Meet our Students

Megan Cotton

Megan Cotton

Megan comes to us from New Zealand and has had a long career in government. Megan is combining her skills from her previous job with her new skills learned in the Wildlife Masters to generate recommendations that Councils can use on how to best determine koala habitat, so that they can develop meaningful koala management plans.


Dympna Cullen

Dympna Cullen

Dympna comes to our program from Victoria, Australia. She developed an early interest in studying koala distribution and habitat use. She is now working with the Department of the Environment and Heritage and the Wingecarribee Council to determine home range size, tree use, tree consumption, and disease status in low density populations of koalas in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. In addition to generating a publication, her data will play an important role in the development of a koala management plan for the Wingecarribee shire.


Annaliese Geddes

Annaliese Geddes

Annaliese is from Sydney and graduated from Western Sydney University. She has been working with a company that does invasive weed control and plant regeneration. She is very interested in how the impact of invasive animals can be minimized. Her project involves deer in the Royal National Park and she is collaborating with members of the Office of Environment and Heritage. Rusa deer were introduced into this park many years ago. Her project is designed to determine what impact these deer are having on some of the unique habitats in the park and to determine if control efforts are being successful in mitigating this impact. The work done by Annaliese will allow future studies by future students and others to measure changes in deer impact and environmental health in the coming years.

Annaliese has just been hired as a biosecurity officer. She says: “I will be going out to farms that have pest problems (vertebrate and weeds) and helping them make a management plan so they can fix the issue. I also will be supplying them with baits, but before doing that habitat assessments of their land and neighbouring properties will be undertaken to see what animals are there that may potentially consume baits if they were laid and if the risk is too high, then other management techniques will be employed where possible. Pretty much everything I learnt in the vertebrate pest course is relevant!”


Rahul Magoo

Rahul Mangroo

Rahul is from the Scheycelles Islands. Rahul has developed a keen interest in birds. His project is determining the impact of drought and habitat changes on recruitment of 5 passerine species.


Silvia Ban de Gouvea Pedroso

Silvia Ban de Gouvea Pedroso

Silvia is a veterinarian from Brazil who now calls Australia her home. She has a strong interest in wildlife health. Silvia worked with Dr. Karrie Rose at the Australian Registry of Wildlife Health at the Taronga Zoo and Dr. David Phalen at the University of Sydney. Her project was to document all the known cases of a systemic single-celled parasite infection (coccidia) in green turtles. Her work has shown that these cases have a marked seasonal and geographic distribution, are generally only found in one age group, and outbreaks appear to be related to weather patterns. Silvia presented her data at the International Wildlife Disease Association Conference in 2015 and her paper is being prepared for submission to the Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases.


Chantal Whitten

Chantal Whitten

Chantal is a local veterinarian with an interest in zoo and wildlife medicine. Her research project, which she just completed, investigated the prevalence of dental disease in big cats (lions, tigers, cougars, and cheetahs) kept in zoos in Australia. She also investigated the impact of feeding practices on the development of dental disease, the frequency of bones being wedged in between teeth and obstructions of the oesophagus, stomach and intestines. Her work is the first detailed investigation into the prevalence and causes of these problems and will be important in reducing their occurrence. Chantal will submit her work for publication in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine.