My PhD focuses on the ecological dynamics, landscape impacts and management of feral buffalo populations accross the Top End. . Our primary aim is to determine how buffalo population levels and herd behaviour influence the related landscape impacts now observed accross much of the Top End. The project is principally partnered with Kakadu National Park, among other instituions, and funded by an Australian Research Council linkage grant. Over 2015/16 we will track 16 buffalo in parts of Kakadu using satellite linked GPS collars, while also estimating current population levels and landscape impacts via aerial surveys, ground-based surveys and remote sensing technology. Using this information we can then construct more detailed management strategies that can more effectively mitigate buffalo damage and accurately cost control measures.
Based on current estimates more than 100,000 feral bufflao now roam the NT and without effective control their numbers will increase dramatically over the next decade. We hope the findings of this project will directly improve management practices over the coming years, and add further weight to the need for better funded and more wide-ranging control of feral animals in the NT to ultimately protect our northern ecosystems and make full use of buffalo as a resource for northern communities.
I started off in research at the University of Canberra, first as an honours student and then as a research officer with the Istitute for Applied Ecology (IAE). My honours focused on addressing the lingering knowledge gaps surounding the spatial population dynamics of flatback turtles using novel and established genetic methods, wihtin the IAE's Wildlife Genetics Lab. Specifically, the project investigated the population genetic structure of flatback turtles accross their endemic northern Australian range, providing estimates of management units, evolutionary history and their demographic processes.
Prof. Mike Lawes (RIEL/CDU)
Dr Clive McMahon (IMAS/UTAS)
Dr Dan Wilkins and the Kakadu Invasive Species Team (Parks Australia)
Brett Ottley (ABS scrofa)
Pat Carrick (former NTG stock inspector)
Dr Renee Bartolo and Dr Tim Whiteside (Supervising Scientist Division)
- Ecological Society of Australia - Member
- Australasian Wildlife Management Society - Member
- RIEL&Co Postgraduate Society - Committee member