Honours Student: Fine-scale interactions between native and invasive cavity nesting birds in Australia
In 2015 I completed a dual degree of Science and Journalism majoring in Ecology at the University of Queensland. I finished my honours degree in July 2016 at UQ working with Associate Professor Salit Kark. In my project, I looked at small scale interactions between native and invasive bird species around cavity trees. The Indian Myna (Acridotheres tristis) was the focus of my studies. By comparing interactions in different locations I was able to develop an understanding of factors that promote the spread of this invasive species.
Honours Student: Understanding the Indigenous Australians’ approach towards invasive and native species through their languages
I graduated from UQ in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science (Zoology) and Arts (Japanese and Linguistics), and worked on my honours project under the supervision of Assoc. Professor Salit Kark and Professor Ghil’ad Zuckermann (The University of Adelaide: Department of Linguistics). For my project I looked at the words used in various Aboriginal languages for invasive and native species, as well as the uses of the species in these communities. Through this, my project aimed to understand the Indigenous Australians’ approach towards invasive and native species, so as to help inform the management plans for these species.
Research Assistant: Amazonian Rivers project
Isabella is one of the research assistants that worked on the Big Rivers project, in particular the South American component.
Honours Student: The role of behavioural variation in the invasion process
I completed my Bachelor of Science (Ecology & Zoology) at the University of Queensland in 2014. In 2015 I undertook my Honours project working under the supervision of Assoc. Professor Salit Kark and Dr Andrea Griffin. I looked at the invasive common myna (Acridotheres tristis) and investigated the role of behavioural variation in the invasion process. My project consisted of a feeding experiment to determine whether there was a variation in foraging behaviour throughout parts of the common myna’s range in Queensland. This project also modeled components that aimed to provide a better understanding of the implications of behavioural variation in an invasive species.
Masters Student: Communicating Invasive Species
Maggie completed her Masters thesis with A/Professor Salit Kark as a component of her Masters in Conservation Science degree at The University of Queensland in 2015. Maggie was particularly interested in intergrating her love of communication with her love of conservation with this project looking into different communication strategies influencing perceptions about invasive species.
Research Assistant: Collaboration in big rivers worldwide
I grew up in Kenya where I was surrounded by wildlife and the outdoors. School holidays were spent on safari game driving with clients, discussing Africa’s conservation challenges around the campfire, and on walking safaris in some of Kenya’s wildest and most beautiful regions.
This inspired me to study a science degree, the highlight being my Honours year in Hugh Possingham’s conservation lab at the University of Queensland. I modeled bird metapopulations under climate change and looked at the implications of different modeling approaches on conservation decision making. After spending a year modeling on a computer I was keen to get back into the field. I returned to Kenya where I worked for the African Conservation Centre, an NGO whose focus is on community conservation in pastoral lands looking at carnivore-livestock interactions.
I was born in Townsville, North Queensland, and camped across the state’s diverse ecosystems with my family while I was young. I moved to Brisbane in 2010 to study by bachelor of science, where I graduated in 2013 with my Honours. I assisted Salit with administrative and management tasks while commencing a PhD project, titled ‘Designing productive and diverse carbon forests’, under the supervision of Dr Mayfield and Dr Dwyer (UQ), and Dr Pichancourt and Dr England (CSIRO). I am looking at using community ecology, particularly functional traits and modelling, to balance the trade-off between productivity and diversity in carbon plantings in low rainfall areas of Australia. My ultimate goal is to develop a framework for stakeholders to use to achieve multiple benefits for reforestation projects. To read more about Tims work visit the Mayfield Lab website: http://www.mayfieldplantecologylab.org/site/Current_Lab_Members/Current_Lab_Members.html
I am a French biology student from AgrosupDijon, currently in my second year of study. As apart of my program I had the opportunity to be part of the Biodiversity Group during as an intern with A/Professor Salit. I am interested in urban ecology, especially when it comes to the management of species and ecosystems in urban green spaces. It is my first experience in ecology and biodiversity lab and I really enjoy it. My project goal, for my internship, is to characterize the vegetation on the different sites, which are currently used for the Urban Bird Project. I am currently using GIS and going to the field for my project, and as well, learning a lot of new things about Australian’s tree and bird species. For my near future, I want to work in the management of park in cities or in urban biodiversity. I will follow a specialization in Urban Forestry for my third year of study in the institute of AgroParisTech. I am really interested in studying park, which are an interface between nature and town people. A place that house a lot of species and where people can as well relax into.
BSc Honours: Interactions between cavity-nesting birds and their implications for conservation
I graduated my Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Marine Science at Griffith University in 2014 and began my Honours work with Salit Kark in 2014. I am particularly interested in the interactions around breeding cavities in the presence of invasive cavity nesting species around Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. I specialize in conservation ecology, studying the management of biological invasions on both small and large scales. I have experience in marine biology working on Heron Island, monitoring the water chemistry on the reef flat to closely examine the implications of climate change pose on coral reef organisms and how to mitigate and manage their impacts. I have assisted in estuarine fish ecology and reptile biology field work around the Gold Coast. In 2012, I completed work experience at the Griffith Center of Coastal Management. I worked on the Redesigned COPE Program (Coastal Observation Programme- Engineering), proposed for the Gold Coast City Council. I also have experience volunteering in zoos, attending to koalas at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and penguins at Seaworld.
My project aims to develop interaction networks within cavity nesting avian communities, which include invasive alien and native species, examining source and front sites of an ongoing avian invasion and an urbanisation gradient. Aliens and native urban exploiters can have negative effects on abundance and the diversity of native species and other urban avoiders that are susceptible to urbanisation and ecological change. I will compare two sites where the Indian myna (Acridotheres tristis) has been established for over 30 years in Brisbane with two sites in the Sunshine Coast where mynas have only recently invaded. I will examine the nest occupancy, replacement and breeding success through three sub-environments (paved, park and fringe) within each location, over the 2014-2015 breeding season. I will also examine the outcomes of behavioural interactions between all cavity nesting birds in the community to identify “winners” and “losers” of interactions. My project will address an important gap in our scientific understanding on the role of invasion processes and urbanisation constraints on species interactions in a cavity nesting community. The interaction webs will provide valuable future management for birds and conservation strategies that will effectively control invasion threats and mitigate urbanisation impacts on native biodiversity.
I am a marine spatial ecologist, with an interest in finding sustainable and practical solutions for biodiversity protection. My research interests include conservation planning and prioritization (e.g. designing marine protected area networks), marine spatial planning, evaluating and mapping threats to biodiversity and integrating social and economic objectives to facilitate the implementation of conservation action. I am particularly interested in sea turtles, exploring drivers of their nesting patterns and using decision support tools to select priority areas for sea turtle conservation.
My PhD at the University of Queensland focused on advancing conservation planning in the Mediterranean Sea, advancing the theory of systematic conservation planning and developing solutions with implications for the Mediterranean region.
Tessa has recently started a postdoc at CSIRO in Brisbane.
I am currently an undergraduate student of Biological Sciences in the Universidade de São Paulo (São Paulo, Brazil). In 2014, I received a scholarship from the Brazilian government that gave me the opportunity to study for a year in the University of Queensland. During my last few months in Brisbane have had the opportunity to work as an intern with A/Professor Salit Kark in the Biodiversity Research Group at UQ. My previous internship was in a science museum in my hometown, so it was the first experience as part of a lab group, and it was a great source of learning and growth both professionally and personally. The project we began to develop is based on alien bird species in Brazil, where we aim to analyze the causes, distribution, impacts and other characteristics of these invasions.