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People

Click on a person's profile to find out more about them and their research!

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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. 

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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. 

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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

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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. 

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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”

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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.

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Dr. Matt McDowell - Associate Researcher

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.

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Matthew Fielding - Research Assosciate- CABAH Policy Hub (Communication and Engagement)

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.

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Tessa Smith - Ph.D candidate & Research Assistant

 

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).

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Tristan Derham - Research Assosciate- CABAH Policy Hub (Training and Education)

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.

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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.

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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).

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Annie Nguyen- Ph.D candidate

Annie has a multidisciplinary background that ranges from palnyology and geosedimentary analysis to biogeographic processes that shape the Australian flora. Her PhD focuses on the forests of eastern Australia that occur on extrusive volcanic material. These highly biodiverse volcanic-forests also act as a refuge for numerable endemic species. She will investigate what drives this biodiversity and endemism in order to identify areas of conservation priority. When not outside conducting floral surveys for research, she can be still be found in the forests taking fungi macro photography for fun.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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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Laura Maria Cardona - Ph.D candidate

My background is on ecology (birds and their role as seed dispersers) and sustainable tourism management, and I am passionate about wildlife conservation. I am from Colombia, and have also lived and worked in Brazil, Indonesia and Australia, gaining experience within my two favourite areas: eco-tourism and ecology. My postgraduate research will be focused on measuring the impacts of human presence on wildlife habitat use and behaviour, with a focus on Tasmanian wilderness areas, National Parks, and Reserves.

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Maria Alejandra Gutierrez-Zorrilla- Ph.D candidate

Alejandra’s academic background is in Biology, with a degree obtained in Colombia where she volunteered in different conservation projects and worked at Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in the monitoring programme of the Cauca Guan (Penelope perspicax). After graduating in 2016 she moved to Sydney where she volunteer at the Taronga Zoo’s bird division. In 2019 she started her master’s degree in biological sciences working in identifying drivers for migration in shorebirds using phylogenetics. She joined the D.E.E.P research group in December 2021. Her research is focusing on understanding avian habitat use under disturbance in Tasmania, answering questions that will help us comprehend how the bird communities in the island respond to different pressures like land use, fire severity and human settlements.

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Rachel Mirk - Honours student

Rachel is a current Honours student at UTAS’ School of Natural Sciences and joined DEEP in early 2022. Her interests lie in wildlife ecology, conservation physiology, and biodiversity conservation and she hopes to have a career helping to mitigate the effects of climate change and anthropogenic threats on wildlife. This year she is studying the recently described species of antechinus in Tasmania, the Tasman Peninsula Dusky Antechinus. She is aiming to discover some fundamental information about the species, including its distribution, abundance, and preferred habitat types.

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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.

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 Dr. Sanghyun Hong            Dr. Emily Flies                 Dr. Stefania Ondei            Dr. Tom Botterill-James

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 Dr. Brianna Martin                Dr. Luke Yates

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       Tom Keen, 2021           Lucile Lévêque, 2022          Carley Fuller, 2022

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       Kasirat Turfi Kasfi                 Tamika Lunn                     Peter Vaughan

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           Hahn (Claudia) Nguyen, 2017       Stuart Rose, 2017           Damien Ashlin, 2018        Molly Barlow, 2019

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                  Gabriella Allegretto, 2019     

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                      Anya Sin-Yee Law, 2017      Melissa Gerwin, 2017