Students

Students 2018-07-13T16:43:41+00:00

Bryony Palmer

BSc (Hons) Murdoch University 2009

I am a wildlife ecologist and a PhD student with the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Western Australia. My main interests are in the conservation ecology of Australia’s threatened species, particularly the use of reintroductions and translocations to improve their conservation status, and in exploring ecosystem processes and functions. Prior to commencing my PhD I spent more than seven years working as a terrestrial ecologist. I have been involved in the development and implementation of monitoring programs for a range of taxa including mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds predominantly in south-west Australia but also in the Kimberly and the Northern Territory.

A large part of my work also focused on monitoring reintroduced populations of threatened mammals and conducting translocations of species including woylies, numbats and tammar wallabies.

My PhD research will investigate how reintroduced ecosystem engineers (e.g. bettongs and bandicoots) interact with novel ecosystem elements. Reintroduction programs are increasingly being used as a method for improving the conservation status of threatened species. In Australia many of these species are ecosystem engineers (species that change the physical state of abiotic or biotic resources, thus altering their availability to other organisms) and it is often assumed that their reintroduction will improve and restore ecosystem processes. However, due to the changes that have occurred in many ecosystems since those species were last present, this may or may not be the case. A better understanding of these interactions will allow land managers to predict and respond to undesirable impacts and/or more effectively utilise ecosystem engineers to promote ecosystem restoration.

Funding

University Postgraduate Award

NESP – Threatened Species Top-up Scholarship

Daniel Bohorquez Fandino

Daniel is a Masters student at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and member of the Ecological Restoration and Intervention Ecology (ERIE) group. He studied biology at The Pontifical Xavierian University in Bogota, Colombia and graduated with a thesis titled ‘Evaluation and management of vulnerability of ecological restoration sites to livestock at the Neusa Forest Park, Colombia’, then proceed to work in restoration ecology projects for a couple of years. Passionate about restoration and conservation ecology, Daniel moved to Perth to study a Masters in Biological Sciences in 2016. Currently, he is working on his thesis titled ‘Does digging by the southern-brown bandicoot activity facilitate litter decomposition and nutrient release in soils?’ supervised by Leonie Valentine and Richard Hobbs. When he isn’t glued to a laptop screen Daniel spends some time trying very hard not to be the worst soccer player in the university.

Emilia Ndeinekela Haimbili

Emilia is a nature enthusiast, interested in working with community members in rural areas to tackle environmental issues. Emilia was awarded her Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Environmental Biology and Geology at the University of Namibia in 2011. She worked as an intern at Etosha National Park Namibia before she enrolled for a Master of Science programme in Restoration Ecology at the same University. She then worked as a research assistant to the ASSAR (Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions) Project for a year in 2014 and as a teacher for 6 months before she joined the University of Namibia in 2015 as a researcher. Emilia received a doctoral scholarship award to study at UWA in 2016.

Her PhD project is focusing on community conservation and restoration of degraded semi-arid areas in Namibia, where she is working with the Himba people to explore the effectiveness of different restoration techniques in restoring indigenous vegetation, study the adaptation and vulnerability of selected communities to climate change and study the structure and composition of woody species in different categories of land degradation.

Publications

Haimbili, E. N., Shiponeni, N., & Carrick, P. J. (2016). Testing the suitability of mined soils for native species establishment at Navachab Gold Mine, Namibia. Academic Journal of Science, 6(1), 319–34

Angula, M. N., Ntombela, K. P., Samuels, M. I., Swarts, M., Haimbili, N. E., Cupido, C., … Hoabes, M. (2016). Understanding pastoralists’ knowledge of climate change and variability in arid Namibia and South Africa. In Centenary Conference of the Society of South African Geographers (pp. 252–266).

Samuels, I., Angula, M., Ntombela, K., Katjizeu, E., Cupido, C., Swarts, M., … Nakanyala, J. (2016). Climate change adaptation strategies by pastoralists along an aridity gradient in Southern Africa. In 10th International Rangeland Congress (pp. 902–903).

Spear, D., Haimbili, E., Angula, M., Baudoin, M.-A., Hegga, S., Okeyo, A., & Zaroug, M. (2015). Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change in the Semi-Arid Regions of Southern Africa. Cape Town. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.17815.78243

Award
Emilia received an award from WWF (Russell E. Train Fellowship) in 2016.

Follow me:

Links:

Erika Roper

My PhD has been looking at the recent range expansion of the forest red-tailed black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii naso) into the urban areas of Perth, Western Australia. I have been focusing on food resource use and foraging behaviour of the cockatoos in both urban and forest environments to see how the cockatoos have been altering their behaviours to adapt to life in the city.

