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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.
Dr. Jessie Buettel - Research Director of DEEP
As Research Director of DEEP, Jessie plays a pivotal role in coordinating the group. She supervises many of our students and contributes heavily to our research output. She is involved in multiple projects across our core research themes and is a post-doc member of the UTas CABAH node. Among other interests, Jessie's past research focused on the ecological and human processes that shape Australia’s tall eucalypt forests.
Dr. Matt McDowell - Research Fellow
Matt is a Research Fellow in the DEEP team and a member of the UTas CABAH node. His research interests include how Australia’s endemic fauna responded to the arrival of Aboriginal people, late Quaternary climate change and associated sea-level rise, the extinction of the megafauna and the arrival of Europeans. He collaborates with archaeologists, sedimentologists, geochronologists and microbiologists to investigate multiple climate proxies, including ancient DNA preserved in fossils of both extant and extinct species. Matt is also interested in the pre-European biogeography of small mammals and what it can reveal about the impacts of European colonisation on Australian ecosystems. Matt’s research has implications for natural resource management and conservation of Australia’s endemic fauna.
Dr. 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.
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, performance, biomechanics, and ecological modelling. With DEEP, Bec is expanding her research to incorporate the wonderful world of plants to model ecosystem interactions in both modern and prehistoric Australia
Dr. Brianna Martin - Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Bree's background is 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.
Dr. Tom Botterill-James - Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Tom’s research background is in ecology and evolution, with a focus on understanding the evolution of various social and life history traits in animals (from lizards, to birds, and beetles). With DEEP, Tom is excited to expand his research into the area of biodiversity conservation. He will be using a range of different approaches to develop improved predictions of biodiversity responses to an ever growing suite of human threats, such as conversion and modification of natural land for agriculture. Ultimately, he hopes this research will help identify ways to avoid negative biodiversity outcomes from human development.
Dr. Zach Aandahl - Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Zach has a background in data science, computational Bayesian analysis and population genetics. Zach will be working within the DEEP group to develop ecological models and perform inference on those models to gain a deeper insight into parameters of interest. In his spare time Zach enjoys bushwalking, jiujitsu and tending to the needs of his indoor cats.
Dr. Shane Morris - Postdoctoral Research Fellow
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”
Linus Blomqvist - Associate Researcher
Linus is a PhD student at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UC Santa Barbara and former Director of Conservation & Food & Agriculture at the Breakthrough Institute. He spent nine months as a visiting researcher with the DEEP group 2018-2019 and remains actively involved in the group’s research. Linus’ main interest is in how societies can decouple their environmental impacts from economic growth. He is particularly interested in the relationship between agriculture and conservation, and has co-authored peer-reviewed articles on livestock systems and food demand, as well as long-form essays on farmland biodiversity and cropland expansion.
Tessa Smith - Research Assistant & Ph.D candidate
Tessa's research interests include biogeography, palaeoecology, invasive species biology and urban ecology. Her PhD, starting in 2020 looks at the distribution of #LifeInTheLeafLitter, specificallly of beetles in wet forests and rainforests of Tasmania. This project aims to clarify areas of high endemism, investigate the influence of longer-term processes (for example, ice ages) on species and compare these patterns to current management practices (for example, protected areas).
Peter Vaughan- Research Assistant
An avid ornithological enthusiast and twitcher, currently working as a Research Assistant for the DEEP group. Peter holds an Honours Degree from UTAS, which investigated the environmental parameters impacting habitat suitability for Procellariiforme seabirds off the southeastern Australian coast, to understanding how anthropogenic climate change affected habitat utilisation in these species.
His research interests include avian behaviour, ecology, and conservation, particularly in the genera Pterodroma and Amytornis. Peter has also worked in research on growth dominance in Callitris glaucophylla and population monitoring of Tasmanian shorebirds and passerines, as well as contributed images to a number of Tasmanian ornithological works and initiatives.
Heather Bryan - Research Assistant
Heather began working as a Research Assistant for the DEEP lab group in April 2019, after completing her Honours project with the group. Alongside Elise Ringwaldt, she manages media relations and administration for the group. Heather’s honours research forecasted snow skink responses to climate change and she is concurrently working on getting the results published. Her research interests are on contemporary and future threats to biodiversity and she is particularly interested in ecological responses to climate change. Heather’s research experience span herpetofauna, birds, mammals and butterflies, predominantly in Tasmania and Neotropical rainforests.
Tom Keen - Ph.D candidate
Tom is a PhD student who 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Carley Fuller - Ph.D candidate
Carley’s background is in agronomy and environmental policy, and she is interested in global change ecology and contributing to evidence-based solutions for achieving biodiversity conservation and social justice goals.
YeeVon Teo - Ph.D candidate
Yee Von is passionate about wildlife conservation and ecology. Her PhD focuses on large mammals monitoring in Tasmania using unmanned aerial vehicles (a.k.a drones). She aims to develop a species- and site-specific protocol which includes an optimum flight altitude that balances the need of image resolution for animal detection using Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) while not causing undue disturbance to target species. When she is not piloting her drones, Yee Von enjoys drawing animals and building Gunpla models.
Alexandra Paton - Ph.D candidate
With a varied background ranging from marine science through to wetland ecology, Alex’s research interests are spread across the ecological sciences. Having completed her Honours project with the DEEP group, ‘Evaluating scat surveys as a tool for population and community assessments’, Alex has a new passion for wildlife monitoring methods, particularly in their optimization for studying problematic invasive species. Her PhD will be focused on improving camera trap methodology for monitoring feral cats within Tasmania. Outside the confines of her office, Alex can be found running games of Dungeons and Dragons, reading about philosophy, and training in Krav Maga.
Elise Ringwaldt - Ph.D candidate
Elise has a background in spatial and disease ecology, recently starting her PhD investigating the influence of land-use change on disease susceptibility and community composition in Tasmanian fauna. She has diverse interests, and has an integral role in helping to coordinate all of the group’s projects 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!
Rahil Amin - Ph.D candidate
I am a current PhD student at the DEEP lab. Enthused about birds, ecology and biodiversity conservation, I flew to Hobart from western India to complete my BSc (Hons) at the University of Tasmania. I joined the DEEP lab in late-2018 as an undergraduate student to study the patterns of movement of the yellow-tailed black-cockatoo in Tasmania. My next venture in ecological research was for my Honours research, where I predicted the future distribution and spread of the Superb Lyrebirds in Tasmania – an introduced ecosystem engineer here. Post-honours, I had the opportunity to collaborate with other DEEP lab members’ research, before starting my PhD. I am strongly passionate about biodiversity conservation and interested in offering simple and useful solutions for aid preservation of nature. I hope that my research can contribute to the perseverance of diversity for the unconceived and unborn.
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