Ms Kelly Dixon

BAppSc (Hons 1) UQ
PhD Student

Kelly graduated from The University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Conservation Management and Wildlife Management. She obtained a First Class Honours in Wildlife Science, writing her thesis on ‘habitat use and the effects of fire and grazing on the Hastings River mouse, brown antechinus, bush rat and swamp rat’, and was awarded a University Medal for outstanding academic achievement.

Kelly spent several years working as a research assistant on wildlife projects in remote areas and in Indigenous communities including Groote Eylandt and the Torres Strait islands prior to commencing her PhD. She worked as a head tutor for five years at UQ, and has volunteered for many wildlife projects in Australia and Asia.

Kelly joined the Fenner School of Environment and Society in March 2015 as a PhD scholar. Her research aims to identify how ecological integrity can be achieved transparently within protected areas that are managed for multiple objectives, with a focus on how monitoring data are used to inform management.


Research interests

Thesis title:

Achieving ecological integrity in protected areas: evaluating if management actions align with conservation objectives

Project Description:

Objectives within protected areas are varied and some may conflict with those for biodiversity conservation. Management effectiveness, and the impacts on biodiversity from management actions, remain unknown within many protected areas worldwide due to insufficient monitoring and reporting. Through my PhD research I am investigating how links between management, monitoring and biodiversity outcomes are carried out, reported on, and can be improved within protected areas, and to identify how ecological outcomes can be achieved while managing for other objectives.

Through a global online survey and worldwide face to face interviews I aim to summarise monitoring and evaluation frameworks employed in protected areas, and identify features statistically associated with best practice monitoring and evaluation within protected areas. Through a case study in Namadgi National Park I aim to demonstrably quantify relationships between a management action (fuel hazard reduction), actual fuel hazard and biodiversity (reptile and mammal) outcomes. Drawing the results from these three components together I aim to develop tractable guidelines that improve the accountability for reporting on biodiversity within protected areas.

Dixon K. M., Cary G. J., Worboys G. L. & Gibbons P., 2018. The disproportionate importance of long-unburned forests and woodlands for reptiles. Ecology and Evolution 8 (22), 10952-63.

Dixon K. M., Cary G. J., Worboys G. L., Seddon J. & Gibbons P., 2018. A comparison of fuel hazard in recently burned and long-unburned forests and woodlands. International Journal of Wildland Fire 27 (9), 602-22.

Salmona, J., Dixon, K. M., and Banks, S. C., 2018. The effects of fire history on hollow-bearing tree abundance in montane and subalpine eucalypt forests in southeastern Australia, Forest Ecology and Management, 428, doi:

Diete, R. L., Dixon, K. M., and Bardon, P., 2016. Predation of pitfall-trapped rodents by ghost bats (Macroderma gigas), Australian mammalogy, 38, 249-252

Diete, R. L., Meek, P. D., Dixon, K. M., Dickman, C. R., and Leung, L. K.-P., 2016. Best bait for your buck: bait preference for camera trapping north Australian mammals, Australian Journal of Zoology, 63 (6), 376-382

Kelly is involved as a demonstrator and casual lecturer in several Fenner School courses:
ENVS2004/6204 (Weather, climate and fire)
ENVS3008/6308 (Fire in the environment)
ENVS2001/6201 (Biodiversity science)
ENVS3039/6024 (Biodiversity conservation)