Alumni

Alumni 2018-05-31T17:05:12+00:00

Bridget Johnson

I joined the ERIE lab in 2012, from Wellington, New Zealand. I spent 3 ½ years completing a PhD titled ‘Plant-pollinator networks in a restoration planting, and the effects of non-native plants and nitrogen fertilisation’. All my field work for my research was carried out at the UWA Ridgefield Farm. During my time in the field, I fostered my love of Australian snakes, and became a volunteer Reptile Removalist in Perth. After completing my PhD, I took up a Post-doctoral position at the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi in Belem, Brazil. I was privileged to be able to write a restoration plan for the researchers at the museum for the Biological Reserve of Gurupi , a reserve in the north eastern Amazon. In 2017, I was a research assistant for the ERIE Research group, mainly modelling population estimates for Quenda (Isoodon obesulus) in a northern Perth reserve. From the end of 2017, I will be taking maternity leave.

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Christine Allen

Christine completed her PhD project (Factors that affect seedling establishment and their implications for the translocation of species at risk of extinction) in 2014. In it, she aimed to understand environmental factors influencing seedling growth and survival of Declared Rare Flora through field and glasshouse experiments.

Since leaving ERIE Christine has worked to improve conservation strategies by strengthen the connection between the community and the world around us. She’s a current President of the volunteer conservation group Wildflower Society WA and volunteer with Earth Carers. In 2017 Christine started working in Northam, WA as Flora Conservation Officer for the Department Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

The Wheatbelt is really the coal face for flora conservation, with some species having only 20 known individuals left! Through her work with DBCA, Christine has collaborated with Greening Australia to coordinate some restoration projects in the Peel- Harvey Region including revegetating the highly degraded banks of the Rivers Serpentine, Harvey and Murray.

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Claire Wainwright

Claire’s PhD research examined species interactions and diversity-function relationships in novel annual plant communities in York Gum woodland fragments in the WA wheatbelt. Her research showed that exotic species interact with native species in a variety of ways, including neutral and positive interactions.

Claire is currently a postdoc at the University of Washington (USA) where she is studying successional dynamics in sagebrush-steppe ecosystems in response to disturbance.

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Dawn Dickinson

If, like many of us, you live in an urban environment, can you imagine a favourite tree, or place to walk or even a favourite view that causes you to pause and contemplate for a moment? Moments like these intrigued Dawn Dickinson, who research focused on the nonmaterial benefits from urban green space in the city of Perth.

Urban green space exists at the human/nature interface and contributes towards the sustainability and liveability of cities. Numerous studies to date have shown that urban green space provides many health, wellbeing and environmental benefits.

Less well understood are the nonmaterial benefits or ‘cultural ecosystem services’ provided by urban green space, including educational and recreational values, aesthetic experience and sense of place. This is despite critically informing human experiences of nature, and impacting on human wellbeing and behaviour. This study will examine cultural ecosystem services in the context of urban green space in Perth. Specifically, the study seeks to explore: the cultural ecosystem services provided by urban green space in Perth; the importance of urban green space for connecting with nature in the city; and the effect of factors such as environmental stewardship and naturalness on cultural ecosystem service production in urban green.

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Hilary Harrop-Archibald

Hilary completed her PhD in 2015 where she examined patterns of litter community colonization and succession across agricultural, restoration, and remnant woodland sites, as well as decomposition rates and faunal contributions to nutrient cycling processes. Her current work with the resource conservation branch of Parks Canada builds on this experience and spans a range of topics including climate change adaptation, ecological integrity monitoring, and invasive species management. She also teaches an on-line course on climate change and ecological restoration for the University of Victoria.

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Joanna Burgar

I obtained a PhD at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia supervised by ERIE’s Mike Craig and Vicki Stokes. My research examined the response of insectivorous tree-dwelling bats to post-mining restoration across a bauxite-mined forest landscape, within the biodiversity hotspot of south-western Australia. After graduating I spent the last 2+ years working as a Wildlife Biologist with the Government of Alberta, in Fort McMurray. My work focused on ungulate (moose, caribou, and bison) management, liaising with trappers, and coordinating the provincial component of the North American Bat Monitoring Program. I’m currently a Post-doctoral Fellow at University of British Colombia and Univeristy of Victoria, working with Drs Burton and Fisher.