After completing my Bachelor of Science (Hons) with an associate degree in Photography from Deakin University I worked at the Australia Wildlife Conservancy as an intern.

Publications

Roper, E.M. (2015) Urban red-tailed black-cockatoos, Cocky Notes, 22, 4

Funding and Awards

University Postgraduate Award

UWA Safety Net Top-Up Scholarship

Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment 2016 & 2017

Stuart Leslie Bird Conference Award, Birdlife Australia 2013 & 2017

Follow me:

 

Links:

   

Gabrielle Beca

I am wildlife ecologist and my biggest interest is in understanding if digging mammals can assist in the recovery and establishment of disturbed environments. I am graduated in Ecology (2013) and MSc in Ecology and Biodiversity (2016) at São Paulo State University – Brazil, in partnership with the University of East Anglia – United Kingdom. During my Master’s I studied the persistence of medium and large sized mammals across agricultural fragmented landscapes in the Atlantic Forest, supervised by Professor Mauro Galetti and Professor Carlos Peres. Currently I am a PhD candidate at University of Western Australia, supervised by Professor Richard Hobbs and Dr Leonie Valentine.

In my research I am seeking to evaluate the role of the threatened Australian marsupial, woylie (Bettongia penicillata), as ecosystem engineer in restoring degraded landscapes in Western Australia, as well as its potential importance as seed disperser. Further understanding of the functional role this animal plays will increase our knowledge on important plant-animal interactions, and may assist conservation and restoration efforts. With increased knowledge in this topic it will be possible to inform conservation management strategies, linked to animal translocations, to improve landscapes restoration.

Publications

Gonçalves, F., Bovendorp, R.S., Beca, G., et al. 2018. ATLANTIC MAMMAL TRAITS: a dataset of morphological traits of mammals in the Atlantic Forest of South America. Ecology 99 (2): 498.

Lima, F., Beca, G., Muylaert, R.L., et al. 2017. ATLANTIC‐CAMTRAPS: a dataset of medium and large terrestrial mammal communities in the Atlantic Forest of South America. Ecology 98 (11): 2979.

Beca, G., Vancine, M.H, Carvalho, C,S,. Pedrosa, F., Alves, R.S.C., Buscariol, D., Peres, C.A., Ribeiro, M.C., Galetti, M. 2017. High mammal species turnover in forest patches immersed in biofuel plantations. Biological Conservation 210: 352–359.

Galetti, M., Brocardo, C.R., Begotti, R.A., Hortenci, L., Rocha-Mendes, F., Bernardo, C.S.S., Bueno, R.S., Nobre, R., Bovendorp, R.S., Marques, R.M., Meirelles, F., Gobbo, S.K., Beca, G., Schmaedecke, G., Siqueira, T. 2016. Defaunation and biomass collapse of mammals in the largest Atlantic forest remnant. Animal Conservation 20: 270–281.

Funding

  • University Postgraduate Award
  • NESP – Threatened Species Top-Up Scholarship

Follow me:

Links:

    

Harry Moore

Harry Moore, who began his PhD in March 2017, is investigating the synergetic impacts invasive predators and fire may have on the persistence of an endangered predatory marsupial, the northern quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus). Whilst formally enrolled at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Albury, New South Wales, Harry is supervised by ERIE’s own Dr. Leonie Valentine and currently operates out of UWA’s Crawley campus while he completes his field work in WA’s Pilbara region – a last remaining stronghold for quolls. Harry will use a combination of field methods including remote sensing cameras as well as GPS collaring to elucidate the extent to which quolls are under threat in the Pilbara, and also understand more about their general ecology.

Harry’s project works in conjunction with the Pilbara northern quoll research program, coordinated by Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions research scientist Dr. Judy Dunlop. Harry is also supervised by Dr. Dunlop, along with Assoc. Prof Dale Nimmo (CSU), Prof. Dave Watson (CSU) and Assoc. Prof Euan Ritchie (Deakin university).

Sean Van Elden

I studied in South Africa where I received my Bachelor of Science (Marine Biology) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2013, and my Bachelor of Science Honours at Nelson Mandela University in 2014. After working at Nelson Mandela University, I moved to Australia and joined the Marine Futures lab at UWA in 2016 as an image analyst. I started my PhD in April 2017, working on the role offshore oil and gas platforms play as novel ecosystems. By studying an oil platform situated on the North West Shelf, I aim to investigate the community structure of both benthic and pelagic species associated with offshore platforms, and whether these platforms should be removed or left in place when they are decommissioned.

