Congratulations to all our students who presented at the Victorian Biodiversity Conference last week, many of whom were presenting their work for the first time. Particular congratulations to Masters student Erin Thomas, who won the best poster award. Her poster on habitat partitioning in macropods not only included some great science, but also featured Erin’s own hand-painted pictures of her study species!
Congratulations to Annalie and Rachel who were awarded the Ecological Management and Restoration prizes for best presentation and best poster (respectively) at the Ecological Society of Australia's annual conference last Friday.
Annalie did an amazing job of distilling a complex analysis into a neat story about how edge contrast between patches of different time-since-fire benefited mammal species richness in the Otway Ranges. Rachel's eye-catching poster described a love triangle between fire, resource availability and the endangered heath mouse, making for another juicy ecological story!
Eight of our PhD and Masters students are presenting their work at the Ecological Society of Australia's annual conference in Launceston, Tasmania, this week.
This year's conference theme is Ecology: science for practical solutions and it spans six action-packed days. It's a wonderful forum for our students to talk about their work and get feedback from the wider ecological community.
Some of the team even found energy to walk along Cataract Gorge, providing a lovely opportunity to check out Launceston's beautiful scenery, spot some local birds, and take a few selfies!
Congratulations to Sandra, Simeon and Rachel for their engaging oral and poster presentations, and to Matt for his role as MC in the fire ecology session.
The biennial Biodiversity Across the Borders Conference is hosted by Federation University, only a stone's throw from us in Mt Helen, south of Ballarat. This year's conference theme was Climate Change and Future Landscapes, and provided an excellent opportunity to share emerging applied research among a broad audience comprising natural resource managers, the research community and conservation enthusiasts.
Hearty congratulations to Andrew, Lauren, Sarah and Zahlia on the completion of their research projects.
Zahlia's project examined responses of mammal functional diversity to vegetation structure, fire history and landscape context, and Lauren's explored the responses of individual mammal species to spatial pattern across a gradient of scales. Their theses are the first to arise from the Fire & Fragmentation Project, so their work involved delving into relatively uncharted waters. They spent a fair chunk of time chasing elusive remnant patches of vegetation, and were among the first of us to discover some of western Victoria's less accommodating roads. The long days (weeks) they spent staring at wildlife camera images and consulting experts will be enormously helpful to the camera trappers of the future. We owe them (at least) one!
We also congratulate Andrew Stephens and Sarah on completion of their Masters theses. Sarah undertook an epic fieldwork campaign involving measurement of three-dimensional vegetation structure and collection of fuel hazard information at Otways sites. Her thesis is accompanied by a new paper in Forests comparing visual assessment of surface fuel loads with destructively sampled surface fuels.
Andrew used a vascular plant dataset collected in the Otways under the Fire, Landscape Pattern & Biodiversity Project to examine the responses of fire persistence traits to productivity and fire gradients.
Andrew, Lauren, Sarah and Zahlia have successfully wrangled their research questions, data and writing within relatively short periods of time, and we hope they have particularly laid back festive seasons! Please find their thesis titles here, and get in touch for more information about their work.
The thesis-submission season overlapped the conference (and fieldwork) season to make for an action-packed spring.
Holly visited Queenstown, NZ for the SEEM (statistics in ecology and environmental monitoring) conference, and Alan, Annalie, Kate, Sandra and Sarah attended the recent joint conference of the Ecological Society of Australia and the New Zealand Ecological Society in the Hunter Valley.
Kate won an award for the presentation she gave on her mountain brushtail possum tracking research.
Well done Kate on this fantastic achievement!
Fire Ecology and Biodiversity at UniMelb
Bushfire Behaviour and Management at UniMelb
Quantitative & Applied Ecology Group at UniMelb
Integrated Forest Ecosystem Research at UniMelb