Dr Jonathan Webb
Current Research Projects
|Teaching quolls to avoid cane toads
My colleagues and I used conditioned taste aversion to train endangered northern quolls to avoid toxic cane toads. Read more...
|Intraguild predation in snakes
How do sympatric snake predators and competitors co-exist? Read more...
|Impact of cane toads on crocodile populations
Cane toads are invading the Victoria River, in arid NT, and are killing hundreds of freshwater crocodiles.. Read more...
|Can we restore degraded habitats for reptiles?
My PhD student, Ben Croak, is restoring habitats for the rare broad-headed snake. Read more...
|Can 'toad-smart' quolls persist in Kakadu NP?
My colleagues and I are monitoring the survival of toad-smart quolls that we reintroduced to Kakadu National Park. Read more...
|Will cane toads affect Kimberley mammals?
Cane toads threaten small mammals in the Kimberley, but predicting the toads impact is difficult.Read more...
My research interests
I have broad research interests in conservation biology, wildlife management, animal behaviour, and physiological and behavioural ecology. My current research focuses on using conditioned taste aversion as a tool for mitigating the impacts of cane toads on native predators. The aim of the project is to develop a bait that can be deployed aerially ahead of the cane toad front, to train predators to avoid attacking cane toads.
My students are working on a wide range of projects.
Fire is an important factor that shapes Australian ecosystems. However, fire regimes have changed since Europeans invaded Australia. The question of what fire regimes are best for conserving biodiversity is a controversial topic. Emily Mowat recently completed her honours project examaning the effects of wildfire frequency on small mammal communities in eastern NSW.
Freshwater crocodiles are iconic top-order predators. PhD candidate Ruchira Somaweera is studying the biology of freshwater crocodiles in Lake Argyle, Western Australia.
Cane toads cause massive population declines of goannas and blue-tongue lizards and may cause changes in food webs due to the removal of top-order predators. Sam Price Rees (PhD candidate) is investigating whether we can use conditioned taste aversion to train blue-tongue lizards to avoid eating toxic cane toads.
Chris Spraggon recently completed his honours project on Merten's water goannas. Encouragingly, Chris was able to train goannas to avoid eating small toads.