Stanley Mastrantonis

Managing multiple-use landscapes for biodiversity and resource extractions is a critical element to the global conservation of species diversity and ecosystem services. As regional and global environments experience climatic variation and humans seek to expand within already vulnerable habitats, the need for responsible management of our natural resources is essential for achieving sustainable development. The eucalypt forests of the south-west of Western Australia is one such example of an ecosystem that supports important biological functions and biodiversity whilst also being subject to harvesting for timber, agriculture and mineral extraction. Assessing habitats of threatened species and aiming to retain these habitats and their structural characteristics is critical to sound sustainable management of these unique forests.

By incorporating the latest advances in biogeographic mapping and analysis, regions within the forest that support, or are correlated with, critical species habitat will be delineated and evaluated against the potential for human value. Fundamentally, this research will seek to develop methods and strategies to manage multiple-use forests and species in a manner that provides value for the environment, people and industry now and into the future.

My research seeks to model the shifting ranges of species as a response to climate change whilst also developing methods and strategies for utilizing landscapes in manners that provide value for our economies and environments. New methods for assessing links of species to their environments on regional and global scales will be developed and frameworks that will assess environmental change and its impact on species ranges will be explored.

Funding

Ad hoc Scholarship supported by an ARC Linkage grant

Publications

Sangiuliano, S. & Mastrantonis, S. 2017. From Scotland to New Scotland: Constructing a Sectoral Marine Tidal Energy Plan for Nova Scotia. Marine Policy. 84: 1-11 10.1016/j.marpol.2017.06.023.

Mastrantonis, S. & Dubininkas, V. 2016. Predicting Tropical Coral Habitat. 10.13140/RG.2.1.2031.0001.

Links:

  

Tina Schroeder

I completed a BSc in Wildlife Conservation at Deakin University in Melbourne and then a BSc with Honours at the University of Adelaide. After completion of my honours degree I gained professional experience working as a field ecologist for Arid Recovery and as a data analyst for TERN in South Australia. I moved to WA in 2015 and started a PhD in August 2016. I currently live with my husband at Eurardy Reserve, a Bush Heritage Australia conservation property, near Kalbarri.

I am interested in the restoration of ecosystems, in particular the restoration of unviable agricultural land. My PhD is measuring soil and soil-surface properties and ecosystem functions (i.e., decomposition, nutrient cycling, water retention) together with abundance and diversity of surface-active macro invertebrates in old-field, restored and remnant York gum woodland sites across the mid-west of Western Australia.

Additionally, my PhD project will experimentally test benefits of adding habitat components such as mulch and logs by comparison to restored control plots. Results will provide valuable insights into the relationship between soil properties and functions, diversity of biota and habitat characteristics of wood debris and leaf-litter, and whether adding habitat components can accelerate and enhance restoration outcomes. My PhD supervisors are Dr Rachel Standish (Murdoch University), Dr Suzanne Prober (CSIRO), Prof Richard Hobbs (UWA)

Funding

My PhD project is supported by Bush Heritage Australia, Carbon Neutral, Gunduwa Association and Holsworth Wildlife Endowment Fund.

Follow me:

  

Links:

  

Thomas Tothill

I am currently completing a Master of biological Science specialising in marine biology. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Marine Science and Environmental Science at UWA in 2016, before having a year off to extensively travel the Kimberley region of north Western Australia. My travels reignited my motivation to further study Western Australia’s natural environment and led me to working in the Centre for Marine Futures as a lab technician and image analyst. Working in the Centre for Marine Futures allowed me to commence a master’s degree under Prof. Jessica Meeuiwg’s and Richard Hobbs’ supervision, with my research project looking at the evolution of novel ecosystems on offshore oil and gas platforms off the North West Continental Shelf of Western Australia.

I will utilise Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) footage used in maintenance inspections by oil and gas companies to assess fish diversity and abundance associated with these offshore structures. The results of the study will determine the ecological value of industry ROV footage, provide evidence on the effectiveness of oil platforms to act as artificial habitats and house fish species, and hence inform policy makers on the best practice regarding oil rig decommissioning.


Previous Work/Study:

  • Studied a Bachelor of Science majoring in Marine Science and Environmental Science. Graduated in 2016
  • Employed as a lab technician and image analyst at the Centre for Marine Futures in January 2018, and continue to work in the lab on a part-time basis during my Masters degree