Fire is an agent of edge creation and a globally important driver of biome distribution and community composition, yet little is known about how fire edges affect ecological processes in flammable ecosystems. While edge effects and faunal-fire responses have been well studied independently, how animals respond to fire edges remains poorly understood.
Kate's thesis explores this knowledge gap focusing on the influence of fire edges on fauna, and discusses some methodological advances for ecological field studies. Her study sites were in Victoria's beautiful Central Highlands where she invested enormous energy installing remote cameras, trapping bush rats and agile antechinus, and fitting pesky-but-cute mountain brushtail possums with GPS collars. The possums in particular played very hard to get, but Kate's persistence paid off and she's currently putting the finishing touches on her analyses.
Congratulations Kate on your epic achievement!