I am a member of the Conservation and Landscape Ecology group, part of the NERP Environmental Decision Hub at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions. My research employs a landscape approach to investigate the ecology of extensive ecosystem disturbances. I have a particular interest in how the spatial arrangement of habitat elements influences the distribution, persistence and recovery of species at different scales following large-scale disturbance events. I was previously employed as a field research technician at the Murray Darling Freshwater Research Centre (La Trobe/CSIRO).
Thesis: The Ecology of Fire Refuges in the Mountain Ash Forests of the Victorian Central Highlands Thesis description: My PhD research considers the role of small unburnt patches or 'fire refuges' in maintaining viable populations of fire sensitive fauna and flora within extensively burnt landscapes. It has a particular focus on the how the spatial distribution of fire severities, influences in-situ survival and ex-situ recolonisation dynamics. The work is being conducted in the Victorian central highlands region following the 2009 'Black Saturday' bushfires. There are three broad components to my study, which include understanding how physical landscape properties determine the spatial distribution of fire severities. This component also considers how these interactions may change within extensively logged landscapes. Secondly, correlating the distribution of birds, plants and arboreal marsupials throughout landscape with the spatial attributes and surrounding land use type of patches of differing fire severities. Finally, linking demographic processes such as reproductive success and dispersal to unburnt patch use to determine the significance of fire refuges for post-fire biodiversity conservation.