Students

Prudence Fabian

Prue

Position: PhD Candidate
Email:
Phone: +61 2 9351 3189
Location: Room 104, A10 Science Road Cottage, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

Research: Identify factors influencing reintroduction success of the Native Bush Rat (Rattus fucipes) in the Sydney Harbour foreshore region: Does personality and sociality play a part?
My project aims to identify factors that may influence the short and long term success of future reintroduction of the bush rat and identify the longer term effects of bush rats on black rat populations. I will examine the social behaviours of bush rats during their initial post release phase in order to understand how the released individuals respond to their new environment and to fellow translocated conspecifics, and to determine if the level of social interaction between individuals has an influence on individual survival. Personality greatly influences how individuals respond to environmental change, but surprisingly there has been little implementation of this knowledge to reintroduction. My project aims to determine if particular personality or behavioural syndromes can influence reintroduction success.


Amelia Saul

Amelia

Position: PhD Candidate
Email:
Phone: +61 2 9351 3189
Location: Room 104, A10 Science Road Cottage, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

Research: How density and time shape the net impacts of alien species – finding the good in the bad
Many alien species have caused major ecological and economic damage worldwide however, not all aliens have negative impacts. Density and time since introduction are two parameters likely to affect the magnitude of alien impacts and influence management actions. I propose that there should be a density-benefit relationship whereby aliens (or any species) can perform beneficial ecosystem services, which contribute to their net ecosystem impact. Similarly, over time, their net negative impact may lessen as positive interactions develop with local species. I will investigate these concepts and test their predictions using a series of manipulative field experiments. This project will serve to improve conservation actions, as it will provide a theoretical basis for efficient, cost-effective management of alien species.


Kyla Johnstone

Kyla

Position: PhD Candidate
Email:
Phone: +61 2 9351 3189
Location: Room 104, A10 Science Road Cottage, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

Research: Identifying the underlying behavioural mechanisms that determine how personality types interact with wildlife trapping devices
My project will address the potential bias in wildlife monitoring arising from differing animal personalities within a population. Theory predicts that the ‘shy’ proportion of populations may be under-represented, while the ‘bold’ proportion is overrepresented in management programs. If true, then significant proportions of the animal’s population may be overlooked, leading to bias results from survey projects. I will be focusing on the behavioural mechanisms that determine how different types of animal personalities across a number of species interact with various trapping devices in order to improve the efficacy of sampling devices and the reliability of sampling regimes.


Britany Etheridge

Britany

Position: Honours Student
Email:
Location: Room 109, A10 Science Road Cottage, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

Research: Host selection for the paralysis tick: how are wildlife species used as hosts in urban environments?
Little is known about the ecology and host selection of the paralysis tick (Ixodes holocyclus). As ticks are vectors for various human and animal diseases it is important to understand how these parasites move through the environment and in particular urbanised areas. My project investigates tick host selection and preference in urban environments


Katie Wat

Katie

Position: PhD Candidate (Primary supervisor A/Prof. Clare McArthur)
Email:
Location: Room 409, A08 Heydon-Laurence Building, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

Research: Interactive effects of food quality, predation risks and personality on the foraging movements of mammalian herbivores
Every day herbivores navigate throughout the landscape of food and fear. They must forage in places that maximize nutrients intake while minimizing predation risks to maintain fitness. Personality may influence how animals perceive their environment, thus different spatial and temporal use of habitats. Little is known about the fine-scale movements of Australian marsupial herbivores, and how they relate to personality. Therefore, I aim to examine the effects of vegetation structure on patch selection of free-ranging herbivores, assess the ecological factors that influence foraging movements, and investigate the link between personality and movement patterns, using common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) as a model.


Henry Lydecker

Henry

Position: PhD Candidate (Primary supervisor A/Prof. Dieter Hochuli, Co-supervisor A/Prof. Nathan Lo)
Email:
Location: A08 Heydon-Laurence Building, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

Ticks, hosts, and urbanization: an ecological and social system perspective
Ticks (Ixodida), an order of arthropods that parasitize many animals including humans, are a significant concern for human populations as they can vector pathogens between reservoir hosts and humans, as well as cause nuisance and health problems through bite irritation and side effects. The impact of urbanization upon ticks and their complex patterns of host usage are poorly understood. My project will explore how urbanization impacts ticks, their relationships with hosts and their relationships with humans.


Georgie Barron

Georgie

Position: Honours Student (Primary supervisor A/Prof. Dieter Hochuli)
Email:
Location: Room 408, A08 Heydon-Laurence Building, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

Do invasive plants in degraded urban ecosystems facilitate ecological interactions?
Lantana camara has many negative ecological impacts, for example displacing native species and posing a large cost to agriculture. However, lantana may provide positive ecosystem services by increasing habitat complexity. Through my project I aim to investigate whether lantana provides support for populations of small insectivorous birds which have declined in the Sydney region as a result of habitat loss.


Megan Callander

Megan

Position: PhD Candidate, UWS (Primary supervisor Dr. Ricky Spencer)
Email:
Location: University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury Campus

Research: Social dynamics and population structure of the bush rat (Rattus fuscipes)
Translocation of a native species is a potential conservation technique. Knowledge of social dynamics within a species could be critical in assessing translocation possibilities and population establishment. This research will identify the behavioural mechanisms which maintain the social organisation of bush rat populations and the role the social organisation plays in the translocation process.


Hayley Bates

Hayley

Position: PhD Candidate, UNSW (Primary supervisor Prof. Mike Archer)
Email:
Phone: +61 2 9385 2125
Location: UNSW

Research: Understanding the altitudinal limits of mountain pygmy possums


Jason Mumbulla

Position: PhD Candidate, UNSW (Primary supervisor Dr. Shawn Laffan)
Email:
Location: UNSW

Research: Reintroduction ecology of new holland mice