We're working in stringybark woodland between Penola, Edenhope and Dartmoor.
Land-use change has severely fragmented Australia’s natural landscapes, and remaining habitat fragments are at risk from increases in fire frequency and intensity. Together, fire and fragmentation pose a major threat to biodiversity.
Our project addresses two key knowledge gaps:
Fire alters both the suitability of habitat patches for species (habitat suitability), and the capacity of species to move within and among patches (connectivity), both of which are critical to species survival and long-term persistence. As a management tool, planned fire has the capacity to improve both habitat suitability and connectivity, and ultimately promote species' persistence.
We're using the fragmented stringybark woodland of southwest Victoria and southeast South Australia as a study system. Our approach combines field surveys of reptiles, mammals and beetles with innovative genomic techniques and a powerful fire simulation model.
Ultimately our results will help land managers to sustain biodiversity in fire-prone fragmented landscapes.
Please contact Holly for further information about our research and student project opportunities.
Holly Sitters, Alan York, Julian Di Stefano, Matthew Swan, Trent Penman, Sarah Mulhall, Lauren Delaney, Zahlia Payne, Kelvin Doyle, Nevil Amos (DELWP), Paul Sunnucks (Monash), David McKenna (DEWNR), Mike Wouters (DEWNR).
Interested in joining us? We have PhD, Masters and Honours projects available for a mid-2017 or early-2018 start.
This Australian Research Council Linkage Project runs from 2017-2021 and is coordinated by the Fire Ecology and Biodiversity Group in partnership with Monash, DELWP (Victoria), DEWNR (South Australia), Parks Victoria, SA Water, the CFA, the Glenelg-Hopkins CMA and Trust for Nature. The project is also supported by PF Olsen and Timberlands Pacific.