Dr Benjamin Scheele

Senior Research Fellow

2011-2014 PhD Ecology

Australian National University

2015 Postdoctoral Fellow

James Cook University

2016 - ongoing Postdoctoral Fellow

Australian National University


Research interests

I am an ecologist currently leading research across five broad topics: the macroecology of declining species, threatened species adaptive management and monitoring, biodiversity in farmland, farm dam management, and amphibian ecology. I emphasise testing and refining ecological theory, while also working closely with conservation practitioners to inform management.

I have conducted extensive research 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.

65. Lavery, T.H., Morgain, R., Fitzsimons, J.A., Fluin, J., Macgregor, N.A., Robinson, N.M., Scheele, B.C., Selwood, K.E., Spindler, R., Vuong, H., West, S., Wintle, B.A., Lindenmayer, D.B. (2021) Impact indicators for biodiversity conservation research: measuring influence within and beyond academia. BioScience, doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biaa159.

64. Kelleher, S.J., Scheele, B.C., Silla, A.J., Keogh, J.S., Hunter, D.A., Endler, J.A., Byrne, P. (2021) Disease influences male advertisement and mating outcomes in a critically endangered amphibian. Animal Behaviour, 173, 145-157.

63. Burns, T.J., Scheele, B.C., Brannelly, L.A., Clemann, N., Gilbert, D., Driscoll, D.A. (2021) Indirect terrestrial transmission of amphibian chytrid fungus from reservoir to susceptible host species leads to fatal chytridiomycosis. Animal Conservation, doi:10.1111/acv.12665.

62. von Takach, B., Scheele, B.C., Moore, H., Murphy, B.P., Banks S.C. (2020) Patterns of niche contraction identify vital refuge areas for declining mammals. Diversity and Distributions, 26, 1467-82.

61. Ward, M., Tulloch, A.I., Radford, J.Q., Williams, B.A., Reside, A.E., Macdonald, S.L., Mayfield, H.J., Maron, M., Possingham, H.P., Vine, S.J., O’Connor, J.L., Massingham, E.J., Greenville, A.C., Woinarski, J.C.Z., Garnett, S.T., Lintermans, M., Scheele, B.C., Carwardine, J., Nimmo, D.G., Lindenmayer, D.B., Kooyman, R.M., Simmonds, J.S., Sonter, L.J., Watson, J.E.M. (2020) Impact of 2019–2020 mega-fires on Australian fauna habitat. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 42020, 1321–1326.

60. Lindenmayer, D.B., Blanchard, W., Foster, C.N., Scheele, B.C., Westgate, W.J., Stein, J., Crane, M., Florance, D. (2020) Habitat amount versus connectivity: An empirical study of bird responses. Biological Conservation, 241, 108377.

59. Lindenmayer, D.B., Blanchard, W., Blair, D., McBurney, L., Taylor, C., Scheele, B.C., Westgate, M.J., Robinson, N. Foster, C. (2020) The response of arboreal marsupials to long‐term changes in forest disturbance. Animal Conservation, https://doi.org/10.1111/acv.12634.

58. Evans, M.J., Scheele, B.C., Westgate, M.J., Yebra, M., Newport, J.S., Manning, A.D. (2020) Beyond the pond: Terrestrial habitat use by frogs in a changing climate. Biological Conservation, 249, 108712.

57. Lindenmayer, D.B., Lane, P., Westgate, M.J., Scheele, B.C., Crane. M., Florance, D., Crane, C., Smith D. (2020) Long‐term mammal and nocturnal bird trends are influenced by vegetation type, weather and climate in temperate woodlands. Austral Ecology, 45, 813-24.

56. Gillespie, G.R., Roberts, J.D., Hunter, D., Hoskin, C.J., Alford, R.A., Heard, G.W., Hines, H., Lemckert, F., Newell, D., Scheele, B.C. (2020) Status and priority conservation actions for Australian frog species. Biological Conservation, 247, 108543.

55. Lindenmayer, D.B., Foster, C.N., Westgate, M.J., Scheele, B.C., Blanchard, W. (2020) Managing interacting disturbances: Lessons from a case study in Australian forests. Journal of Applied Ecology, 57, 1711-6.

54. Lindenmayer, D.B., Woinarski, J.C.Z., Legge, S., Southwell, D., Lavery, T., Robinson, N., Scheele, B.C., Wintle, B. (2020) A checklist of attributes for effective monitoring of threatened species and threatened ecosystems. Journal of Environmental Management, 262, 110312.

