Recent Events & News!

B.Sc. Honours students launch their D.E.E.P. research

Honours student in the D.E.E.P. group, Hanh Nguyen (Claudia) and Heather Bryan, have kicked off their research projects in fine form, delivering two brilliant introductory seminars in front of a large audience at the School of Biological Sciences.roadkilltalk

Claudia research focuses on “Animal-vehicle collision and its effect on the population viability of Tasmania marsupials“. This involves lots of driving, counting and measuring dead bodies, as well as some serious modelling. A mix of blood and code? She’s loving it anyway, and the work is likely to contribute to identifying ways to mitigate roadkill and maintaining future viability of pademelons, wallabies and wombats.

logo-bottle-onHeather is working on “Tasmanian snow-skink distributions and persistence under climate change“, under the co-supervision of D.E.E.P.’s Barry Brook, and B.E.E.R.’s Erik Wapstra, plus Claire Hawkins from DPIPWE. She’ll use three different methods (Species Distribution Models, Stochastic-Demographic Models, and Physiological-Behavioural Mechanistic Models), to see whether or how lizard populations will shift, thrive, survive or meet their demise, as climate change progressively shifts conditions in Tasmanian environments. Her work will also help us understand the role of different forecasting methods.

claudia-roadkillBoth students are highly engaged in their projects, and delivered really terrific seminars which elicited lots of questions. Well done both — much exciting research lies ahead!

16 September 2016

Ph.D. scholarships, stipends and top-ups! 

PhDPhD projects now offered in the Dynamics of Eco-Evolutionary Patterns (D.E.E.P.) research group, based at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Tasmania. Project topics include the response of plant and animal populations to global change, dynamics of ecological communities, ecosystem modelling, conservation biology, threatened species management, and the impacts of land-use change on biodiversity.

The three major themes are: (i) using ‘patterns’ to understand the processes shaping ecosystem structure and dynamics; (ii) technology and biology: never the twain shall meet? and (iii) faunal habitat use and the impacts of disturbance (biodiversity and conservation). We are also open to the possibility of exploring other projects relating to conservation biology, ecology and evolutionary biology, and welcome students to express their own research ideas.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. In addition to TGRS or APA scholarships, there will be substantial operational and logistical support, funded by a 5-year research grant to Prof. BW Brook (ARC Australian Laureate Fellow). An additional top-up award of $4,000 pa will also be considered for outstanding applicants.

Click on the hyperlinks above for more detailed information on the topics, and how to apply. See here for an overview of Projects and Opportunities for students in D.E.E.P.

3 July 2016

A Forest of Stars… 

D.E.E.P. Ph.D. student, Jessie Buettel, has secured a competitive a Multidisciplinary Environment Research Group (MERG) grant for $2,000, to investigate: “A Forest of Stars: Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics as a Cosmological Analogue“.


Jess, along with Prof. Barry Brook (DEEP leader), and UTAS astrophysicists Dr. Andrew Cole and Prof. John Dickey, aims to foster a cross-disciplinary relationship between biological sciences and space science/physics. The work will look at whether analytical methods used in the study of galaxies and the cosmos can be successfully applied to ecological systems, such as forests. Both fields of research must deal with the question of how to ‘do science’ on a subject that is characteristically ‘ancient, moving in slow motion, inscrutably complex and infinitely variable in its manifestations’.

This exciting work begins immediately, and will report results by end of 2016!

5 June 2016

ARC Laureate Success 

113Our one and only Professor Barry Brook, is now an ARC Australian Laureate Professor (ALP)!

The highly prestigious five-year Australian Laureate Fellowships are awarded each year to the nation’s most outstanding research leaders. The award provides recipients with the opportunity (and funding) to develop their own institute to do ground-breaking research and build a lasting legacy. ALP Brook has been awarded over $2.8 million in funding from the Australian Research Council to do just that!

Professor Brook will investigate pathways for society to “decouple” environmental impacts from economic growth and human prosperity, to resolve regional and global trade-offs between human development and the competing need to conserve habitats, ecosystems and species.

For more information visit the University of Tasmania webpage, the Mercury and Examiner newspapers.

6 May 2016

Hot off the press!

Egress“Egress! How technophilia can reinforce biophilia to improve ecological restoration”

Buettel, J.C. & Brook, B.W. 2016

Restoration Ecology, doi: 10.1111/rec.12387

For effective and sustained ecological restoration, community support is essential. Yet, in modern society, artificial constructs and electronic technology now dominate most peoples’ interests (technophilia). This has led to a perceived growing disconnection between humans and nature. We ask how such technology might be harnessed as an agent of connection to the environment, rather than being seen as a driver of detachment. We use the example of a hugely popular mobile augmented reality smartphone game “Ingress” to show how gaming technology can excite people about nature, unlock their inherent biophilia, and highlight the value of ecological restoration in their everyday lives.

Key words: artificial, augmented reality, conservation, games, Ingress, nature, restoration, smartphone

3 June 2016