Dr Benjamin Scheele

Postdoctoral Fellow
Frank Fenner Building (141)
 +61 2 612 52055

Profile

Qualifications

BSc (Hons)

Biography

I am a population ecologist working in the conservation and landscape ecology group in the Fenner School. My research focuses on investigating how and why species, and populations within species, exhibit variable responses to emerging threats. Much of my research focuses on amphibian ecology and wildlife disease. I emphasize testing and refining ecological theory, while also working closely with conservation practitioners to inform management. I use insights generated from empirical research to identify mechanisms underpinning species declines and to develop macroecological theory regarding species decline.

I have a strong focus on amphibian ecology, and in particular, the impacts of the devastating disease, chytridiomycosis, on the world’s amphibians. My research in this area is aligned with informing the development of effective management strategies to prevent population declines and species extinctions.

Where needed, I use a mix of population and landscape ecology to better understand patterns of threat distribution. I also use landscape ecology approaches to investigate the occurrence of wildlife in human-modified landscapes and have conducted research in farmland regions in south-eastern Australia, and the traditional rural landscapes of Transylvania, Romania.

Research

Research interests

I have several projects investigating the population ecology of declining amphibians in south-eastern Australia impacted by chytrid fungus; a key global threat to amphibians. My current research focuses on investigating how the emergence of pathogens can alter host life-history, as well as amphibian demography and realised niche. An overarching question is why some species, and some populations of declined species, persist following the emergence of chytrid fungus, while others become extinct?

Publications

Click here for Google Scholar

For reprints please email me: ben.scheele(at)anu.edu.au

Journal articles

[28] Canessa, S., Bozzuto, C. Grant, E., Cruickshank, S.S., Fisher, M.C., Koella, J.C., Lötters, S, Martel, A., Pasmans, F., Scheele, B.C., Spitzen-van der Sluijs, A., Steinfartz, S. & Schmidt B.R. (2018). Decision making for mitigating wildlife diseases: from theory to practice for an emerging fungal pathogen of amphibians. Journal of Applied Ecology, DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13089

[27] Grogan, L.F., Mulvenna, J., Gummer, J., Scheele, B.C., Berger, L., Cashins, S.D., Trengove, R.D. & Skerratt, L.F. (2018). Survival, gene and metabolite responses of Litoria verreauxii alpina frogs to fungal disease chytridiomycosis. Scientific Data, DOI: 10.1038/sdata.2018.33

[26] Scheele, B.C., Foster, C.N., Banks, S.C., & Lindenmayer, D.B. (2018). The Role of Biotic Interactions in the Niche Reduction Hypothesis: A Reply to Doherty and Driscoll. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2017.12.001

[25] Brannelly, L.A., Webb, R.J., Hunter, D.A., Clemann, N., Howard, K., Skerratt, L.F., Berger, L. &  Scheele, B.C. (2018). Non-declining amphibians can be important reservoir hosts for amphibian chytrid fungus. Animal Conservation, DOI: 10.1111/acv.12380

[24] Westgate, M.J., MacGregor, C., Scheele, B.C, Driscoll, D.A. & Lindenmayer, D.B. (2018). Effects of time since fire on frog occurrence are altered by isolation, vegetation, and fire frequency gradients. Diversity and Distributions, 24, 82-91.

[23] Grogan, L.F., Cashins, S.D., Skerratt, L.F., Berger, L., McFadden, M.S., Harlow, P., Hunter, D.A., Scheele, B.C. & Mulvenna, J. (2018). ‘Evolution of resistance to chytridiomycosis is associated with a robust early immune response. Molecular Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/mec.14493

[22] Scheele, B.C., Skerratt, L.F., Hunter, D.A., Banks, S.C., Pierson, J.C., Driscoll, D.A., Byrne, P.G. & Berger, L. (2017). Disease-associated change in an amphibian life-history trait. Oecologia. DOI: 10.1007/s00442-017-3911-7.

[21] Lindenmayer D., et. alincluding Scheele B.C., [68 co-authors] (2017). Save Australia’s ecological research. Science, 357, 557. [Correspondence]

[20] Lindenmayer, D.B., Ehmke, G. & Scheele, B.C. (2017). Publish openly but responsibly—Response. Science,  357, 142.

[19] Lindenmayer, D.B. & Scheele, B.C. (2017). Do not publish. Science, 356, 800.

[18] Scheele, B.C., Foster, C.N., Banks, S.C., & Lindenmayer, D.B. (2017). Niche contractions in declining species: mechanisms and consequences. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 32, 346–355.

