New article in The Conversation: Mourn our lost mammals, while helping the survivors battle back

Together with colleagues Euan Ritchie and Tom Newsome, I’ve published an article on The Conversation drawing attention to the radical changes in Australia’s mammal communities since European arrival, calling for more support for projects that seek to ‘rewild’ Australia by re-introducing native predators.

Gone from this earth: Four of the 30 Australian mammal species that have gone extinct since European settlement. The desert rat-kangaroo (top left), the eastern hare-wallaby (top right), the white-footed rabbit-rat (bottom left), and the pig-footed bandicoot (bottom right)

Gone from this earth: Four of the 30 Australian mammal species that have gone extinct since European settlement. The desert rat-kangaroo (top left), the eastern hare-wallaby (top right), the white-footed rabbit-rat (bottom left), and the pig-footed bandicoot (bottom right)

ESA Hot Topic: Feral horses in Australia

I recently contributed to the Ecological Society of Australia’s new ‘Hot Topics’, a forum for scientists to summarise important ecological issues in a brief format suitable for a broad audience. There have been some excellent Hot Topics so far, synthesising the science underpinning controversial issues, such as the decline of the dingo and the effect of cattle grazing on fire risk in the high country.

My Hot Topic focuses on the ecological impact of feral horses on native ecosystems. This took me back to my honours year, when I studied the human dimensions of feral horse management, which involved a review of the human and ecological aspects of the issue. My Hot Topic synthesises information from around the world to conclude that feral horses can have substantial, negative impacts on native ecosystems.

Don Driscoll and Sam Banks authored an article on the same issue in The Conversation , where they detail a personal experience in which they observed starving feral horses cannibalising one another. If you are interested in the issue, or merely have a penchant for the macabre, then click on the video below:

 

Shifting lands: how international trade is transforming biodiversity

A few weeks ago I was asked to expand on some of the ideas in my blog on land displacement, which was posted on Joern Fischer’s website.

Well, I did that, and the article is now published in the CSIROs science magazine ECOS.

It was excellent reading some of the amazing work being done in this area. I’m keen to step into it myself.

The article can be found here:

http://www.ecosmagazine.com/?paper=EC14182

Mallee Fire & Biodiversity Project named as finalist for 2014 Eureka Prize

I’m happy to announce that the project I contributed towards during my PhD – the Mallee Fire and Biodiversity Project – has been listed as one of three finalists for the 2014 Eureka Prize in Environmental Science.

My colleagues and I will make the trip up to Sydney for the awards ceremony on September 10th.

A short clip on the project can be seen here, including my own comically short cameo