Dr Benjamin Scheele

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 a population ecologist working in the conservation and landscape ecology group at the Australian National University. 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.

  • Scheele, B, Pasmans, F, Skerratt, L et al 2019, 'Amphibian fungal panzootic causes catastrophic and ongoing loss of biodiversity', Science, vol. 363, no. 6434, pp. 1459-1463pp.
  • Michael, D, Blanchard, W, Scheele, B et al 2019, 'Comparative use of active searches and artificial refuges to detect amphibians in terrestrial environments', Austral Ecology, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 327-338.
  • Driscoll, D, Worboys, G, Allan, H et al 2019, 'Impacts of feral horses in the Australian Alps and evidence-based solutions', Ecological Management and Restoration, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 63-72.
  • Scheele, B, Legge, S, Armstrong, D et al 2018, 'How to improve threatened species management: An Australian perspective', Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 223, pp. 668-675.
  • Canessa, S, Bozzuto, C, Grant, E et al 2018, 'Decision-making for mitigating wildlife diseases: From theory to practice for an emerging fungal pathogen of amphibians', Journal of Applied Ecology, vol. 55, no. 4, pp. 1987-1996.
  • Brannelly, L, Clemann, N, Skerratt, L et al 2018, 'Investigating community disease dynamics can lead to more effective conservation efforts', Animal Conservation, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 108-109.
  • Robinson, N, Scheele, B, Legge, S et al 2018, 'How to ensure threatened species monitoring leads to threatened species conservation', Ecological Management and Restoration, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 222-229pp.
  • Grogan, L, Cashins, S, Skerratt, L et al 2018, 'Evolution of resistance to chytridiomycosis is associated with a robust early immune response', Molecular Ecology, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 919-934pp.
  • Grogan, L, Robert, J, Berger, L et al 2018, 'Review of the amphibian immune response to chytridiomycosis, and future directions', Frontiers in Immunology, vol. 9, no. 2536, pp. 1-20pp.
  • Grogan, L, Mulvenna, J, Gummer, J et al 2018, 'Survival, gene and metabolite responses of Litoria verreauxii alpina frogs to fungal disease chytridiomycosis', Scientific Data, vol. 5, pp. 14pp.
  • Lindenmayer, D, Wood, J, MacGregor, C et al 2018, 'Conservation conundrums and the challenges of managing unexplained declines of multiple species', Biological Conservation, vol. 221, pp. 279-292pp.
  • Lindenmayer, D, Lane, P, Westgate, M et al 2018, 'Tests of predictions associated with temporal changes in Australian bird populations', Biological Conservation, vol. 222, pp. 212-221pp.
  • Brannelly, L, Webb, R, Hunter, D et al 2018, 'Non-declining amphibians can be important reservoir hosts for amphibian chytrid fungus', Animal Conservation, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 91-101pp.
  • Westgate, M, MacGregor, C, Scheele, B et al 2018, 'Effects of time since fire on frog occurrence are altered by isolation, vegetation and fire frequency gradients', Diversity and Distributions, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 82-91.
  • Scheele, B, Foster, C, Banks, S et al 2017, 'The Role of Biotic Interactions in the Niche Reduction Hypothesis: A Reply to Doherty and Driscoll', Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 148-149pp.
  • Scheele, B, Hunter, D, Brannelly, L et al 2017, 'Reservoir-host amplification of disease impact in an endangered amphibian', Conservation Biology, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 592-600pp.
  • Scheele, B, Foster, C, Banks, S et al 2017, 'Niche Contractions in Declining Species: Mechanisms and Consequences', Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 32, no. 5, pp. 346-355.
  • Scheele, B, Hunter, D, Brannelly, L et al 2017, 'Reservoir-host amplification of disease impact in an endangered amphibian', Conservation Biology, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 592-600pp.
  • Lindenmayer, D & Scheele, B 2017, 'Do not publish', Science, vol. 356, no. 6340, pp. 800-801.
  • Scheele, B, Skerratt, L, Hunter, D et al 2017, 'Disease-associated change in an amphibian life-history trait', Oecologia, vol. 184, no. 4, pp. 825-833.
  • Lindenmayer, D, Ehmke, G & Scheele, B 2017, 'Publish openly but responsibly--Response', Science, vol. 357, no. 6347, pp. 142pp..
  • Scheele, B, Skerratt, L, Grogan, L et al 2017, 'After the epidemic: Ongoing declines, stabilizations and recoveries in amphibians afflicted by chytridiomycosis', Biological Conservation, vol. 206, pp. 37-46.
  • Brannelly, L, Hunter, D, Skerratt, L et al 2016, 'Chytrid infection and post-release fitness in the reintroduction of an endangered alpine tree frog', Animal Conservation, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 153-162.
  • Grogan, L, Phillott, A, Scheele, B et al 2016, 'Endemicity of chytridiomycosis features pathogen overdispersion', Journal of Animal Ecology, vol. 85, no. 3, pp. 806-816.
  • Skerratt, L, Berger, L, Clemann, N et al 2016, 'Priorities for management of chytridiomycosis in Australia: saving frogs from extinction', Wildlife Research, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 105-120.
  • Scheele, B, Hunter, D, Banks, S et al 2016, 'High adult mortality in disease-challenged frog populations increases vulnerability to drought', Journal of Animal Ecology, vol. 85, no. 6, pp. 1453-1460.
  • Bataille, A, Cashins, S, Grogan, L et al 2015, 'Susceptibility of amphibians to chytridiomycosis is associated with MHC class II conformation', Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, vol. 282, no. 1805, pp. 20143127-20143127.
  • Brannelly, L, Hunter, D, Lenger, D et al 2015, 'Dynamics of Chytridiomycosis during the Breeding Season in an Australian Alpine Amphibian', PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science), vol. 10, no. 12, pp. e0143629-e0143629.
  • Scheele, B, Hunter, D, Skerratt, L et al 2015, 'Low impact of chytridiomycosis on frog recruitment enables persistence in refuges despite high adult mortality', Biological Conservation, vol. 182, pp. 36-43.
  • Scheele, B, Driscoll, D, Fischer, J et al 2015, 'Landscape context influences chytrid fungus distribution in an endangered European amphibian', Animal Conservation, vol. 18, no. 5, pp. 480-488.
  • Westgate, M.J., Scheele, B.C., Ikin, K., Hoefer, A., Evans, M., Osborne, W., Hunter, D., 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.
  • Scheele, B, Boyd, C, Fischer, J et al 2014, 'Identifying core habitat before it's too late: The case of Bombina variegata, an internationally endangered amphibian', Biodiversity and Conservation, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 775-780.
  • Scheele, B, Hunter, D, Grogan, L et al 2014, 'Interventions for Reducing Extinction Risk in Chytridiomycosis-Threatened Amphibians', Conservation Biology, vol. 28, no. 5, pp. 1195-1205.
  • Scheele, B, Guarino, F, Osborne, W et al 2014, 'Decline and re-expansion of an amphibian with high prevalence of chytrid fungus', Biological Conservation, vol. 170, pp. 86-91.
  • Keith, D, Mahony, M, Hines, H et al 2014, 'Detecting extinction risk from climate change by IUCN red list criteria', Conservation Biology, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 810-819.
  • 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.
  • Scheele, B, Driscoll, D, Fischer, J et al 2012, 'Decline of an endangered amphibian during an extreme climatic event', Ecosphere, vol. 3, no. 11, pp. Article 101.