Dr Juliana Lazzari

B.Sc(Hons), PhD, Australian National University
Honorary Lecturer

Although born and bred and still living in Canberra, I have pursued my interests in natural resources, agriculture and ecology in a number of ways including through my work in the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, as a woolclasser in NSW and Qld, as a volunteer picking avocadoes on a kibbutz in Israel, and now as a PhD student in fire ecology at the ANU.

Research interests

The interaction of fire and fragmentation

Fire has the potential to cause local extinction of fire-specialists through cycles of fire suppression followed by widespread fire. Fire in isolated remnants may cause extinction of species that require a specialised habitat. This local extinction has the potential to lead to regional declines if species cannot recolonise due to habitat fragmentation.

Since European settlement 35% of Australian mallee vegetation has been cleared for agriculture which has resulted in a fragmented landscape. In the study area, the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, 56% of the landscape has been cleared.

The clearance, fragmentation and changed fire regimes of these low, multi-stemmed open woodlands has impacted on mallee reptile fauna. Although many reptile species in small remnants are potentially vulnerable to extinction, there is a lack of information about this risk. Reptiles in these mallee remnants have not been surveyed and there are limited fire histories for mallee on private property. This makes it difficult to identify potential interactions between fire and fragmentation.

The project findings will provide land managers with currently unavailable information, facilitating the management of small remnants of vegetation for biodiversity conservation.

You can find more information about mallee fire ecology research on the website at  http://fennerschool-research.anu.edu.au/malleefire/process