Dr John Evans

Research Fellow

Research interests

Does dispersal influence extinction risk? A study of the beetles at the Wog Wog Habitat Fragmentation Study

Climate change and habitat fragmentation are growing threats to biodiversity.  To be able to mitigate these threats, it is critical to know how species disperse through the landscape, but such knowledge is lacking.  A key assumption, that dispersal is crucial in allowing species to survive in fragmented landscapes, is used as a basis to spend billions annually on land management regimes worldwide.

The Wog Wog experiment was established in 1985 to quantify the effects of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity and has produced very important findings about the effects of habitat fragmentation. New data emerging in 2011, from research led by Dr Davies at the University of Colorado, will identify species of beetle that have become extinct and those that have survived in the experimental fragments over 25 years. I aim to find out why these species show these responses.

I am using detailed species-level genetic and direct research combined with community-wide studies to identify the factors influencing the extinction or persistence of species in fragmented landscapes. By researching the dispersal capacity of beetle species with known responses to fragmentation, I hope to determine the influence of dispersal on the risk of extinction after fragmentation and provide evidence for methods to improve conservation of vulnerable species and reserve design, including large-scale connectivity projects worldwide.

  • Evans et al. (2023) Trends in animal translocation research. Biological Conservation, 2023(3): p. 20.
  • Cunningham, S, Crane, M, Evans, M et al. 2022, 'Density of invasive western honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in fragmented woodlands indicates potential for large impacts on native species', Scientific Reports, vol. 12, no. 1, p. 10.
  • Evans et al. (2022) Coexistence conservation: reconciling threatened species and invasive predators through adaptive ecological and evolutionary approaches. Conservation Science and Practice, 4(7): e12742.
  • Evans et al. (2022) Reintroduction biology and the IUCN Red List: The dominance of species of Least Concern in the peer-reviewed literature. Global Ecology and Conservation, 38: p. 13.
  • Smith, K, Evans, M, Gordon, I et al. 2022, 'Mini Safe Havens for population recovery and reintroductions beyond the fence'', Biodiversity and Conservation, vol. 32, pp. 203-225.
  • Wilson et al. (2022) Personality and plasticity predict post-release performance in a reintroduced mesopredator. Animal Behaviour, 187, pp. 177–189.
  • Wilson et al. (2022) Roadmap to recovery revealed through the reintroduction of an IUCN Red List species. Biodiversity and Conservation, 32: pp. 227–248.
  • Yamanoi, T, Soga, M, Evans, M et al. 2021, 'What environmental and personal factors determine the implementation intensity of nature-based education in elementary and lower-secondary schools?', Sustainability, vol. 13, no. 17.
  • Andrew, N, Evans, M, Svejcar, L et al. 2021, 'What's hot and what's not - Identifying publication trends in insect ecology', Austral Ecology, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 5-16pp.
  • Soga, M, Evans, M, Tsuchiya, K et al. 2021, 'A room with a green view: the importance of nearby nature for mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic', Ecological Applications, vol. 31, no. 2.
  • Soga, M, Evans, M, Cox, D et al. 2021, 'Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on human-nature interactions: Pathways, evidence and implications', People and Nature, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 518-527.
  • Manning, A, Andrewartha, T, Blencowe, A et al. 2021, 'Bettering the devil you know: Can we drive predator adaptation to restore native fauna?', Conservation Science and Practice.
  • Andrewartha, T, Evans, M, Batson, W et al. 2021, 'Outfoxing the fox: Effect of prey odor on fox behavior in a pastoral landscape
    ', Conservation Science and Practice, vol. online.
  • Evans, M, Batson, W, Gordon, I et al. 2021, 'The 'Goldilocks Zone' of predation: the level of fox control needed to select predator resistance in a reintroduced
    mammal in Australia', Biodiversity and Conservation, vol. 30, pp. 1731-1752.
  • Wilson et al. (2021) Reintroduction of the eastern quoll to Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary, Australia using trials, tactics and adaptive management. In Soorae (ed) Global conservation translocation perspectives: 2021, IUCN SSC Conservation Translocation Specialist Group, Canada, pp. 194–199.
  • Soga, M, Evans, M, Yamanoi, T et al. 2020, 'How can we mitigate against increasing biophobia among children during the extinction of experience?', Biological Conservation, vol. 242, pp. 1-4.
  • Bump, J, Barton, P, Evans, M et al. 2020, 'Echoing the Need to Quantify Carrion Biomass Production', Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 92-94.
  • Evans, M, Wallman, J & Barton, P 2020, 'Traits reveal ecological strategies driving carrion insect community assembly', Ecological Entomology, vol. 45, no. 5, pp. 966-977.
  • Evans, M, Scheele, B, Westgate, M et al. 2020, 'Beyond the pond: Terrestrial habitat use by frogs in a changing climate', Biological Conservation, vol. 249, pp. 1-11.
