Impacts of logging and fire introduced predators Koomal (common brushtail possum) Ngwayir (western ringtail possum) vertebrate fauna of the south-west forests Woylie (brush-tailed bettong)

Email Adrian

+61 8 9771 7992

+61 8 9777 1183
Street Address
Brain Street, Manjimup WA 6258, Australia
Postal Address
Locked Bag 2, Manjimup WA 6258, Australia


As a Senior Research Scientist (Forest Fauna Ecology) based in Manjimup since 1997, I study disturbance ecology and vertebrate fauna conservation in Western Australian forests. In particular, I investigate the responses of the terrestrial and arboreal vertebrates (frogs, reptiles and mammals) to, (a) timber harvesting (b) fire, particularly prescribed burning and (c) introduced predators. My PhD research was on the ecology of the koomal (common brushtail possum) and the endangered ngwayir (western ringtail possum) with a focus on their responses to anthropogenic disturbances and threats. My team, collaborators and I seek to understand the causes of the rapid and substantial declines of the woylie (brush-tailed bettong) and other mamals in the southwest. We work closely with others in the monitoring and management efforts to conserve our threatened vertebrate fauna, including translocations and the establishment and management of the Perup Sanctuary (a predator free fenced area to protect insurance populations of species at risk of extinction). We are also working to improve the monitoring and management of introduced predators (fox and cat), which are the major threat to the conservation of many native wildlife species.

Other members of the Forest Ecology Research Team include or have included technical officers, Colin Ward, John Rooney, Chris Vellios, Marika Maxwell, Bruce Ward, Ian Wheeler and Graeme Liddelow. Substantial and invaluable contributions from many students and a great number of volunteers have also made this research possible.


  • Impacts of logging and fire on frogs, reptiles and mammals in south-west forests
  • Biology and ecology of the koomal (common brushtail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula hypoleucus) and the ngwayir (western ringtail possum, Pseudocheirus occidentalis)
  • Diagnosis of the declines of native mammals
  • Vertebrate fauna ecology, conservation and in the south-west forests

Brief CV

Academic Qualifications

  • Ph.D. Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, Australian National University, Canberra, 2005.
    Thesis title: The ecology of the koomal (Trichosurus vulpecula hypoleucus) and the ngwayir (Pseudocheirus occidentalis) in the jarrah forests of south-western Australia.
  • B. Sc. (Hons) - Botany and Zoology Double Major (1992-1995), First Class (H1) Honours in Zoology (1996), University of Western Australia, Nedlands.
    Thesis title: Structure and possible function of the caudal knob of Nephrurus (Gekkonidae: Sauria).
    1993: G.E. Nicholls Zoology Prize for Academic Excellence.

Employment within Biology

1995. Consultant for CALM to survey Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, for new populations of the Gilbert's Potoroo (Potorous gilberti) that was rediscovered by Liz Sinclair and myself in November 1994. I was also contracted to investigate ecological and behavioural aspects of the first found population, and to assist in the development and maintenance of a captive breeding colony.

1996. Consultant for CALM to assist in vertebrate trapping surveys within the jarrah forest of Kingston State Forest.

1997 to present. Research Scientist, Science Division, CALM

Professional Memberships

Standing Committee on Forestry, Research Working Group 4 (Native Forest Management) (Secretary 2000-2002)

Western Ringtail Possum Recovery Team

Woylie Recovery Team

Ecological Society of Australia

Mammal Society of Australia

Royal Society of Western Australia


  • Southwest Threatened Fauna Recovery Project: developing an effective and integrated introduced predator management program in the southern jarrah forests.
  • Woylie Conservation Research Project: An investigation into the declines of woylies (Bettongia penicillata) in south-western Australia.
  • Effects of spring and autumn prescribed burns on small vertebrates in jarrah forest.
  • The effects of timber harvesting and associated activities on terrestrial vertebrates in the medium rainfall jarrah forest.
  • The impact of timber harvesting and associated activities on the western ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus occidentalis) in Kingston state forest block.
  • Ecology of the ngwayir (Pseudocheirus occidentalis) and koomal (Trichosurus vulpecula hypoleucus) in the jarrah forest