fire ecology fire regime fragmentation Great Western Woodlands invasive plants plant functional type vegetation dynamics vegetation structure wheatbelt

Email Carl

+61 8 9219 9041

+61 8 9334 0327
Street Address
17 Dick Perry Avenue, Technology Park, Western Precinct, Kensington WA 6151, Australia
Postal Address
Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre WA 6983, Australia


Senior Research Scientist, Plant Science and Herbarium Program, Biodiversity and Conservation Science.

My current research projects are:

  • Management of threatening processes to improve the recovery of Threatened Flora and Threatened Ecological Communities; and
  • Investigation of genetic differentiation among related pairs of resprouting and non-resprouting eucalypts.

Past projects include:

  • Fire regimes and their impacts in transitional woodlands and shrublands. In this project we: (i) used a suite of novel methods to estimate the time since fire of long-unburnt gimlet (Eucalyptus salubris) woodlands, and used this information to estimate stand age-class distribution in the Great Western Woodlands and establish a time since fire chronosequence; (ii) investigated the effects of time since fire on the assembly and recovery of plant and animal community composition, ecosystem structure and carbon stores in gimlet woodlands; (iii) developed a conceptual model of vegetation dynamics for obligate-seeder eucalypt woodlands; and (iv) explored predictors of alien plant occurrence in the Great Western Woodlands and developed a weed prioritization approach for management.
  • Fire, fragmentation, weeds and the conservation of plant diversity in Wheatbelt nature reserves. In this project we: (i) characterized current fire regimes and determined how these relate to landscape context; (ii) established time since fire chronosequences in mallee and Proteaceous shrublands to investigate the effect of time since fire on plant community composition, structure, vigour, fecundity and mortality, allowing the determination of upper and lower limits of fire interval; (iii) tested how the fire management method of vegetation structure modification affected plant communities; and (iv) explored the interaction between fire and nutrient enrichment in driving plant invasions in remnants.


  • Vegetation dynamics
  • Fire ecology
  • Plant invasions and seed dispersal ecology
  • Effects of fragmentation on plant conservation
  • Landscape ecology

Brief CV


PhD University of Wollongong, 2004
Thesis: Implications of Bitou Bush Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata invasion and control on bird communities and plant-bird interactions.

B. Natural Resources (Hons) University of New England, 1994


2019 - present: Senior Research Scientist, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions

2007 - present: Research Scientist, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, and CSIRO Land and Water

2003 - 2006: Post-doctoral fellow, Weeds Cooperative Research Centre and Qld Dept. of Natural Resources and Mines. Researched techniques to manage the spread of bird-dispersed weeds.

2000 - 2003: Biodiversity Survey Coordinator and Field Survey Team Leader, Western Regional Assessments Unit, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Conducted biodiversity surveys in western NSW.


  • Ecological Society of Australia
  • BirdLife Australia



  1. Resolving genetic differentiation between closely related eucalypts with mallee and tree forms.
  2. Genetic differentiation among a foundational clade of eucalypts of the transitional rainfall zone.


  1. Fire regimes and impacts in transitional woodlands and shrublands.
  2. Fire, fragmentation, weeds and the conservation of plant biodiversity in wheatbelt Nature Reserves.

Past projects were jointly supported by CSIRO Land and Water.

Publications (15)

Additional Publications (15)
“In press” and draft publications, or those published while employed elsewhere.


Gosper CR, Vivian-Smith G (2010). Fruit traits of vertebrate-dispersed alien plants: smaller seeds and more pulp sugar than indigenous species. Biological Invasions 12, pp. 1387-3547

Vivian-Smith G, Gosper CR, Panetta FD (2010) Comparative seed and dispersal ecology of three exotic subtropical Asparagus species. Invasive Plant Science and Management 3, pp. 93-103


Gosper CR, Vivian-Smith G (2009). Approaches to selecting native plant replacements for fleshy-fruited invasive species. Restoration Ecology 17, pp. 196-204

Gosper CR, Vivian-Smith G (2009). The role of fruit traits of bird-dispersed plants in invasiveness and weed risk assessment. Diversity and Distributions 15, pp. 1037-1046


French K, Ens E, Gosper CR, Lindsay E, Mason T, Owers B, Sullivan N (2008). Management implications of recent research into the effect of bitou bush invasion. Plant Protection Quarterly 23, pp. 24-28

Gosper CR, Gosper DG (2008). Foods of pigeons and doves in fragmented landscapes of subtropical eastern Australia. Australian Field Ornithology 25, pp. 76–86


Buckley YM, Anderson S, Catterall CP, Corlett RT, Engel T, Gosper CR, Nathan R, Richardson DM, Setter M, Spiegel O, Vivian-Smith G, Voigt FA, Weir JES, Westcott DA (2006). Management of plant invasions mediated by frugivore interactions. Journal of Applied Ecology 43, pp. 848-857

Gosper CR, Vivian-Smith G (2006). Selecting replacements for invasive plants to support frugivores at highly modified sites: A case study focusing on Lantana camara. Ecological Management and Restoration 7, pp. 197-203

Gosper CR, Vivian-Smith G, & Hoad K. (2006). Reproductive ecology of invasive Ochna serrulata (Ochnaceae) in south-eastern Queensland. Australian Journal of Botany 54, pp. 43-52

Gosper CR, Whelan RJ, French K (2006). The effect of invasive plant management on the rate of removal of vertebrate-dispersed fruits. Plant Ecology 184, pp. 351-363

Vivian-Smith G, Gosper CR, Wilson A, Hoad K. (2006). Lantana camara and the fruit- and seed-damaging fly, Ophiomyia lantanae (Agromyzidae): Seed predator, recruitment promoter or dispersal disrupter? Biological Control 36, pp. 247-257


Gosper CR, Stansbury CD, Vivian-Smith G (2005). Seed dispersal of fleshy-fruited invasive plants by birds: contributing factors and management options. Diversity and Distributions 11, pp. 549-558


Gosper CR (2004). Fruit characteristics of invasive bitou bush, Chrysanthemoides monilifera (Asteraceae), and a comparison with co-occurring native plant species. Australian Journal of Botany 52, pp. 223-230


Gosper CR (1999). Plant food resources of birds in coastal dune communities in New South Wales. Corella 23, pp. 53-62


Gosper CR, Baker J (1997). Notes on the birds of Nadgee, particularly the Striated Fieldwren Calamanthus fuliginosus. Australian Bird Watcher 17, pp. 111-25