Mason started working on temperate woodland research with David Lindenmayer’s team in 1999. Growing up in Gundagai, New South Wales, he developed a passion for biodiversity conservation in rural landscapes and an intimate understanding of rural communities. He has specialist expertise in woodland ecology and management and in recent years has focused his research on possum and glider conservation in agricultural landscapes.
His primary role is managing the field operations for the South West Slopes Restoration Study. Additionally, Mason has managed and assisted several of the groups other projects such as the Nanangroe Natural Experiment and Jervis Bay Fire Study. Additionally, Mason is involved in restoration of Box Gum Grassy Woodlands in the Western Slopes area and also has a deep understanding of landholders and agricultural practices. Mason also represents his local community as a Gundagai councillor, assists Gundagai Bushcare Group and Riverina Highlands Landcare network, and manages a small farm.
Mason has authored over 40 publications and co-authored five books. In 2016 he completed his doctorate with the university.
Summary of thesis
In 2016 Mason completed his PhD with the university. His thesis investigated the conservation and habitat use of the threatened Squirrel Glider, an arboreal marsupial. Woodland degradation and fragmentation in the Western Slopes has reduced the habitat for Squirrel Gliders. Mason examined at the 3 main types of Squirrel Glider habitat: linear strips (roadside corridors), blocks (Travelling Stock Reserves) and mixed habitats made up of scattered paddock trees, tree plantings and small farm remnants. Specifically, he looked at how habitat shape and make-up affected glider density, demographics, home range, behaviour and foraging. It is hoped this work will contribute to management practices in order to conserve Squirrel Gliders in the Western Slopes area.
You can read more about Mason and his research at www.longtermecology.com