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Our Research


The DEEP group was formed in 2016, when our founder, Professor Barry Brook was awarded an ARC Laureate Fellowship. Soon after, in mid-2017, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH) was formed, Barry became a Chief Investigator and members of the DEEP group were established to undertake research in association with CABAH.


In just 5 years, the DEEP group has rapidly expanded from a few members to over 20 staff and students. We have developed important relationships with a range of collaborators, such as the Department of Primary Industries, Parks & Water (DPIPWE), Highland Conservation Pty Ltd and the Break Through Institute (BTI), located in Oakland, California. See our Collaborators page.


While the group frequently undertakes field- and lab-based studies, we have a strong focus on quantitative skills across the board and are at the cutting edge of theoretical ecology. Accordingly, we have crossed interdisciplinary boundaries and employed a mathematical physicist and a software developer. We regularly hold short-courses, workshops and seminars for staff and students to share knowledge and keep everyone informed and connected in our diverse group.


If you would like to join our group, don't hesitate to get in Contact with us.

To explore the group's current activities, check out our Twitter and Facebook Pages.


To see our recent research output, visit our Publications page.


Read about specific projects and researchers at DEEP on the People page.

Our members have come from over 10 countries!


Our Research

Our research can be divided into three core research themes:

Wildlife ecosystem and landscape dynamics

Project examples:

  • Meta-models of habitat change and distribution of animals in Tasmanian forests during the 21st century.

  • Role of technological decoupling in determining human drivers of land-use change (and its biodiversity impacts).

  • Impacts of climate, agricultural practices and urbanisation on species abundance, distributions and community composition.

  • Sensitivity of biodiversity to alternative pathways of habitat loss and fragmentation.


Evolutionary ecology

Project examples:

  • Biology of extinction

  • Coupled niche-population models of the extinct Australian megafauna

  • Testing ideas on the causes and consequences of paleoecological change in Australia (both plants and animals)

  • Drivers of ecological transformation of Australia during the Holocene intensification

  • How has the environment changed over time (past versus present climate)? Analysis of an Australia-wide Quaternary fossil database, and its implications for conservation.

  • Are tall trees actually threatened? Eco-evolutionary feedbacks and life-history traits.

  • Gondwanan forests: why do relics persist in a modern landscape, and will they survive anthropogenic climate change?


Forests, trees and agroforestry

Project examples:

  • What makes the cool temperate forests of New Zealand different to Australian analogues?

  • Using ‘patterns’ to understand processes shaping the structure and dynamics of tall forests (Tas, Vic, WA, NSW & QLD)

  • Turnover and population dynamics in forest ecosystems (including both plant and animal communities)

  • Using mobile technology to improve ecology and restoration

  • Impacts of climate and land-use change (agriculture, forestry, energy development) on forest biodiversity and conservation

About Us

We are a research group at the School of Natural Sciences, University of Tasmania, studying both global and local ecological and evolutionary processes. Our research spans population, community and ecosystem ecology, evolutionary biology, and both past and contemporary global change. We use applied and fundamental science to achieve research and conservation outcomes.

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