The ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH) was launched in June, 2017. Members of the DEEP Group at the University of Tasmania are undertaking research, across a seven year period, in collaboration with 20 institutions and museums around the world. Visit the CABAH website here.
Who are we?
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.
Professor Christopher Johnson - Professor of Wildlife Conservation
Professor Johnson is the CABAH Wildlife team leader, an ecologist and conservation biologist, and an expert on mammals. His research investigates many problems that are relevant to the conservation of biodiversity, in four main themes:
(i) the causes of extinction of species in prehistory and the recent past;
(ii) the effects on ecosystems of top predators and large herbivores, and the ecological consequences of loss of such species;
(iii) the environmental history of Australia; and
(iv) the management of threatened and invasive species of wildlife.
Dr. Jessie Buettel - Postdoctoral Research Fellow
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.”
Dr. 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.
Dr. Luke Yates - Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Luke’s background is in mathematical physics, where he has worked previously to develop novel mathematical structures that explore physics beyond the standard model. In the spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration, he is excited to have joined the DEEP lab where he is analysing data and developing models related to global land use, forest ecosystems, OSL dating and ecological dynamics.
Dr. Rebecca Wheatley - Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Bec’s research background is in animal behaviour and performance, biomechanics, and ecological modelling. Her past research has identified optimal behaviours in a bunch of different critters, including fighting strategy in invasive geckos, predator escape behaviours in quolls and antechinus, and serve strategies for professional tennis players. Bec is excited to expand her research into plants and will be working within the DEEP group to model interactions between large herbivores and vegetation and how these interplay with the effects of fire in both Australian landscapes and worldwide.
Dr. Brianna Martin - Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Bree's background is in predominantly in mathematical modelling of biological and medical systems. She has joined the DEEP/CABAH team to develop mathematical methods and models towards understanding Australia's megafauna extinction events. Bree's Erdös number is 4 and her dog's name is Desmond.
Kasirat Turfi Kasfi - Software Developer
Kasirat is a UTAS graduate in IT who has worked on software development, and has mostly applied herself in the field of machine learning/deep learning. She wants to progress her career in the field of data science especially in predictive analysis. Kasirat will be working within the DEEP group to develop machine learning/deep learning models; which will be applied on a vast number of wildlife image and audio files in order to recognise and classify different animal species. In her spare time, Kasirat likes reading fiction, especially fantasy and adventure novels, and playing online multi-player games.
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.
Matthew Fielding - Ph.D candidate
Matt has been with the DEEP group since mid-2016. During this time, he has completed his Honours degree and was employed as a Research Assistant within the UTAS node of CABAH. A self-confessed “bird nerd”, he is passionate about bird conservation and is particularly interested in how humans impact bird communities. He recently commenced his PhD candidature with the group in which he will be studying the birds of the Bass Strait islands.
Tessa Smith - Research Assistant & Ph.D candidate
Tessa Smith has worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Tasmania node of CABAH since October 2017. 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.
Susan Rule - Research Assistant
Susan is based at the Australian National University in Canberra and works with Professor Simon Haberle. Since starting work for CABAH she has been involved in palaeoecological fieldwork at Lake George in New South Wales where she is processing pollen, charcoal and fungi samples.
As Chief Investigators in CABAH, Prof Brook, Prof Chris Johnson and the DEEP group collaborate with a range of researchers from seven other University nodes and associate organisations around Australia, as well as Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste.
Some of these include:
Professor David Bowman and Associate Professor Menna Jones (University of Tasmania),
Professor Corey Bradshaw and Dr Frédérik Saltré (Flinders University),
Professor Susan O'Connor and Professor Simon Haberle (Australian National University),
Professor Bruno David (Monash University),
Professor Chris Turney and Associate Professor Darren Curnoe (University of New South Wales),
Dr Brit Asmussen (Queensland Museum),
Professor Alan Cooper and Dr Kieren Mitchell (University of Adelaide).
Within Tasmania the group is working with DPIPWE, TMAG, QVMAG, the Tasmanian Land Conservancy and the Bookend Trust.
CABAH collaborators Corey Bradshaw, Frédérik Saltré, Brit Asmussen, Simon Haberle and Chris Turney
CABAH Collaborators the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) and Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG)
CABAH collaborators the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Bookend Trust and Tasmanian Land Conservancy.