The BRaCE (Biodiversity Research and Conservation Ecology) Lab

Multidisciplinary research

Anne Eichholtzer (PhD). Wildlife to Wellbeing; the multiple values of citizen science and new technology.

See Anne’s 45 second project introduction here.

Lachlan Howell (Post-doc).  Use of emerging technologies for native wildlife population assessment and management. Collaborators; Desley Whisson, Dan Ierodiaconou, Euan Ritchie, Mike Weston, Blake Allan, Shuddha Rafiq, Thanh Nguyen, Robin Doss, Danny Rogers,

Movement, spatial population dynamics, conservation in fragmented landscapes

Parvathi Prasad (PhD)  Movement ecology and human-wildlife conflict; elephants in northern India. Collaborators: Matt Symonds (Deakin),  Varun Goswami and Divya Vasudev (Conservation Initiatives, India)

Biang Syiem (PhD)  Community forest management in northern India; effects on bird communities. Collaborators:  Varun Goswami and Divya Vasudev (Conservation Initiatives, India)

Kendrika Gaur (PhD) Terrestrial eDNA for reptile and amphibian conservation.

On the brink. Threatened species

Muhammad Jawad Jilani (PhD) Evaluation of role of Habitat Degradation, Drought and Chytrid fungus on decline of Myobatrachid Frogs, Collaborators: Muhammad Rais  PMAS Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi.

Kim Lewandowski (Hons). Frogs of Western Victoria. Collaborators: Beyond Bolac.

Restoration and invasive species

Sally Burgemeestre (PhD) Engaging landholders to understand the impacts of feral herbivores on post-fire recovery and persistence. Collaborators: Desley Whisson, Geoff Kay and Donna Hazel Biodiversity Conservation Trust, NSW.

Eilysh Thompson (PhD) The ecological effects and management of large feral herbivores in alpine ecosystems and the influence of dingos. Collaborators: Euan Ritchie, Susanna Venn

Fire ecology, forest ecology

Darcy Watchorn (PhD). Do artificial refuges improve survival of small mammals after fire. Collaborators: Tim Doherty, Barbara Wilson (Deakin)

Kristina MacDonald (PhD). Response of reptile communities to the interaction between fire and invasive predators (foxes, cats), and potential for artificial refuges to reduce their impact. Collaborators: Tim Doherty, Bronwyn Hradsky (Melbourne Uni)


Completed! Movement, spatial population dynamics, conservation in fragmented landscapes


Tim Doherty (Alfred Deakin Post-Doctoral fellow) Spatial and movement ecology in fragmented and burnt landscapes.


Sara Balouch (2021) Impact of Agriculture Land Management on Reptiles in Chakwal Pakistan, and central NSW Australia. Collaborators: Tim Doherty, Muhammad Rais (Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan)

Tim Garvey (2021) Devising commercial forest practices that support metapopulations of threatened Tasmanian frogs L. raniformis and L. peronii. Collaborators: Pep Turner, Amy Koch (Tas Forest Practices Authority)

Nicole Hansen (PhD, 2018) Herpetofauna responses to agricultural matrix management

Kat Ng (PhD 2018) Beetle responses to agricultural matrix management

Stephanie Pulsford (PhD 2017) Reptile and frog responses to different farm management  practices in grazing landscapes

Geoff Kay (PhD 2016) Development of agri-environment schemes for the conservation of reptiles in a highly fragmented woodland ecosystem

Nélida Villaseñor (PhD 2016) Better urban development designs; a study of frogs and mammals across a forest-urban gradient.

John M Evans (PhD 2015) Does dispersal influence extinction risk in a fragmented landscape? Beetles in the Wog Wog fragmentation experiment. Collaborators: Sam Banks, Kendi Davis and Brett Melbourne (University of Colorado, Boulder).

Martin Westgate (PhD 2014) Landscape Ecology of Amphibians in Booderee National Park

Nicole Sweaney (PhD 2014) Landscape Transformation; Impact on Butterflies and Beetles in South-Eastern Australia. Collaborators: David Lindenmayer, Nick Porch

Sacha Jellinek (PhD 2012) The value of revegetated linear strips and patches of habitat for faunal conservation: Reconciling ecological and landholder perspectives. Collaborators: Kirsten Paris, Brendan Wintle,

Honours Projects

Madison Cassie (Hons 2019) Impacts of agricultural intensification on frogs

Charles Fist (Hons 2018) Movement patterns of the eastern bearded dragon in a fragmented agricultural landscape: the effects of sex, size and strips.

