Australia’s 2019/20 Megafires; impacts on skinks and the broad-toothed rat.

Presented at the Ecological Society of Australia’s virtual annual meeting 2021

How fire interacts with habitat fragmentation

This is my video abstract of a review paper published in Biological Reviews, with a bonus scene compared with the version presented at the Ecological Society of Australia on-line conference in December 2020. See the full paper here:

 Science suppression

Read the scientific paper behind this video here

Suppressing expert knowledge can hide environmentally damaging practices and policies from public scrutiny. We surveyed ecologists and conservation scientists from universities, government and industry across Australia to understand the prevalence and consequences of suppressing science communication. Government (34%) and industry (30%) respondents reported higher rates of undue interference by employers than did university respondents (5%). Internal communications (29%) and media (28%) were curtailed most, followed by journal articles (11%), and presentations (12%). When university and industry researchers avoided public commentary, this was mainly for fear of media misrepresentation, while government employees were most often constrained by senior management and workplace policy. One third of respondents reported personal suffering related to suppression, including job losses and deteriorating mental health. Substantial reforms are needed, including to codes of practice, and governance of environmental assessments and research, so that scientific advice can be reported openly, in a timely manner and free from interference.

This video is based on the scientific article: Driscoll, D.A., Garrard, G.E., Kusmanoff, A.M., Dovers, S., Maron, M., Preece, N., Pressey, R.L. & Ritchie, E.G. (2020) Consequences of information suppression in ecological and conservation sciences. Conservation Letters, e12757.



Ecology, Conservation, Policy

New video: My Ecological Society of Australia President’s address on stand up comedy, lay preaching and science suppression.

The Biodiversity Crisis Hierarchy

While we often think of proximal threats driving species declines and extinctions, such as urban expansion or logging, our conservation policies less often consider the actual reasons those proximal threats are getting worse.  In this video we explain how a hierarchy of mechanisms combine to drive the biodiversity crisis, and all levels of the hierarchy need to be addressed in conservation planning and policy.

See also

And the back-story…




Weed or Feed?  New pastures sow future problems

Many pasture plants are also damaging environmental weeds.  Adding new varieties of these existing weeds could make the weed problem worse without appropriate action by governments, agribusiness and farmers.


The matrix in ecology explains what the matrix is and how it influences native species that depend on patches of remnant vegetation for their survival.

Wilderness gone wrong

Natural History

Are there frogs in Borneo?

Yes there are.

Also, see my article about hunting in Borneo; inspired during a family holiday in Malaysian Borneo.

Are there leeches in Borneo?


Scale. Precipitous Bluff.

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