Dr Martin Westgate



I am an ecologist and conservation biologist. I study how scientific information can be used to improve ecosystem management and avoid species extinctions.

My research interests are pretty varied. My background is in quantitative ecology, mainly focussing on the effects of fire or habitat loss on faunal groups (and particularly frogs). More recently, I’ve become interested in research synthesis – i.e. how we can collate information from different locations or ecosystems to make useful generalisations (see my papers in Nature Communications and Ecography). I’ve also studied the process of how scientists conduct reviews, focussing on what we can learn from computer science and linguistics. I won the 2017 Next Generation Ecologist Award for this research in August 2017, to be conferred at the EcoTAS conference in December. Finally, I’m currently part of a team of researchers investigating the utility of ecological surrogates and indicators.


24. MJ Westgate, C MacGregor, BC Scheele, DA Driscoll & DB Lindenmayer (2017) Effects of time since fire on frog occurrence are altered by isolation, vegetation, and fire frequency gradients. Diversity & Distributions in press. http://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12659

23. MJ Westgate & DB Lindenmayer (2017) The difficulties of systematic reviewsConservation Biology 31(5): 1002-1007. http://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12890

22. MJ Westgate, AIT Tulloch, PS Barton, JC Pierson & DB Lindenmayer (2017) Optimal taxonomic groups for biodiversity assessment: A meta-analytic approach. Ecography 40: 539-548. http://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.02318


21. DB Lindenmayer, C MacGregor, J Wood, MJ Westgate, K Ikin, C Foster, F Ford & R Zentelis (2016) Bombs, fire and biodiversity: vertebrate fauna occurrence in areas subject to military training. Biological Conservation 204(B) 276-283. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.10.030

20. DB Lindenmayer, SG Candy, SC Banks, MJ Westgate, K Ikin, JC Pierson, AIT Tulloch & PS Barton (2016) Do temporal changes in vegetation structure predict changes in bird occupancy additional to time since fire? Ecological Applications 26(7) 2267-2279. http://doi.org/10.1002/eap.1367

19. AIT Tulloch, I Chadés, Y Dujardin, MJ Westgate, PW Lane & DB Lindenmayer (2016) Dynamic species co-occurrence networks require dynamic biodiversity surrogatesEcography 39(12) 1185-1196. http://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.02143

18. M Hunter Jr., M Westgate, P Barton, A Calhoun, J Pierson, A Tulloch, M Beger, C Branquino, T Caro, J Gross, J Heino, P Lane, C Longo, K Martin, WH McDowell, C Mellin, H Salo & D Lindenmayer (2016) Two roles for ecological surrogacy: indicator surrogates and management surrogatesEcological Indicators 63: 121-125.  http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.11.049


17. MJ Westgate, PS Barton, JC Pierson & DB Lindenmayer (2015) Text analysis tools for identification of emerging topics and research gaps in conservation scienceConservation Biology 29(6): 1606-1614. http://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12605

16. MJ Westgate, BC Scheele, K Ikin, AM Hoefer, RM Beaty, M Evans, W Osborne, L Rayner & DA Driscoll (2015) Citizen science program shows urban areas have lower occurrence of frog species, but not accelerated declinesPLoS ONE 10(11): e0140973. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0140973

15. D Lindenmayer, J Pierson, P Barton, M Beger, C Branquinho, A Calhoun, T Caro, H Greig, J Gross, J Heino, M Hunter, P Lane, C Longo, K Martin, WH McDowell, C Mellin, H Salo, A Tulloch & M Westgate (2015) A new framework for selecting environmental surrogatesScience of the Total Environment 538: 1029-1038.  http://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.08.056

14. D Stojanovic, A Terauds, MJ Westgate, MH Webb & R Heinsohn (2015) Exploiting the richest patch has a fitness pay-off for the migratory swift parrotJournal of Animal Ecology 84(5): 1194-1201. http://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12375

13. A Mortelliti, MJ Westgate, J Stein, J Wood & DB Lindenmayer (2015) Ecological and spatial drivers of population synchrony in bird assemblagesBasic and Applied Ecology 16(3): 269-278. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2015.01.008

12. PS Barton, JC Pierson, MJ Westgate, PW Lane & DB Lindenmayer (2015) Learning from clinical medicine to improve the use of surrogates in ecology. Oikos 124: 391-398. http://doi.org/10.1111/oik.02007


11. DB Lindenmayer, PW Lane, MJ Westgate, M Crane, D Michael, S Okada & PS Barton (2014) An empirical assessment of the focal species hypothesis. Conservation Biology 28(6): 1594-1603. http://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12330

10. PS Barton, MJ Westgate, PW Lane, C MacGregor & DB Lindenmayer (2014) Robustness of habitat-based surrogates of animal diversity: a multi-taxa comparison over time. Journal of Applied Ecology 51(5): 1434-1443. http://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.12290

9. A Mortelliti, MJ Westgate, & DB Lindenmayer (2014) Experimental evaluation shows limited influence of pine plantations on the connectivity of highly fragmented bird populationsJournal of Applied Ecology 51(5): 1179-1187. http://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.12313

8. PW Lane, DB Lindenmayer, PS Barton, W Blanchard & MJ Westgate (2014) Visualisation of species pairwise associations: a case study of surrogacy in bird assemblages. Ecology and Evolution. http://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.1182

7. MJ Westgate, PS Barton, PW Lane & DB Lindenmayer (2014) Global meta-analysis reveals low consistency of biodiversity congruence relationships. Nature Communications 5:3899. http://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms4899

6. DA Driscoll, SC Banks, PS Barton, K Ikin, P Lentini, DB Lindenmayer, AL Smith, LE Berry, EL Burns, A Edworthy, MJ Evans, R Gibson, R Heinsohn, B Howland, G Kay, N Munro, BC Scheele, I Stirnemann, D Stojanovic, N Sweaney, NR Villasenor, & MJ Westgate (2014) The trajectory of dispersal research in conservation biology. Systematic review. PLoS ONE 9(4): e95053. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0095053

5. DB Lindenmayer, PS Barton, PW Lane, MJ Westgate, L McBurney, D Blair, P Gibbons & GE Likens (2014) An empirical assessment and comparison of species-based and habitat-based surrogates: a case study of forest vertebrates and large old trees. PLoS ONE 9(2): e89807. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0089807


4. MJ Westgate, GE Likens, & DB Lindenmayer (2013) Adaptive management of biological systems: A review. Biological Conservation 158: 128-139. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2012.08.016

3. MJ Westgate, DA Driscoll & DB Lindenmayer (2012) Limited influence of stream networks on the terrestrial movements of three wetland-dependent frog species. Biological Conservation 153: 169-176. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2012.04.030

2. MJ Westgate, DA Driscoll & DB Lindenmayer (2012) Can the intermediate disturbance hypothesis and information on species traits predict anuran responses to fire? Oikos 121: 1516-1524. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0706.2011.19863.x

1. A Felton, J Fischer, DB Lindenmayer, R Montague-Drake, A Lowe, D Saunders, A Felton, W Steffen, NT Munro, K Youngentob, J Gillen, P Gibbons, JE Bruzgul, I Fazey, SJ Bond, CP Elliott, BCT Macdonald, LL Porfirio, MJ Westgate & M Worthy (2009) Climate change, conservation and management: an assessment of the peer-reviewed scientific journal literature. Biodiversity and Conservation 18:2243-2253.  http://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-009-9652-0

Updated:  21 July 2018/Responsible Officer:  Director Fenner School/Page Contact:  Webmaster Fenner School