Ecology and Conservation

Our Research

The earth’s environments are being altered at an unprecedented rate. Many of the defining characteristics of organisms, including where they live, how they interact with other species, and how they interact with their environment, are also changing in response to this. These biological responses are complex, making it difficult to predict large-scale, long-term impacts on the ecosystems upon which biodiversity, and humans, depend.

Our aim is to understand ecological processes and the consequences of environmental change for species, and the ecosystems they occupy. With this we can contribute to the fields of fundamental ecology and environmental science, whilst promoting evidence-based conservation management and policy decisions to secure biodiversity and limit disruptions to human society.


The following researchers study ecology and conservation.

  • Professor David Chapple: Dave's research spans invasion biology, behavioural and evolutionary ecology, population and conservation genetics, phylogenetics and phylogeography.
  • Professor Steven Chown: Steven is engaged in biogeographic and macroecological studies, macrophysiology, spatial ecology, and invasion biology. Translation of science into policy is a major focus.
  • A/Professor Rohan Clarke: Rohan's research seeks to secure biodiversity, especially as it relates to restoration of natural systems and recovery of threatened vertebrate species.
  • Dr Carly Cook: Carly is interested in improving the use of scientific information in environmental decisions by applying a range of applied research questions and development of decision-support tools.
  • Professor Ros Gleadow: Ros investigates the effect of environmental variables such as drought and elevated carbon dioxide on the partitioning of resources between growth and defence in plants.
  • Dr Susie Ho: Susie investigates educational technology and multidisciplinary perspectives in science education. Collaborative and immersive learning in ecology and environmental science is a focus.
  • Dr Kay Hodgins: Kay researches plant evolution in human altered environments, plant adaptation to climate change, crop evolution and the evolution of plant sexual systems.
  • Professor Dustin Marshall: Dustin is an evolutionary ecologist who is seeking to improve our understanding of how energy moves through biological systems.
  • Dr Keyne Monro: Keyne's research explores how selection and evolution shape biological diversity, and the evolutionary consequences of environmental change in marine ecosystems.
  • Professor Anne Peters: Anne's research area is behaviour and ecology of wild birds, with a focus on physiological mechanisms and implications of life-history trade-offs.
  • Professor Richard Reina: Richard investigates ecophysiology of animals, and is interested in their responses to environmental challenge with application to conservation.
  • Professor Carla Sgro: Carla researches the genetic basis of adaptation to environmental change. How evolutionary processes can be incorporated into biodiversity conservation is a focus.
  • Professor Paul Sunnucks: Paul's group applies field biology, ecological genomics/genetics and spatial environmental analysis to the population biology of animals under natural and human-impacted conditions.
  • Dr Reid Tingley:  Reid studies how species traits and environmental change influence the dual processes of invasion and extinction at macroecological scales
  • Dr Jessica Walsh: Jessica evaluates the effectiveness of conservation actions for threatened species and ecosystems, to inform environmental management and policy decisions.
  • Professor Craig White: Craig is an evolutionary physiologist interested in describing and understanding the causes and consequences of physiological variation in animals.
  • Professor Bob Wong: Bob is interested in the evolution of animal mating systems and behaviour, and how investment in sex influences reproductive strategies and biological diversity.

Centralian earless Dragon (Tympanocryptis centralis). Image: Dr Rohan Clarke.

Women in Science. Image: Nerida Wilson (Chown Lab).

Taupo Volcanic Zone Field Trip. Image: Dr Chris Greening.

Counting Seabirds. Image: Dr Rohan Clarke.

Field Site, Sandstone, WA. Image: Professor Steven Chown.

Field Site, Fiji - Taro field trials. Image: Dr Ros Gleadow.

Fieldwork. Image: Professor Steven Chown.