[17] Scheele, B.C., Skerratt, L.F., Grogan, L.F., Hunter, D.A., Clemann, N., McFadden, M., Newell, D., Hoskin, C.J., Gillespie, G.R., Heard, G.W., Brannelly, L., Roberts, A. & Berger, L.(2017). After the epidemic: Ongoing declines, stabilizations and recoveries in amphibians afflicted by chytridiomycosis. Biological Conservation, 206, 37-46.

[16] Scheele, B.C., Hunter, D.A., Brannelly, L.A., Skerratt, L.F. & Driscoll, D.A. (2017). Reservoir-host amplification of disease impact in an endangered amphibian. Conservation Biology,  31, 592–600.

[15] Scheele, B.C., Hunter, D.A., Banks, S.C., Pierson, J.C., Skerratt, L.F. Webb, R., & Driscoll, D.A. (2016). High adult mortality in disease-challenged frog populations increases vulnerability to drought. Journal of Animal Ecology, 85, 1453-1460.

[14] Grogan, L., Phillott, A., Scheele, B.C., Berger, L., Cashins, S., Bell, S., Puschendorf, R. & Skerratt, L. (2016). Endemicity of chytridiomycosis is driven by pathogen over-dispersion. Journal of Animal Ecology, 85, 806-816.

[13] Skerratt, L., Berger, L., Clemann, N., Hunter, D., Marantelli, G., Newell, D., Philips, A., McFadden, M., Hines, H., Scheele, B.C., Brannelly, L. A., Spear, R., Versteegen, S., Cashins, S. D. & West, M. (2016). Priorities for management of chytridiomycosis in Australia: saving frogs from extinction. Wildlife Research 43, 105-120.

[12] Brannelly, L.A., Hunter, D.A., Lenger, D., Scheele, B.C., Skerratt, L.F. & Berger, L. (2015). Dynamics of Chytridiomycosis during the Breeding Season in an Australian Alpine Amphibian. PLoS One. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0143629

[11] Westgate, M. J., Scheele, B.C., Ikin, K., Hoefer, A. M., Evans, M., Osborne, W., Hunter, D. A., Rayner, L., & Driscoll, D. A. (2015). Citizen Science Program Shows Urban Areas Have Lower Occurrence of Frog Species, but Not Accelerated Declines. PLoS One. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0140973

[10] Brannelly, L.A., Hunter, D.A., Skerratt, L.F., Scheele, B.C., Lenger, D., McFadden, M.S., Harlow P.S. & Berger, L. (2015). Factors influencing post-release fitness in the reintroduction of the endangered alpine tree frog of the Australian Alps. Animal Conservation 19, 153-162.

[9] Bataille, A., Cashins, S.D., Grogan, L., Skerratt, L.F., Hunter, D.A., McFadden, M. S., Scheele, B.C., Brannelly, L.A., Macris, A., Harlow, P.S., Bell, S., Berger L. & Waldman, B. (2015). Susceptibility of amphibians to chytridiomycosis is associated with MHC class II conformation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 282, 20143127.

[8] Scheele, B.C., Driscoll, D.A., Fischer, J., Fletcher, A.W., Hanspach, J., Vӧrӧs, J. & Hartel, T. (2015). Landscape context influences chytrid fungus distribution in an endangered European amphibian. Animal Conservation 18, 480-488.

[7] Scheele, B.C., Hunter, D.A., Skerratt, L.F., Brannelly, L.A. & Driscoll, D.A. (2015). Low impact of chytridiomycosis on frog recruitment enables persistence in refuges despite high adult mortality. Biological Conservation 182, 36-43.

[6] Scheele, B.C., Hunter, D.A., Grogan, L., Berger, L., Kolby, J., McFadden, M., Marantelli G., Skerratt, L.F. & Driscoll, D.A. (2014). Interventions for reducing extinction risk in chytridiomycosis-threatened amphibians. Conservation Biology 28:1195–1205.

[5] Keith, D. A., Mahony, M., Hines, H., Elith, J., Regan, T. J., Baumgartner, J. B., Hunter, D., Heard, G. W., Mitchell, N. J., Parris, K.M., Penman, T., Scheele, B.C., Simpson, C. C., Tingley, R., Tracy, C. R., West, M. & Akçakaya, H. R. (2014). Detecting extinction risk from climate change by IUCN Red List criteria. Conservation Biology 28, 810-819.

[4] Driscoll, D.A., Banks, S.C., Barton, P.S., Ikin, K., Lentini, P., Lindenmayer, D.B., Smith, A.L., Berry, L.E., Burns, E.L., Edworthy, A., Evans, M.J., Gibson, R., Heinsohn, R., Howland, B., Kay, G., Munro, N., Scheele, B.C., Stirnemann, I., Stojanovic, D., Sweaney, N., Villaseñor, N.R. & Westgate, M.J. (2014). The trajectory of dispersal research in conservation biology. Systematic review. PLoS One 9, e95053.

