John has studied the fauna and flora of the Top End of the Northern Territory for almost 30 years.
My research interest is in wildlife ecology. Within this discipline, my interests are broad with particular emphasis on the ecology and conservation biology of birds, and on plant ecology. Recent and current projects include:
- an assessment of the conservation status of the eucalypts of northern Australia
- author and editor of a book about Australian birds and climate change
- phenology and effect of irrigation on a shrub that flowers while leafless during the tropical dry season
- involvement in manuscripts on brain size in Australian birds, ant assemblages in rainforest revegetation, the impact of disturbance on shorebirds, and changing perceptions of threat to Australian birds
I am an Adjunct and former Research Fellow with RIEL. I work from my home in north Queensland; before that I lived and worked in the Top End of the Northern Territory for 18 years, and before that in south-eastern Australia.
My MSc was an analysis of the historic record of seed-eating birds in northern Australia, in which I provided the most tangible evidence that this species-rich bird assemblage has suffered a major and generally adverse transformation under European settlement.
My PhD was on the ecology of the Top End Bamboo (Bambusa arnhemica) including a remarkable opportunity to investigate the bizarre phenomenon of waves of mass flowering and die-off that are a feature of many bamboos. The life history of bamboos remains a special interest.