My main focus is using Spatial Capture-Recapture models to estimate the densities of carnivores and ungulates. My work is primarily based in Alberta’s northern boreal forests, a region facing rapid environmental change.

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Juan Camilo Garibello Peña

During my PhD I examined the interaction between invasive species and native species at the seedling stage in two ecosystems of South Western Australia. I assessed this issue in relation to topics like priority effects, role of nurse saplings and nutrient availability. Since I came back to Colombia in 2013, I´ve been working with the design, implementation and monitoring of restoration interventions at large and medium scales. These interventions are based in experimental designs whose aim is to assess different strategies that might improve the ecological output but doing an efficient use of limited economical resources. Currently, I am the lead researcher of “Management of Degraded Ecosystems” at the Instituto Humboldt in Colombia.

Keren Raiter

In her PhD project, completed in 2016, Keren investigated the ecological ramifications of resource development and developed conceptual approaches for environmental impact assessment to advance conservation policy. Her PhD thesis Enigmatic ecological impacts of mining and linear infrastructure development in Australia’s Great Western Woodlands can be found in the UWA Digital Thesis Library. Keren has worked in government as an environmental scientist and is now a post-doctoral fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, working on strategic conservation planning.

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Lauren Hallett

My Masters project (completed in 2010) focused on the ecological filters to seedling establishment for restoration in a Mediterranean climate. Once submitted, I heading back to the USA to start my PhD and graduated from UC Berkeley in 2015 jumping straight into a postdoc at the University of Colorado Boulder. I am currently an Assistant Professor in Environmental Studies and Biology at the University of Oregon running the Hallett Lab. We investigate plant community ecology and restoration ecology and our goal is to produce “usable” science to improve ecosystem management. We use a combination of long-term data analysis, population modelling and field experiments to this end.

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Letícia Couto Garcia

Letícia joined the ERIE group in 2010-2011, as part of her PhD training, supervised by Richard Hobbs, monitoring the effects of forest restoration analyzed via plant functional groups, functional diversity, plant phenology, forest structure, canopy light interception, as well as focusing on a critical analysis of environmental law. Leticia’s 2012 PhD thesis is entitled “Evaluation of ecological sustainability of restored riparian forest”, University of Campinas in Brazil. She published three papers in collaboration with Richard (Garcia et al. 2016 Applied Vegetation Science 19; Garcia et al. 2015 Biotropica 46; Garcia et al. 2013 Brazilian Journal Nature for Conservancy 11).

After completing her PhD, Letícia became a postdoctoral fellow at the Reference Center on Environmental Information in Brazil, then she worked as a Restoration Specialist at The Nature Conservancy, and finally as Visiting Professor at the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul.

Currently, she is Adjunct Professor at the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul (Brazil) contributing to the Plant Biology and Conservation and Ecology Postgraduate Programs. Letícia’s interest in the application of scientific findings for decision-making. Particularly concerning biologic, socioeconomic, political, and legal aspects of environmental planning within the scope of Restoration Ecology.

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Maggie Triska

Maggie completed her PhD project under the supervision of Richard Hobbs and Michael Craig in 2014. Her research focused on the return of wildlife (reptile & small mammal) species after mining-restoration procedures in the Jarrah forest of southwestern Australia. After her PhD, Maggie remained at UWA and conducted a postdoc within the Plant Biosecurity CRC to assess optimal surveillance strategies for biosecurity threats in Australia. Overall, Maggie’s research focuses on pairing field studies with spatial models to assess factors and processes influencing species’ distributions over time. She aims to understand the causal factors that drive changes in distributions to promote conservation through habitat management, restoration and/or community engagement.

Maggie currently works for Round River Conservation Studies in Montana, USA as a Conservation Scientist.

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Mandy Trueman

I finishing my PhD at the end of 2013, titled “Towards effective management of degraded ecosystems in the highlands of Galapagos“. It includes 1) the characterization and mapping of historical vegetation using social and other data; 2) mapping of contemporary vegetation focusing on invasive plants and their rate of spread; and 3) the identification of management options using the novel ecosystem framework including a detailed ecosystem assessment and consideration of ecosystem changes. I’m an environmental scientist with broad experience in vegetation mapping, landscape ecology, research, data management, GIS and scientific writing. I currently work in the Northern Territory Government, providing advice to the NT Environment Protection Authority on environmental impact assessments.