[3] Scheele, B.C., Boyd, C.E., Fischer, J., Fletcher, A.W., Hanspach, J. & Hartel, T. (2014). Identifying core habitat before it’s too late: the case of Bombina variegata, an internationally endangered amphibian. Biodiversity and Conservation 23:775-780.

[2] Scheele, B.C., Guarino, F., Osborne, W., Hunter, D.A., Skerratt, L. F. & Driscoll, D.A. (2014). Decline and re-expansion of an amphibian with high prevalence of chytrid fungus. Biological Conservation 170:86-91.

[1] Scheele, B.C., Driscoll, D.A., Fischer, J. & Hunter, D.A. (2012). Decline of an endangered amphibian during an extreme climatic event. Ecosphere 3 (11), art101.

Edited books

[1] Legge, S., Lindenmayer, D.B., Robinson, N.M., Scheele, B.C., Southwell, D.M. & Wintle, B.A. (Eds) (2018). Monitoring threatened species and ecological communities. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

Book chapters

[7] Scheele, B.C. & Gillespie, G.R. (2018). The extent and adequacy of monitoring for Australian threatened frog species. In Monitoring Threatened Species and Ecological Communities, ed. by Legge, S., Lindenmayer, D.B., Robinson, N.M., Scheele, B.C., Southwell, D.M. & Wintle, B.A. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

[6] Gillespie, G.R., Hunter, D., Hollis, G., Scheele, B.C. & West, M. (2018). A Tale of threatened frogs: demonstrating the value of long-term monitoring. InMonitoring Threatened Species and Ecological Communities ed. by Legge, S., Lindenmayer, D.B., Robinson, N.M., Scheele, B.C., Southwell, D.M. & Wintle, B.A. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

[5] Robinson, N.M., Morgain, R., Legge, S., Scheele, B.C., Lindenmayer, D.B., Southwell, D.M., Bennison, K., Benshemesch, J., Bickerton, D., Brooks, L., Carter, O., Dickman, Ehmke, G., Kanowski, J., Koleck, J., Lintermans, M., Marsh, H., Oliver, D., Paltridge, R., Radford, J., Skroblin, A., Wayne, A. & Woinarski, J.C.Z. (2018). Organisational perspectives on threatened species monitoring. In Monitoring Threatened Species and Ecological Communities ed. by Legge, S., Lindenmayer, D.B., Robinson, N.M., Scheele, B.C., Southwell, D.M. & Wintle, B.A. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

[4] Robinson, N.M., Legge, S., Scheele, B.C., Lindenmayer, D.B., Southwell, D.M., Wintle, B., Bennison, K., Benshemesch, J., Bickerton, D., Brooks, L., Carter, O., Dickman, Einoder, L., Gillespie, G., Herman, K., Kanowski, J., Koleck, J., Lahoz-Monfort, J.J., Latch, P., Lintermans, M., Marsh, H., Paltridge, R., Radford, J., Skroblin, A., Wayne, A. & Woinarski, J.C.Z. (2018). Essential principles to guide monitoring of threatened biodiversity. In Monitoring Threatened Species and Ecological Communities ed. by Legge, S., Lindenmayer, D.B., Robinson, N.M., Scheele, B.C., Southwell, D.M. & Wintle, B.A. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

[3] McFadden M., Hunter D., Evans M., Scheele B.C., Pietsch R., Harlow P. (2016). Reintroduction of the northern corroboree frog in the Northern Brindabella Mountains, New South Wales, Australia. Pages 35-39. Soorae, P.S., ed. Global Re-introduction Perspectives: 2016. IUCN/SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.

[2] Hunter D., Marantelli G., McFadden M., Harlow P., Scheele B.C., Pietsch R. (2010). Assessment of re-introduction methods for the southern corroboree frog in the Snowy Mountains region of Australia. Pages 72-76. Soorae, P.S., ed. Global Re-introduction Perspectives: Additional case-studies from around the globe. IUCN/SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.

[1] McFadden M., Hunter D., Harlow P., Pietsch R., Scheele B.C. (2010). Captive management and experimental re-introduction of the Booroolong Frog on the South Western Slopes region, New South Wales, Australia. Pages 77-80. Soorae, P.S., ed. Global Re-introduction Perspectives: Additional case-studies from around the globe. IUCN/SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group, Abu Dhabi.

Updated:  22 February 2018/Responsible Officer:  Director Fenner School/Page Contact:  Webmaster Fenner School