Click on each person’s profile to find out more about them and their research!
Professor Barry Brook – ARC Australian Laureate Fellow
Barry is an eco-evolutionary biologist and modeller. He is an ARC Australian Laureate Professor and Chair of Environmental Sustainability at the University of Tasmania. A highly cited scientist, he has published five books, over 300 refereed papers, and many popular articles. His awards include the 2006 Australian Academy of Science Fenner Medal, the 2010 Community Science Educator of the Year and 2013 Scopus Researcher of the Year. His research focuses on the impacts of global change on biodiversity, ecological dynamics, forest ecology, paleoenvironments, energy, and simulation models.
Jessie Buettel – Research Director of D.E.E.P
Jessie is researching the ecological and human processes that shape Australia’s tall eucalypt forests. “On the forest floor—where most people might notice only sticks, logs and woody debris—I am doing fieldwork and using models to discover how the now-fallen corpses of once-magnificent trees continue to exert a powerful influence on the living forest.”
Sanghyun Hong – Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Sanghyun (San) has been working on environmental and economic impacts of human acts particularly energy production and consumption. His Ph.D. research topic was ‘Evaluating the sustainability of future energy mixes’ that includes five published journal articles on top peer-reviewed journals (Energy, Energy Policy, and Applied Energy)! He has an interest in the inter-relation between human acts and environmental changes, and hopes to find an answer to a question, ‘how can human and environment survive together?’ San’s D.E.E.P research topic will be about the environmental impacts (emissions, pollution, land use etc.) of energy production, energy consumption and urbanisation.
Matt McDowell – Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Matt’s research interests include the paleontology, palaeoecology, taxonomy, sedimentology and geochemistry of Australian fossil accumulations. He also collaborates with microbiologists to investigate ancient DNA preserved in fossils of both extant and extinct species. Matt is also interested in pre-European small mammal biogeography and what it can reveal about the impacts that European colonisation had on modern Australian ecosystems. Matt is a post-doc of the DEEP team who is funded through the UTas CABAH node, and will be researching the impacts that Aborigines, megafaunal extinction and Europeans have had on Australia’s biodiversity.
Stefania Ondei – Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Stefania’s love for plants brought her from the wetlands of the Italian Alps straight to the beautiful and remote north Kimberley. Working closely with Aboriginal people, she investigated the impact of fire and climate change on the small rainforests found in that astonishing part of Australia. She is now working on a project focused on changes in land use at a local and global scale, with the aim to improve our capacity to protect biodiversity in a fast-changing world.
Emily Flies – Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Emily’s past research has used field, laboratory, spatial and statistical analyses to understand patterns of disease. Her work with the DEEP lab uses spatial and statistical techniques to understand drivers of food demand at various scales. She hopes that her DEEP lab work can inform policies and practices that lead to a more sustainable world. In her spare time, she co-organizes Science in the Pub Tasmania and loves running, especially after her 1.5 year-old son!
Cristian Montalvo Mancheno – Ph.D candidate
Cristian came all the way from Ecuador to join our research group. He had worked in the Galapagos islands as a volunteer for Conservation International. His research interest focuses on the impact of global environmental change – specifically land-use and land cover change – on biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and the services they provide. He’s also interested in the integration of coupled human-nature system perspective and systematic conservation planning, and the long-distance environmental and socio-economic interactions among current land systems (i.e. telecoupling).
Lucile Lévêque – Ph.D candidate
Lucile’s PhD research will focus on the impact of land-use on bird distribution. Lucile recently joined the D.E.E.P group having graduated with a Masters degree in ecology and conservation biology. Her masters, which she undertook in France, carried out projects in diverse thermatics, such as behaviour and conservation of black howler monkeys in fragmented forests of mexico. Lucile is a passionate naturalist, recently spending 10 months bird-watching throughout New Zealand!
Vishesh Leon Diengdoh – Ph.D candidate
Leon’s academic background is in ecology and environmental sciences, with knowledge in GIS and RS. After his master’s Leon worked on a United Nations Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), which was basically ‘growing money on trees’. After which he worked within a Space Application Center. Leon is now working on the driver’s of global change and their impacts on biodiversity with emphasis on pollinators as part of his Ph.D within the D.E.E.P group. The study area would be currently limited to a particular region of Tasmania after which it’ll extend to Australia and then globally.
