Congratulations to Ruben for publishing his first paper!

Congratulations to Ruben for publishing his first paper and very innovative research!

Please click here to read about the novel 3D marine spatial conservation prioritisation approach, which explicitly accounts for the inherent vertical heterogeneity of the ocean. Prioritising in 3D allows conservation and marine spatial planners to target specific threats to specific conservation features, at specific depths in the ocean – A very interesting read!

What shapes spatial invasion patterns of alien birds in Australia vs. Europe? – A talk by Salit Kark!

On the 5th of October, 2017 Salit Kark gave a great talk at the Doñana Biological Station about the factors shaping invasive species richness and distribution in Europe and Australia at large scales. In addition Salit presented several case studies on interactions between invasive and native birds from around the world, with focus on parrots, starlings, mynas and more.

If you would like to watch this talk click here

Warm Welcome to our New Group Members!

First, we welcome Marsya who has formally started her Masters with us and will be working on conservation planning in Sumatra! Second, we welcome Maddy and Micheli who recently have started working for us as Research Assistants. We look forward to working with all of you!

Research Assistant positions available

Two new Research Assistant positions (casual) have become available from June 2017 to work within the Kark group. These positions include:

  1. A research assistant with substantial experience in large spatial scale data analysis, GIS and remote sensing. Experience using Lidar data and analysing digital elevation models is an advantage. Good writing skills are also an advantage. 
  1. A research assistant to help with admin tasks. Experience with UQ admin systems, such as UniFi orders etc. is an advantage. 

If you are interested in either of these positions and have the desired skills stated above, please send your CV, short cover letter and any other supporting material to Salit’s email:

New Paper: Environmental Impacts of the Deep-Water Oil and Gas Industry: A Review to Guide Management Strategies

This paper led by Cordes, reviews the types of activities that are associated with global offshore oil and gas releases. This is an extremely prevalent topic as the exploration of oil and gas is expanding in the absence of sufficient baseline data in deep-sea ecosystems. To find out what recommendations were offered to manage offshore and gas development, click here!

Congratulations to Hernán for his contribution to an article published in Science: After Chile’s fires, reforest private land

Congratulations to Hernán for his contribution to an article published in Science written about the need to change the current forestry practices in Chile. This is especially after the megafires that affected the Mediterranean region, one of the most imperilled regions in the world.

See the article here

Warm Congratulations to both Andrew and Hernan

Warm congratulations to both Andrew and Hernan who have recently passed their mid term reviews. Nicely done, and keep up the good work!

Warm Welcome to Erin McCreless

We are very pleased to welcome Erin McCreless into the Kark Group. Erin has begun a Postdoctoral Fellowship working on projects related to conserving threatened species on Australian islands and managing invasive species in Australia.

Erin completed her Ph.D. at the University of California – Santa Cruz, with her research focusing on quantifying the impacts of introduced mammals on threatened insular vertebrate species worldwide. Using this information along with management cost estimates, she identified cost-effective islands for invasive mammal eradication efforts. Erin is broadly interested in conducting research that can inform on-the-ground conservation, and in understanding the effectiveness of conservation investments both in the past and into the future.

We look forward to working with you and wish you every success on this endeavour.

Projects: Island Conservation, Invasive Species, Birds in an Urban and Agricultural System.

Erin McCreless

New paper: Alien birds follow global wealth and power

Shared from UQ News (

Salit Kark photo Rose ringed parakeets

16 January 2017 

The spread of introduced bird species around the world has mirrored the rise of global power and wealth, according to a new study that has mapped the movement of alien bird species.

The international collaborative study found that Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, USA, Caribbean, UK, and Persian Gulf States were notable global hotspots for alien bird species.

UQ School of Biological Sciences researcher, and ARC Future Fellow Associate Professor Salit Kark said the collaborative international study, published in PLOS Biology, suggested more alien birds had historically been introduced to areas where incomes were higher.

“Owning a bird was a symbol of status and cultural connection during colonial times, and often introduced caged birds have escaped or been released into the wild,” she said.

“The rate of alien bird species introductions increased sharply in the mid-19th century as Europeans exported birds to new territories and regions, including Australia and New Zealand,” she said.

“More than half of all known alien bird introductions occurred after 1950 and were most likely driven by the popularity of owning birds such as parrots, finches and others.

“These historical factors are the main reason why the global map shows most alien bird species today are found in the mid-latitudes, where former British and other colonies and countries with high gross domestic product (GDP) are located.”

The researchers have created over the past decade an open access database after collecting and analysing global data on the introduction and establishment of almost 1000 alien bird species introduced by humans to areas outside their native range between the years of 1500 and 2000.

Lead author Professor Tim Blackburn of the University College London said the study provided insights into the different stages of species invasion and how humans had played a key role, along with environmental factors in allowing alien bird species to thrive in new locations.

“Our work shows how humans have been moving these alien bird species around for the past 500 years and why some areas end up with more species than others,” he said.

Associate Professor Kark said the study was especially important for islands, such as Australia and the UK, due to the negative impacts of some alien invasive species on threatened native species in island environments.

“While substantial efforts have been allocated to studying the impacts of invasive mammals, more research needs to be undertaken to understand the spatial patterns and the processes shaping alien invasive birds,” Associate Professor Kark said.

“The study provides evidence-based information that helps direct future conservation and management decisions and actions across multiple regions around the world.”

The international study involved researchers from University College London, ZSL, the University of Queensland, the University of Adelaide, the University of Cambridge, the University of Exeter, and Imperial College London.

Media: Associate Professor Salit Kark,


Congratulations to Sammy, Georgie and Tanvi for graduating this semester. We look forward to seeing published papers from your research!


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Except where noted, all photos are credited to Salit Kark, Noam Levin and Jeremy Kark.