53. Scheele, B.C., Pasmans, F., Skerratt, L.F., Berger, L., Martel, A., Beukema, W., Acevedo, A.A., Burrowes, P.A., Carvalho, T., Catenazzi, A., Riva, I.D.l., Fisher, M.C., Flechas, S.V., Foster, C.N., Frías-Álvarez, P., Garner, T.W.J., Gratwicke, B., Guayasamin, J.M., Hirschfeld, M., Kolby, J.E., Kosch, T.A., Marca, E.L., Lindenmayer, D.B., Lips, K.R., Longo, A.V., Maneyro, R., McDonald, C.A., Mendelson III, J.,Palacios-Rodriguez, P., Parra-Olea, G., Richards-Zawacki, C.L., Rödel, M.O., Rovito, S.M., Soto-Azat, C., Toledo, L.F., Voyles, J., Weldon, C., Whitfield, S.M., Wilkinson, M., Zamudio, K.R., Canessa, S.. 2020. Response to Comment on “Amphibian fungal panzootic causes catastrophic and ongoing loss of biodiversity”. Science, 367, 6484, eaay2905.

52. Hartel, T., Scheele, B.C., Rozylowicz, L., Horcea-Milcu, A., Cogălniceanu, D. (2020). The social context for conservation: Amphibians in human shaped landscapes with high nature values. Journal for Nature Conservation, 53, 125762.

51. Canessa, S., Spitzen‐van der Sluijs, A., Stark, T., Allen, B.E., Bishop, P.J., Bletz, M., Briggs, C.J., Daversa, D.R., Gray, M.J., Griffiths, R.A., Harris, R.N., Harrison, X.A., Hoverman, J.T., Jervis, P., Muths E., Olson, D.H., Price, S.J., Richards‐Zawacki, C.L., Robert, J., Rosa, G.M., Scheele, B.C., Schmidt, B.R., Garner, T.W.J. (2020). Conservation decisions under pressure: Lessons from an exercise in rapid response to wildlife disease. Conservation Science and Practice, 2:e141.

50. Sopniewski, J., Shams, F., Scheele, B.C., Kefford, B.J., Ezaz, T., (2019). Identifying sex-linked markers in Litoria aurea: a novel approach to understanding sex chromosome evolution in an amphibian. Scientific Reports 9, 16591.

49. Scheele, B.C., Pasmans, F., Skerratt, L.F., Berger, L., Martel, A., Beukema, W., Acevedo, A.A., Burrowes, P.A., Carvalho, T., Catenazzi, A., Riva, I.D.l., Fisher, M.C., Flechas, S.V., Foster, C.N., Frías-Álvarez, P., Garner, T.W.J., Gratwicke, B., Guayasamin, J.M., Hirschfeld, M., Kolby, J.E., Kosch, T.A., Marca, E.L., Lindenmayer, D.B., Lips, K.R., Longo, A.V., Maneyro, R., McDonald, C.A., Mendelson III, J.,Palacios-Rodriguez, P., Parra-Olea, G., Richards-Zawacki, C.L., Rödel, M.O., Rovito, S.M., Soto-Azat, C., Toledo, L.F., Voyles, J., Weldon, C., Whitfield, S.M., Wilkinson, M., Zamudio, K.R., Canessa, S. (2019). Amphibian fungal panzootic causes catastrophic and ongoing loss of biodiversity. Science, 363, 1459-1463.

48. Lindenmayer, D.B., Blanchard, W., Blair, D., Westgate, M.J., Scheele, B.C., (2019). Spatio‐temporal effects of logging and fire on tall, wet temperate eucalypt forest birds. Ecological Applications, https://doi.org/10.1002/eap.1999.

47. Scheele, B.C., C.N. Foster, D.A. Hunter, D.B. Lindenmayer, B.R. Schmidt, G.W. Heard. (2019). Living with the enemy: facilitating amphibian coexistence with disease. Biological Conservation, 235, 273-278.

46. Hartel, T. *, Scheele, B.C. *, Vanak, A.T., Rozylowicz, L., Linnell, J.D., Ritchie, E.G., (2019). Mainstreaming human and large carnivore coexistence through institutional collaboration. Conservation Biology, https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13334 *authors contributed equally

45. Lindenmayer, D.B., Westgate, M.J., Scheele, B.C., Foster, C.N., Blair, D., (2019). Key perspectives on early successional forests subject to stand-replacing disturbances. Forest Ecology and Management.

44. Scheele, B.C., Legge, S., Blanchard, W., Garnett, S., Geyle, H., Gillespie, G., Harrison, P., Lindenmayer, D., Lintermans, M., Robinson, N., Woinarski, J., (2019). Continental-scale assessment reveals inadequate monitoring for threatened vertebrates in a megadiverse country. Biological Conservation 235, 273-278.