Shane Morris – Ph.D candidate
Shane’s research will be looking at the effect of land use change on faunal (mainly mammal) communities. This is linked to his Masters of Research from Imperial College London where he looked at the effect of land use change (due to logging and oil palm plantations) on Whitehead’s rat population dynamics in Malaysian Borneo. During Shane’s MRes he also carried out research on the evolution of altruism at UCL. “My old lecturer used to say that he’s pretty sure I’m the only person who can claim to have been a factory worker in Ireland, a cocktail bartender in New York, a street food chef in London, and an ecological researcher in Borneo”
Tristan Derham – Ph.D candidate
Tristan has a varied professional history, having worked in mining, government and environmental consulting roles before finally surrendering to his destiny and entering academia. His interests lie at the nexus of philosophy, ecology and the relationship between people and the environment. The starting place for Tristan’s inquiry is a topic that draws on all three: the philosophy of rewilding.
Tom Keen – Ph.D candidate
Tom is a visiting PhD student from the University of Adelaide, South Australia. He is passionate about ecology, natural history, and the environment, with his research focused on the interface between productive human land uses (especially agriculture) and biodiversity conservation, and the impacts and trade-offs therein.
Carley Fuller – MSc Student
Carley’s background is in agronomy and environmental policy. She is interested in the ecological, evolutionary, and anthropogenic aspects of biodiversity conservation, and her master’s research will focus on land-use change in Brazil, her home before Australia. She hopes to articulate how conservation policies, like indigenous/collective territory management versus strict wilderness area designation, interact with the agribusiness, timber, and energy industries.
Claudia Nguyen – Research Assistant
Claudia is spending time in the field looking at roadkill! She is investigating the impact of vehicle collisions on roadside wildlife. In particular, determining the factors that influence the frequency of wildlife near roads (e.g., how important is roadside vegetation, predators?), and how this relates to the susceptibility of being hit by vehicles.
Matthew Fielding – Research Assistant
Matt’s project will look at opportunistic avian meso-predators, such as forest ravens, magpies, butcherbirds and currawongs, which benefit from humans and the artificial environments humans create. Increased land-use change has the potential to supplement populations of these synanthropic bird species which could have a negative effect on other Tasmanian native fauna species. Insights resulting from this study will be critical to the design and management of programs intended to conserve Tasmania’s native avian fauna.
Elise Ringwaldt – Research Assistant
Elise has a background in spatial and disease ecology, and recently finished her Honours research on chytridiomycosis in amphibian communities. She has diverse interests, and has an integral role in helping to coordinate all of the group’s projects (including leading her own!) and management of personnel. She also contributes greatly to the vibrant culture of the group – she is the glue that binds the D.E.E.P lab together!
Tessa Smith – Research Assistant
Tessa Smith will be working as a Research Assistant at the University of Tasmania node of CABAH from October 2017 onwards. Before coming to Tasmania she completed her Honours at Deakin University studying ‘The consequences of marine-derived avian nutrient input into island ecosystems: Palaeoecological insights from Rimatara, French Polynesia” with Dr. Nicholas Porch. Tessa is enthusiastic about natural history and palaeoecology including plant science, entomology and geology- pretty much the worst person for going hiking with if you don’t want to be constantly stopping and looking at things.
Heather Bryan – Honours student
Heather is working on “Tasmanian snow-skink distributions and persistence under climate change”. 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!
Melissa Gerwin – Dean’s Summer Research Scholarship
Mel has been awarded a Dean’s Summer Research Scholarship within the D.E.E.P group and is currently undertaking research in the Ausplots! This research looks at Dicksonia antarctica in Tasmania’s tall, wet eucalypt forests to infer ecological processes from their spatial patterning. Mel is also comparing invertebrate composition between burnt and unburnt tall, wet eucalypt forests. She is going into her third year of an undergraduate degree with a double major in zoology and botany, and especially loves spiders!!
Stuart Rose – Honours Student
Stuart is researching Gondwanan forests, why do these relics persist in modern landscapes and will they survive anthropogenic climate change? This involves establishing new AusPlots across Tasmania and New Zealand! “Gondwanan forests are significant windows into past environments. By understanding key ecological drivers behind forest structure, we will develop pattern-oriented models to predict the future distribution and impacts of climate change, on these single but significant forest types”.
Tamika Lunn – Research Associate
Tamika is investigating the effects of the recent Tasmanian bushfires on temperate wet sclerophyll forests. She is particularly interested in tree mortality, and the succession of seedling establishment post fire. In her spare time Tamika is also investigating life history trends of echidnas, and modelling the influence of climate on this unique Australian species- some might say she is a “Jill of all trades!”