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.”
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!
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.
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.
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.
Claudia – Hanh Nguyen – Research Assistant
Claudia has been with the DEEP group since mid-2016. She finished her Honours degree in May 2017. Her project revolved around trends in roadkill and any possible predictors to high rate of animal-vehicle collisions on Tasmanian roads. She is now working as Research Assistant for our lab. Her interests lie in animal-focused studies
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!
Matthew Fielding – Research Assistant
Matt has been with the DEEP group since mid-2016. During this time, he completed an undergraduate research project and his honours degree, in which he studied the response of forest ravens to land-use change and how the species interacts with small woodland passerines. From 2018, he will be working as a Research Assistant for the D.E.E.P group within the UTAS node of CABAH. Within this role, he’ll be examining bird extinctions in Australia over the last 130,000 years.
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.
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 academic background is in ecology and conservation biology. After 10 months of volunteering and bird-watching throughout New Zealand, she joined the DEEP group in 2017 to pursue her interests in wildlife threatening processes. Her PhD research is focussing on the determinants of extinction risk in rails (a family of ground-dwelling birds), using past and current patterns of vulnerability to forecast, protect and prevent biodiversity loss.
Shane Morris – Ph.D candidate
Shane’s past research has focused on the population dynamics of small mammals in places as different as Ireland and Malaysian Borneo! At the D.E.E.P lab his interest has evolved to encompass translocations, or human-mediated range changes, particularly the potential of conservation translocations in combating our current and future rate of species loss. “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”
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.
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.
Vishesh Leon Diengdoh – Ph.D candidate
Leon’s academic background is in ecology and environmental sciences. 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 centre, developing a forest management plan. As part of his PhD within the DEEP group, he is working on the distribution of different pollinator groups within different landscapes of the Tasman Peninsula, Tasmania.
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.
Damien Ashlin – Honours student
Damien is investigating the impact of the introduced superb lyrebird on leaf-litter accumulation and fire risk in Tasmania’s wet sclerophyll forest. His research will involve identifying potential habitat for the lyrebird as they disperse throughout Tasmania, and quantifying their influence on leaf litter levels within their current range. During summer, Damien undertook a Dean’s Summer Research Scholarship and explored the influence of time-since-fire and seasonality on ant community assemblages and their use as bioindicators to assess ecosystem health. Outside university studies Damien enjoys playing cricket and exploring the great outdoors.
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!
Yvonne Teo – Honours student
Yvonne is working on the population ecology of macropods (Tasmanian pademelons and Bennett’s wallabies) along the roadside verges of Tasman peninsula and Huon Valley, using scat plotting and distance sampling methods. Yvonne’s research is built upon Claudia’s earlier work, which focused on road mortality of macropods in these regions. She hopes to use this research project as a stepping stone to future roadkill related research in Tasmania.
Anya Sin-Yee Law – Dean’s Summer Research Scholarship
Anya is undertaking a research under the Dean’s Summer Research Scholarship programme studying the distribution and ecological constraints of Forester Kangaroos (Macropus giganteus tasmaniensis), a Tasmanian subspecies of the eastern grey kangaroos in mainland Australia. Her research involves looking at the fine-scale distribution and habitat preference of Forester Kangaroos in Narawntapu National Park and constructing spatial distribution models (SDM) to study why the Tasmanian subspecies is restricted in its range compared to its mainland counterpart.
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!”