  • Ross, C, McIntyre, S, Barton, P et al. 2020, 'A reintroduced ecosystem engineer provides a germination niche for native plant species', Biodiversity and Conservation, vol. 29, pp. 817-837.
  • Miyu, T, Evans, M, Soga, M et al. 2020, 'Modern Farming Practices in Paddy Fields Negatively Affect an Endemic Frog, Glandirana susurra, in Japan', Wetlands, vol. 40, pp. 1607-1615.
  • Portas et al. (2020) Baseline health and disease assessment of founder eastern quolls (Dasyurus viverrinus) during a conservation translocation to mainland Australia. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 56(3): pp. 547–559.
  • Wilson et al. (2020) Adapting reintroduction tactics in successive trials increases the likelihood of establishment for an endangered carnivore in a fenced sanctuary. PLOS One, 15(6): 0234455.
  • Soga, M, Tsuchiya, K, Evans, M et al. 2019, 'The inequalities of the extinction of experience: The role of personal characteristics and species traits in the distribution of people-plant interactions in Japan', Ecological Research, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 350-359.
  • Yama, H, Soga, M, Evans, M et al. 2019, 'The morphological changes of moths on nakajima island, Hokkaido, Japan', Environmental Entomology, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 291-298.
  • Evans, M, Newport, J & Manning, A 2019, 'A long-term experiment reveals strategies for the ecological restoration of reptiles in scattered tree landscapes', Biodiversity and Conservation, vol. 28, no. 11, pp. 2825-2843.
  • Cunningham, S, Evans, M, Neave, M et al. 2019, 'Pollination and resource limitation as interacting constraints on almond fruit set', Plant Biology, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 113-119.
  • Evans, M, Cunningham, S, Gibb, H et al 2019, 'Beetle ecological indicators: A comparison of cost vs reward to understand functional changes in response to restoration actions', Ecological Indicators, vol. 104, pp. 209-218
  • Evans, M, Banks, S, Barton, P et al. 2018, 'A long-term habitat fragmentation experiment leads to morphological change in a species of carabid beetle', Ecological Entomology, vol. 43, no. 3, pp. 282-293pp.
  • Evans, M, Banks, S, Driscoll, D et al. 2017, 'Short- and long- term effects of habitat fragmentation differ but are predicted by response to the matrix', Ecology, vol. 98, no. 3, pp. 807-819 pp.
  • Evans, M, Banks, S, Davies, K et al. 2016, 'The use of traits to interpret responses to large scale - edge effects: a study of epigaeic beetle assemblages across a Eucalyptus forest and pine plantation edge', Landscape Ecology, vol. 31, no. 8, pp. 1815-1831.
  • Barton, P, Evans, M, Foster, C et al. 2019, 'Towards Quantifying Carrion Biomass in Ecosystems', Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 34, no. 10, pp. 950-961.
  • Quaggiotto, M, Evans, M, Higgins, A et al. 2019, 'Dynamic soil nutrient and moisture changes under decomposing vertebrate carcasses', Biogeochemistry, vol. 146, pp. 71ââ¬â82pp.
  • Ross, C, Munro, N, Barton, P et al. 2019, 'Effects of digging by a native and introduced ecosystem engineer on soil physical and chemical properties in temperate grassy woodland', PeerJ, vol. online.
  • Barton, P, Evans, M, Sato, C et al. 2019, 'Higher-taxon and functional group responses of ant and bird assemblages to livestock grazing: A test of an explicit surrogate concept', Ecological Indicators, vol. 96, pp. 458-465.
  • Barton, P, Strong, C, Evans, M et al. 2019, 'Nutrient and moisture transfer to insect consumers and soil during vertebrate decomposition', Food Webs, vol. 18.
  • King, A, Melbourne, B, Davies, K et al. 2018, 'Spatial and temporal variability of fragmentation effects in a long term, eucalypt forest fragmentation experiment', Landscape Ecology, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 609-623pp.
  • Ng, K, Barton, P, Blanchard, W et al. 2018, 'Disentangling the effects of farmland use, habitat edges, and vegetation structure on ground beetle morphological traits', Oecologia, vol. Online, pp. 1-13.
  • Yong, D, Barton, P, Ikin, K et al. 2018, 'Cross-taxonomic surrogates for biodiversity conservation in human-modified landscapes - A multi-taxa approach', Biological Conservation, vol. 224, pp. 336-346pp.
  • Barton, P, Evans, M, Foster, C et al 2017, 'Environmental and spatial drivers of spider diversity at contrasting microhabitats', Austral Ecology, vol. 42, no. 6, pp. 700-710.
  • Barton, P & Evans, M 2017, 'Insect biodiversity meets ecosystem function: Differential effects of habitat and insects on carrion decomposition', Ecological Entomology, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 364-374pp.
  • Barton, P, Evans, M, Pechal, J et al. 2017, 'Necrophilous Insect Dynamics at Small Vertebrate Carrion in a Temperate Eucalypt Woodland', Journal of Medical Entomology, vol. 54, no. 4, pp. 964-973pp..
  • Evans, M, Banks, S, Davies, K et al. 2016, 'The use of traits to interpret responses to large scale - edge effects: a study of epigaeic beetle assemblages across a Eucalyptus forest and pine plantation edge', Landscape Ecology, vol. 31, no. 8, pp. 1815-1831.
  • Barton, P, McIntyre, S, Evans, M et al. 2016, 'Substantial long-Term effects of carcass addition on soil and plants in a grassy eucalypt woodland', Ecosphere, vol. 7, no. 10, pp. -.
  • Rayner, L., Ikin, K., Evans, M.J., Gibbons, P., Lindenmayer, D. & Manning, A.D. (2015). Avifauna and urban encroachment in time and space. Diversity and Distributions, 21, 428-440.
  • 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.