Some background on why I was recently awarded the NT Young Achiever ConocoPhillips Environment Award
I am a PhD student studying migratory shorebird ecology in Darwin Harbour. The Northern Territory supports thousands of migratory shorebirds and has many sites listed as nationally and internationally significant. Most of the shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway face threats such as habitat destruction, hunting, disturbance and impacts from climate change. The conservation of shorebirds has never been more important than now. In this PhD I will examine the factors that constrain population size in migratory shorebirds in Darwin Harbour, including roost availability, prey availability, species assemblage and competition at sites, site connectivity, and metapopulation structure.
This PhD project is financially supported by the Northern Territory Government.
I am a birdwatcher and have a particular interest in migratory shorebirds because of their interesting migration ecology, high abundance in the austral summer, and tricky identification. I have been involved in national Shorebirds 2020 surveys in NSW, WA and the NT and have been involved in the Monitoring Yellow Sea Migrants in Australia (MYSMA) surveys in Broome, WA since 2012. I also coordinate shorebird surveys in Darwin Harbour in my role as Team Leader at Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA).
I did my honours research on the behavioural responses of migratory shorebirds to natural and anthropogenic disturbances and found that shorebirds were more likely to take flight in small, single-species flocks and as the distance to the disturbance stimuli decreased. The other main finding was that ten alarm flights cost the shorebirds up to eight percent of their daily energy expenditure.
Prof. Michael Lawes (CDU)
Prof. Stephen Garnett (CDU)
Dr Danny Rogers (Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Victoria)
- Australasian Wader Studies Group
- BirdLife Australia
- Ecological Society of Australia
- Environs Kimberley
- Friends of the Bush Stone-curlew
- International Wader Study Group
- NT Field Naturalists' Club Inc.
Other Positions Held
- Guest Editor, Flycatcher Magazine - Dry Season Edition, 2016
- Committee member, Australasian Wader Studies Group, 2016
- Reviewer for the journal Pacific Conservation Biology, 2016
- Committee member, RIEL & Co. Postgraduate Society, 2016 -
- Liason Officer with Birdlife Australia on behalf of the NT Field Naturalists' Club, 2015 -
- Committee member, NT Field Naturalists' Club, 2015
- Vice President and Student Representative, RIEL & Co. Postgraduate Society, 2015 - 2016
- Post-graduate Student Representative for the Faculty of EHSE, Research and Research Training Committee, CDU, 2013 - 2015.
- Co-opted committee member for the Australasian Wader Studies Group, 2014 - 2015
- Committee member and organiser for the Australasian Shorebird Conference, 2014
- Reviewer for the journal Stilt, 2014, 2015
- Reviewer for the journal Emu, 2014
- Reviewer for the journal Biodiversity and Conservation, 2013
- Club co-ordinator of Newcastle University Bird Observers Club (NUBOC), 2010 - 2011
Awards & Scholarships
- BirdLife Australia Stuart Leslie Bird Conference Award ($1000), 2016
- NT Field Naturalists' Club Inc Postgraduate Student Scholarship ($1000), 2016
- Society for Conservation Biology Oceania Conference (partial travel grant), 2016
- Charles Darwin University, Faculty of EHSE Conference Travel Grant ($1000), 2016
- Winner, ConocoPhillips Environment Award, NT Young Achiever Awards ($2000), 2016
- Finalist, Career Kickstart Award, NT Young Achiever Awards, 2014
- Semi-finalist, Environment Award, NT Young Achiever Awards, 2014
- ANZ Trustees Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment ($7500), 2013