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.
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
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