptiometry), physical activity (pedometers, accelerometers); and...
Article
Full-text available
In a previous longitudinal analysis of our cohort as 8 to 10 year-olds, insulin resistance (IR) increased with age, but was not modified by changes in percent body fat (%BF), and was only responsive to changes in physical activity (PA) in boys. We aimed to determine whether these responses persisted as the children approached adolescence. In this p...
Data
Statistical methods information [24]. (DOCX)
Article
Context: In many parts of the world, artificial refuges (ARs) are increasingly used to survey different kinds of herpetofauna. Despite gaining popularity, the merit of using ARs compared with standardised active searches remains poorly known, as does their application in regions that support species exhibiting varied life-form strategies.
Article
Whilst cardiac troponin is considered to be indicative of cardiac necrosis, the advent of new high sensitivity assays for troponin suggests that troponin may be present in the blood of healthy persons. We have examined a cohort of healthy children and measured TnT in their blood. In this community-based prospective study, we collected blood samples...
Article
Relationships of academic achievement (government tests) with physical fitness (multistage run), physical activity (pedometers) and percent body fat (dual emission X-ray absorptiometry) were examined at both the aggregate school level and the individual child level using data collected from 757 children in 29 elementary schools. Statistical adjustm...
Article
In Australian temperate woodlands, most squirrel glider (Petaurus norfolcensis) habitats exist outside formal conservation reserves, often in highly fragmented agricultural landscapes. To conserve squirrel glider populations in such woodlands it is essential to define important habitats and understand how they are used. This study examines the noct...
Article
Context Conservation planning for threatened species depends on improved knowledge of the whereabouts of critical populations and thus the development of optimal detection methods. Aims To compare the effectiveness of infrared cameras and hair tunnels for detecting small to medium-sized ground-dwelling mammals in south-eastern Australian forests. M...
Article
We explored the effects of a purported ‘reverse keystone species’, the Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala) using a long-term, large-scale dataset. Specifically, we identify whether this aggressive bird affects the landscape distribution patterns of other avifauna, by displacing them into, or restricting their distribution to, less productive areas...
Article
Full-text available
We determined whether physical education (PE) taught by specialists contributed to academic development and prevention of obesity in elementary school children. Our 2-year longitudinal study involved 620 boys and girls initially in grade 3 in Australia, all receiving 150 minutes per week of PE. One group (specialist-taught PE; n = 312) included 90...
Article
Secondary vegetation, associated with changes in land use, presents a conservation issue in the preservation of biological diversity in agricultural landscapes. We examine the interactive effect of eucalypt regrowth and rock habitat on reptile species richness and assemblage structure in fragmented agricultural landscapes in south-eastern Australia...
Article
Work in many parts of the world has discussed the decline of biodiversity in regions dominated by agriculture. We report the results of a major study documenting the longitudinal profiles of birds between 1998 and 2009 within 66 patches of temperate woodland in a heavily cleared and grazed agricultural region of south-eastern Australia. Many resear...
Article
Full-text available
Long-term studies of ecological restoration, within a designed randomized experimental framework, are uncommon; however, such projects provide hitherto under-utilized opportunities to inform both evidence-based management planning and action, and ecological theory. Baseline data collected prior to the application of treatments allows accurate estim...
Article
Abstract Habitat heterogeneity, structural complexity and habitat quality are key features of the environment that drive species' distribution and patterns of biological organization. Traditionally, pattern-based studies have focused on faunal responses to biological systems. However, the influence of non-biological environments such as insular roc...
Article
The relative activity of ground-dwelling vertebrates was monitored using tracks in sand plots for 10 consecutive years across three nearby study areas in south-eastern mainland Australia. Two areas were subject to intensive 1080 poison baiting for foxes, while one unbaited area acted as a control. At the two 1080 baited sites there was a demonstrab...
Article
The effect of different levels of cattle grazing on an arid Australian small terrestrial mammal and lizard assemblage was assessed in a long-tem series of cross-fence comparisons. Cross-fenced sites were closely matched for edaphic and vegetation characteristics and experienced near identical weather patterns, to ensure that cattle grazing pressure...
Article
White-winged choughs live in groups which cooperate in all aspects of rearing young, affording an opportunity to examine the influence of cooperation on foraging behavior. The amount of food choughs forage for themselves and feed to young increases with age, supporting the idea that individuals which dispersed to breed would have difficulty in rear...
Article
In this note, we test the hypothesis that vineyard trellis posts of the required size and strength properties can be produced from young radiata pine trees obtained from clonal plantations established using a dense stocking of physiologically aged cuttings selected for fast growth, good straightness, aboveaverage juvenile wood density, and fine mul...