I’m fortunate to work with this great group of bright and hard-working PhD and Honours students.

Vivianna Miritis, PhD: Mammal conservation in post-fire environments.

Viv is investigating the role of refuges (both natural and artificial) and burning practices in protecting mammal populations in fire-prone environments. This project is supported by the NSW Environment Trust. Co-supervised by Chris Dickman and Dale Nimmo.

ANGE Pestell, PhD: ecosystem resilience to fire.

Ange is investigating the response of mammals, reptiles and frogs to time since fire in the mallee woodlands and heathlands of Victoria. This project is a collaboration with La Trobe University and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Co-supervised by Euan Ritchie, Don Driscoll and Dale Nimmo.

Kristina macdonald, PhD: Impacts of fire and introduced predators on reptiles.

Kristina is investigating the impacts of fire and introduced predators on reptile communities in south-western Victoria. Supported by an ARC Linkage grant. Co-supervised by Don Driscoll and Bronwyn Hradsky.

Darcy Watchorn, PhD: Conserving threatened mammals in the face of fire and predation.

Working in the eastern Otway Ranges, Darcy is investigating the interactive effects of bushfire and invasive predators (cats and foxes) on native mammal populations. Specifically, Darcy will assess the population and behavioural responses of small mammals to natural and artificial refuges post-fire. This project is generously supported by the Hermon Slade Foundation. Co-supervised by Barb Wilson and Don Driscoll.

Billy GearyPhD: Improving ecosystem management and conservation decision-making.

Billy is investigating how knowledge of interactions between threats and ecological processes can be used to better manage ecosystems and conserve biodiversity. To do this, he will use a combination of desktop analyses and field-based ecological studies from south-eastern Australia. Co-supervised by Euan Ritchie, Dale Nimmo and Ayesha Tulloch.

Kris Bell, PhD: Keystone habitat dynamics in agricultural landscapes.

Kris is researching the biotic and abiotic factors that drive the cover and condition of spinifex grass (Triodia scariosa) in fragmented agricultural landscapes in central New South Wales. This project is generously supported by the Hermon Slade Foundation. Co-supervised by Don Driscoll.


Sara Balouch, PhD: Impacts of agricultural land management and habitat fragmentation and degradation on reptiles.

Sara is working on reptiles in agricultural landscapes in Australia and Pakistan. In central New South Wales, Sara is investigating how reptile communities respond to habitat degradation, and also looking at long-term changes in genetic diversity of the nobbi dragon. In Chakwal district, Pakistan, Sara is studying the movement ecology of dragons and examining how reptile communities respond to different crop harvesting methods (manual vs. mechanised). Sara’s work is generously supported by the Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment (Australia), National Geographic, Rufford Foundation and WWF (Pakistan). Co-supervised by Don Driscoll.

Honours students

2019/20: Mary Thorpe, Habitat associations and management of herbivores and predators in the Little Desert. Co-supervised by Euan Ritchie and Ben Holmes.

2019/20: Meg FarmerLong-nosed potoroo ecology on French Island. Co-supervised by Euan Ritchie, Amy Coetsee and Anthony Rendall.

2019: Dylan LeesMicrohabitat use by small mammals with regard to fire and refuges. Co-supervised by Don Driscoll and Darcy Watchorn.

2018: Viv MiritisFeral cat ecology on French Island. Co-supervised by Euan Ritchie, Amy Coetsee and Anthony Rendall.

2017/18: Charlie Fist, Movement ecology of bearded dragons in fragmented agricultural landscapes. Supported by the Margaret Middleton Fund, Australian Academy of Science. Co-supervised by Don Driscoll.

2017/18: Bec Cherubin, Evaluating the ecological impacts of feral horses in the Alps. Co-supervised by Euan Ritchie, Don Driscoll and Susanna Venn.

2016: Evie JonesFactors influencing feral cat density and distribution in a mallee ecosystem. Co-supervised by Euan Ritchie, Tom Newsome and Dale Nimmo.

2016: Gavin TrewellaDo dingoes (Canis dingo) facilitate behaviourally-mediated trophic cascades in mallee ecosystems? Co-supervised by Euan Ritchie, Tom Newsome and Dale Nimmo.