I am an Ecologist with the Desert Ecology Research Group, University of Sydney and School of Life Sciences, University of Technology Sydney. I use a strategic combination of population biology and trophic ecology, along with cutting-edge statistical techniques (both frequentist and Bayesian techniques), to predict how ecosystems respond to climate change and the introduction of exotic species. My research is theory driven and holistic, drawing on vertebrate, invertebrate and plant groups to study ecosystem function. In addition, I use the latest innovations in technology to assist in data collection, such as remote cameras and open-sourced hardware.
My research is organised around three themes:
1. Ecosystem responses to climate change: Climate change is the greatest global issue facing our civilization and the environment on which we depend. In addition, climate change is one of the key ecological challenges facing Australia at present. My research aims to address the broad question of how the non-linear responses of species to climate and biotic interactions can be better understood and incorporated into improved analyses of ecosystems and species of distribution. Within this theme I also tackle the question of how altered fire regimes impact on biodiversity, a key challenge facing Australia and now also being recognised globally.
2. Species interactions (competition and predation): Interactions among species are crucial for ecosystem functioning and for maintaining biological diversity. My research theme aims to uncover the direct and indirect roles of competitive and predatory interactions between species. I am particularly interested in understanding how these interactions are modified by climate over space and time.
3. Technology for ecology and environmental sciences: Advances in technology, such as drones, remote camera traps and more recently open-source hardware and software have revolutionised data collection for cryptic species and surveys in remote locations. I have started a research theme investigating how scientists can use open-source hardware (Raspberry Pi and Arduino platforms) within their research programs, such as by building remote environmental sensor loggers. This theme uses the latest innovations in technology from computer science, engineering and electronics to build custom devices with a reproducible workflow.
In this blog I hope to capture my and others thoughts on anything to do with ecology, conservation and how politics may influence these. I am a keen nature photographer and now learning astrophotography. Feel free to check out my photography and follow my FaceBook or 500 px page.