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Martha Orozco Aceves

I find the plant-soil interactions really fascinating. I love microbiology, soil ecology and the functioning of microscopic trophic chains.

I completed my PhD project in 2014 entitled Influence of plant species and soil conditions on plant-soil feedback in the jarrah forest which looked at how jarrah forest plant species change or condition the soil to assist their establishment, growth and persistence, thereby potentially influencing successful mine site rehabilitation within this ecosystem. I am currently a researcher with the Regional Institute for Studies on Toxic Substances at the National University of Costa Rica.

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Michael Wysong

Michael completed his PhD in 2016 researching the interactions between dingoes and feral cats in Martu country in central Western Australia.  His thesis was titled: Predator ecology in the arid rangelands of Western Australia: Spatial interactions and resource competition between an apex predator, the dingo and an introduced mesopredator, the feral cat. Since completion of his thesis, Michael has been employed as the Indigenous Protected Area Coordinator for Nyamba Buru Yawuru, a not-for-profit organisation of the Yawuru native title holders of the Broome region. In this capacity, Michael works with indigenous rangers, traditional owners, land and sea staff and partners to deliver effective cultural and ecological management across the Yawuru IPA and the Western Kimberley region.

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Nancy Shackelford

I am a community ecologist interested in both theoretical and quantitative methods. I completed my Masters degree with the ERIE lab in 2012 looking into the management and impact of a native invasive species: Allocasuarina huegeliana in the sandplain heath of the Western Australian Wheatbelt. In 2013 I moved to British Colombia to earn my PhD in the Starzomski lab. My project focused on community response to disturbance where I work in a range of ecosystems, from moss-mite bryosphere communities to bog-forest vegetation communities. Having submitted my thesis at the beginning of 2018, my next stop is an extremely exciting three-year post-doctoral position in the Suding Lab at the University of Colorado, Boulder starting January 29th. My focus will be restoration in arid and semi-arid landscapes, but I’ll be playing around in all sorts of ecosystems and digging into all sorts of data.

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Peter Yeeles

Peter joined the lab in October 2013 working in conjunction with the Insect Ecology and Management group (also located at UWA) and completed his PhD in 2017. Peter’s research primarily focuses on assessing the contribution of functional trait and species diversity to the performance of multiple ecological functions. Using ants as his model taxon, Peter used the project to further knowledge of the drivers of ant diversity in restored York Gum woodlands. Peter is now working as Post-doc Research Fellow at James Cook University.

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Simon Kilbane

In 2017 Simon completed his PhD under Richard Weller and Richard Hobbs, entitled ‘Green Infrastructure: Planning a National Green Network for Australia’. Simon is now the Course Director of the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney. He seeks new methods to work with and across disciplines and advocates especially for articulating ecological science and policy intent through developing accurate, measurable and visual ecologically and culturally resilient designs.

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Sutomo

I did a master of science with ERIE in 2008. Richard Hobbs and Viki Cramer were my supervisors. I looked at plant succession in a volcanic setting on Mount Merapi (Java, Indonesia) and linked it to whether restoration is needed or not needed.

I have now finished my PhD at Centre for Ecosystem Management at Edith Cowan University in early 2018. Now I am working as researcher at Indonesian Institute of Science in the Bali Botanical Garden as the head of plant conservation research group.

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Zati Sharip

My earlier research with Richard was looking into the shifts in plant dominance from floating-leaved, Nelumbo Nucifera (Lotus) to submerged macrophyte, Cabomba furcata in Malaysia’s first Man and Biosphere reserve, the Chini Lake. The research focused on physical, chemical and biological interactions that shape the macrophyte communities.

Since returning to Malaysia in 2011, I have been studying the ecological processes in various inland waterbodies including lakes, ponds and reservoirs throughout the country. This includes investigating the impacts of changing environment including climate change and urbanization on ecosystem function, biodiversity and microbial quality.

My work contributes to improved decision making in management such as through development of National Lake Water Quality Standards and guidelines.

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