Samantha Wallace (Hons 2018) Is agricultural intensification a threat to frogs?  Collaborators: Anthony and Michelle Cassanova.

Nicole Sweaney (Hons 2010) Influence of fire, large logs, and their interaction on beetle biodiversity in Mountain Ash forests of Victoria. Collaborators: David Lindenmayer

Kat Ng (Masters 2013) Detectability of the global weed Hypochaeris radicata is influenced by species, environment and observer characteristics

Stephanie Pulsford (Hons 2012) What’s left behind? The impact of biological legacies on beetle populations after fire.

Sacha Jellinek (Hons 2003) Reptiles in urban forest remnants

Mitchell Barbara (Hons 2012) Temporal responses of small mammals to matrix transformation. Collaborator; Sam Banks.

Amber Liaw (Hons 2005) Phylogeography of the thick-tailed gecko (Nephrurus milii). Collaborator: Steve Donnellan.

Adam Schutz (Hons 2006) Connectivity and Condition of Fragments influence the Reptile Fauna in a fragmented agricultural landscape

Brooke Swaffer (Hons 2006) Plant species recruitment & colonisation after fire in mallee ecosystems

Joel Williams (Hons 2011) Roadside connectivity does not increase reptile abundance or richness in a fragmented mallee landscape

Completed: On the brink. Threatened species


Tom Burns (PhD, 2021) Mapping chytrid risk and disease vulnerability in the critically endangered Baw Baw frog.

Ben Scheele (PhD 2014). How ecology intervenes in the impact of chytrid on amphibians.

Honours projects

Danielle Wallace (Hons 2018) Disease and disturbance: investigating the factors that drive amphibian reservoir host occurrence and distribution

Matt Sleeth (Hons 2017) Home range ecology and microhabitat use of the invasive wolf snake (Lycodon capucinus) of Christmas Island

Ben Scheele (Hons 2010) Climate Drying Causes the Rapid Decline of a Threatened Frog species in South-Eastern Australia

Completed! Restoration and invasive species


Kris Bell (2021) The ecology and function of a keystone structure Triodia scariosa in degraded landscapes. Collaborators: Tim Doherty

David Johnson (PhD 2018) Managing forb diversity in temperate grassy ecosystems

Andrew O’Reilly-Nugent (PhD 2019) Identifying impacts of invasive grasses on native species. Collaborators: Richard Duncan, Jane Catford

Honours projects

Bek Cherubin (Hons 2018) Impacts of feral horses on broad toothed rat and alpine water skink. Collaborators: Euan Ritchie, Tim Doherty, Susanna Venn

Alice McDougall (Hons 2014) Restoration of Aprasia parapulchella (pink-tailed legless lizard) habitat in the Molonglo Valley. Collaborators: Annabel Smith

Nick McKenzie (Hons 2003) Fox baiting techniques for Tasmania

Completed! Fire ecology, forest ecology


Juliana Lazzari (PhD 2019) Fire and fragmentation interactions: effects on reptiles and small mammals in modified semi-arid landscapes

Annabel Smith (PhD 2012) Reptile dispersal and demography after fire: process-based knowledge to assist fire management for biodiversity

Rebecca Gibson (PhD 2013) Processes controlling fuel dynamics and fire regimes across environmental gradients in the Mediterranean region of south eastern Australia

Bianca Dunker (PhD 2014) Direct and genetic evaluation of the influence of fire on seed dispersal.

Laurence Berry (PhD 2015) Unburnt forest patches as refuges for mammals.

Amy Koch (PhD 2007)  Forest size structure and tree hollow occurrence

Honours projects

Emma O’Dwyer-Hall (Hons 2019). How does fire influence the autumn-breeding frog Pseudophryne semimarmorata?

Dylan Lees. (Hons 2019) Microhabitat selection by Antechinus agilis and Rattus fuscipes in response to fire

Laurence Berry (Hons 2011) The Effects of Fire Mosaic Patchiness on Bird Species Distribution

Luisa Teasdale (Hons 2010) Post-fire succession in an Australian mallee invertebrate community highlights some needs of fauna for fire management

Kwan Ling Ho (Hons 2013) The effects of permanent and temporary fire refugia on the distribution of invertebrates

Zohara Claire Lucas (Hons 2013) Interactions between habitat isolation and fire influence invertebrate communities.

Sally South (Hons 2010) Do dragons respond to fire? Natural history and spatial ecology of Amphibolurus norrisi in southern Australia.

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