43. Driscoll, D.A., Scheele, B.C., McDonald, T. (2019). Feral horses in the Australian Alps: an introduction to the special issue. Ecological Management & Restoration, doi.org/10.1111/emr.12364

42. Driscoll, D.A., Worboys, G.L., Allan, H. Banks, S.C. Beeton, N.J., Cherubin, R.C., Doherty, T.S., Finlayson, C.M., Green, L., Hartley, R., Hope, G., Johnson, C.N., Lintermans, M., Mackey, B. Paull, D.J., Pittock, J., Porfirio, L.L., Ritchie, E.G., Sato, C.F., Scheele, B.C., Slattery, D.A., Venn, S., Watson, D., Watson, M., Williams, R.M (2019). Impacts of feral horses in the Australian Alps and evidence‐based solutions. Ecological Management & Restoration, doi.org/10.1111/emr.12357

41. Foster, C.N.*, Scheele, B.C.* (2019) Feral horse impacts on corroboree frog habitat in the Australian Alp. Wildlife Research, 46, 184–190. *authors contributed equally

40. Lindenmayer, D.B., Blanchard, W. Westgate, M.J., Foster, C.N., Banks, S.C., Barton, P., Crane, C., Ikin, K. Scheele, B.C. (2019). Novel bird responses to successive large-scale, landscape transformations. Ecological Monographs, 89, e01362.

39. Grogan, L.F., Robert, J., Berger, L. Skerratt, L.F., Scheele, B.C., Castley, J.G., Newell, D.A. McCallum, H.I. (2018). Review of the Amphibian Immune Response to Chytridiomycosis, and Future Directions. Frontiers in Immunology 9:2536.

38. Michael, D.R., Blanchard, W., Scheele, B.C., Lindenmayer, D.B. (2018). Comparative use of active searches and artificial refuges to detect amphibians in terrestrial environments. Austral Ecology, 44, 327–338.

37. Lindenmayer, D.B., Lane, P., Foster, C.N., Westgate, M.J., Sato, C.F., Ikin, K., Crane, M., Michael, D., Florance, D. Scheele, B.C. (2018). Do migratory and resident birds differ in their responses to interacting effects of climate, weather and vegetation? Diversity and Distributions, 25, 449-461.

36. Lindenmayer, D.B., Lane, P., Crane, M., Florance, D., Foster, C.N., Ikin, K., Michael, D., Sato, C.F., Scheele, B.C., Westgate, M.J. (2018). Weather effects on birds of different size are mediated by long‐term climate and vegetation type in endangered temperate woodlands. Global Change Biology, 25, 675-685.

35. Hansen, N.A, Scheele, B.C., Driscoll, D.A. and Lindenmayer, D.B. (2018) Amphibians in agricultural landscapes: the habitat value of crop areas, linear plantings and remnant woodland patches, Animal Conservation, 22, 72-82.

34. Campbell, L.J., Garner, T.W., Tessa, G., Scheele, B.C., Griffiths, A.G., Wilfert, L., Harrison, X.A. (2018). An emerging viral pathogen truncates population age structure in a European amphibian and may reduce population viability. PeerJ 6, e5949.

33. Robinson, N., Scheele, B.C., Legge, S., Southwell, D., Carter, O., Lintermans, M., Radford, J., Skroblin, A., Dickman, C., Koleck, J., Wayne, A., Kanowski, J., Gillespie, G., & Lindenmayer, D. (2018). How to ensure threatened species monitoring leads to threatened species conservation. Ecological Management & Restoration, DOI: 10.1111/emr.12335.

32. Scheele, B.C., Legge, S., Armstrong, D.P., Coates, D.J., Copley, P., Robinson, N., Southwell, D., Westgate, M.J. & Lindenmayer, D.B. (2018). How to improve threatened species management: an Australian perspective. Journal of Environmental Management, 223, 668-675.

31. Brannelly, L.A., Clemann, N., Skerratt, L.F., Webb, R.J., Berger, L. & Scheele, B.C. (2018). Investigating community disease dynamics can lead to more effective conservation efforts. Animal Conservation, 21, 108-109.

30. Lindenmayer, D.B., Wood, J., MacGregor, C., Foster, C., Scheele, B.C., Tulloch, A., Barton, P., Banks, S., Robinson, N., Dexter, N., O’Loughlin, L. & Legge, S. (2018). Conservation conundrums and the challenges of managing unexplained declines of multiple species. Biological Conservation, 222, 212-221.

29. Lindenmayer, D.B., Lane, P., Westgate, M., Scheele, B.C., Foster, C., Sato, C., Ikin, K., Crane, M., Michael, D., Florance, D., Barton, P., O’Loughlin, L. & Robinson, N. (2018). Tests of predictions associated with temporal changes in Australian bird populations. Biological Conservation, 221, 279-292.

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, 55, 1987-1996.

27. 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, 33, 148-149.

26. 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, 27, 919-934.

25. 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, 5, 180033.

24. 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, 21, 91-101.

23. 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.

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, 184, 825-833.

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

20. 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.

19. Lindenmayer, D.B., Ehmke, G. & Scheele, B.C. (2017). Response - Data protection policies for sensitive species are piecemeal and often ineffective. Science, 357, 142. [Correspondence]

18. Lindenmayer, D.B. & Scheele, B.C. (2017). Do not publish. Science 356, 800-801.

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. 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.

14. 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.

13. Skerratt, L.F., 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 10, e0143629.

11. 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.

10. 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 10, e0140973.

9. 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.

8. 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.

7. 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.

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. 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.

3. 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.

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.