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Former lab group members

Kira Platt-Behrens

Kira Platt-Behrens

My studies in the Bachelor of Environmental Science have given me an appreciation for the interconnectedness of the natural world. Numerous soil science subjects have instilled in me an understanding of how fundamental soil is. Yet my passion lies with plants, people’s connection with nature, and the bigger picture. I found myself very interested in elective courses about sustainable development and holistic management of Earth’s ecosystem.

My interests culminated in my Honours thesis about the equity of the greenery in Brisbane. I discovered that some people have more greenery around them than others, that this wasn’t improving over time. To me, this is concerning due to the implications for people’s wellbeing and level of environmental concern in urban settings. So now I’m becoming a certified practitioner of Forest Therapy (Shinrin-yoku). I guide people to connect with nature and mindfully tune in to their senses to boost their health and wellbeing.”

Tom Lloyd

Tom, Lloyd

Tom was a Master of Conservation Science student who investigated the spatial distribution of citizen science and its contribution to threatened species monitoring. He received a Bachelor of Biodiversity and Conservation at Macquarie University in Sydney while working part time as a research assistant for a clinical research and disease management organisation. Between his undergrad and masters, he worked as a researcher with the Tambopata Macaw Project in the depths of the Peruvian Amazon studying macaw nesting ecology and geophagy, and later as a research assistant in NSW Parliament with various Members of the Legislative Council. In his spare time, Tom is also an avid wildlife and nature photographer and filmmaker.

Instagram: @thomas.j.lloyd

Twitter: @thomasjlloyd_

Narelle Hill

Narelle Hill

Narelle has a dual degree from UQ in Science and Arts, majoring in Ancient History, English and Zoology. After graduation she received a scholarship from the University of Lausanne to research the impacts that conservation management practices were having on offspring fitness and sexual selection of the endemic whitefish. For her Honours project she is focusing on intertidal mudflats throughout the East Asian-Australasian Flyway; these habitats are critical sites for Australia’s migratory shorebirds, which have been experiencing rapid population declines in recent years. Due to the phenomenal distances that these birds migrate, it is internationally important to assess whether the protective mechanisms we have in place (protected areas, their designations, and management) are effective in minimising habitat and, thus, population loss.

Narelle is also an executive board member for the Society for Conservation Biology’s UQ-Brisbane chapter and Brisbane’s Presentations Coordinator for the Australian Marine Conservation Society.

Dr Michelle Gibson

Michelle Gibson

Michelle is a PhD student currently based at Durham University and is being primarily supervised by Dr Stephen Willis. Her current PhD research similarly explores disturbance impacts of extreme weather events and land-use on arid zone bird species in Australia. The long-term repeat bird surveys will help to shed light on species movements across this little-studied region in times of plenty and in times of drought.

Dr Lara Franco

Lara Franco

Lara received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Denison University in the US. She then completed a Master’s degree in Zoology at the University of Hawai`i, designing a computerized model of a coral reef ecosystem. She is currently working on her PhD, and will be working on the topic ‘the extinction of experience and human interactions with nature.’ She is especially interested in how the benefits of nature are delivered, and what leads people to define themselves as connected to nature.

Email: l.franco@uq.edu.au
Location: Rm 507A, Goddard Building 8

Dr Jimmy Choi

Jimmy Choi

Chi-Yeung Choi (aka Jimmy Choi) is a postdoctoral research fellow working on the Gladstone migratory shorebird monitoring project, which involves tracking local movement, modelling count data for transiting number and passage date estimates, and estimating carrying capacity. He is interested in animal behaviour, shorebird ecology and ways to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts. He has been studying migratory shorebirds since 2005 and involved in shorebird projects on the breeding grounds, migration stopping sites and non-breeding grounds along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.

Dr Elizabeth Boakes

Lizzie Boakes

Elizabeth is a postdoctoral research assistant based at University College London, working in Prof Georgina Mace’s lab. She is currently working on a joint project with UQ and the World Pheasant Association studying geographic range change over the last 200 years in the avian order Galliformes, quantifying the spatial patterns of change and investigating ecological and life history correlates of range change. Her research interests encompass spatial ecology, extinction risk, citizen science and captive breeding, her PhD focussing on the effects of inbreeding depression and purging on zoo populations.

Dr Liz Barber

Liz Barber

Liz is a PhD candidate who is investigating child health and development benefits associated with urban nature. With a background in public health, she is particularly interested in how social and physical aspects of settings, such as cities, influence people’s health. Liz graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Human Kinetics, and from University of Queensland with a Master of Public Health.

Email: e.barber@uq.edu.au

Stephanie Avery-Gomm

Stephanie Avery-Gomm

Stephanie commenced her PhD at the University of Queensland in October 2015, supervised by Professors Hugh Possingham and Richard Fuller. Prior to moving to Australia, Stephanie worked as an environmental assessment biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and as a seabird research biologist with Environment Canada. In 2013, she earned her MSc from the University of British Columbia where she worked with Professor John Richardson and Dr. Jordan Rosenfeld.

Email: stephanie.averygomm@gmail.com
Website: https://stephanieaverygomm.weebly.com
Twitter: twitter.com/saverygo

Dr Jasmine Lee

Jasmine Lee

Jasmine completed her PhD in the Fuller Lab supervised by Richard Fuller, Aleks Terauds (AAD), Justine Shaw (UQ/AAD), Iadine Chades (CSIRO) and Hugh Possingham (UQ). Her PhD focused on conserving Antarctic biodiversity in the Anthropocene. In particular Jasmine’s work investigated how terrestrial biodiversity habitat (ice-free areas) is impacted by climate change, how changing sea level is likely to impact biodiversity, how Antarctic tourism might change with climate, and what conservation actions would provide the largest benefit to biodiversity. Jasmine is now working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Chown Lab at Monash University building a conservation plan for the Antarctic Peninsula.

Email: jasmine.lee@monash.edu
Twitter: twitter.com/JaszzyJas

Dr Jeff Hanson

Jeff completed his PhD at UQ supervised by Richard Fuller and Jonathon Rhodes. His PhD work created algorithms to design reserve networks that are resistant to environmental change and (indirectly) protect greater amounts of genetic diversity. Jeff is now undertaking a postdoctoral position in Portugal. His research concerns the challenges involved in conserving biodiversity. He is interested in understanding how areas can be managed to achieve conservation objectives for minimal cost. In particular, he specilizes in operationalizing ecological and evolutionary processes to develop plans for protected area systems that maximize the long-term persistence of biodiversity.

Email: jeffrey.hanson@uqconnect.edu.au
Twitter: twitter.com/jeff_o_hanson
Website: jeffrey-hanson.com

Michael Traurig

Michael Joel Traurig

Michael Traurig completed his Masters of Conservation Science at UQ. He conducted a research project under the supervision of Hawthorne Beyer and Richard Fuller, looking at how incorporating connectivity between habitats influences the planning of conservation for migratory birds. Michael previously completed a bachelor of environmental science at Monash University in Melbourne, and has previously studied dolphin behaviour, toxicology of guppy fish, and assisted in monitoring of freshwater river health in Victoria.

Emily Massingham

Emily Massingham

Emily completed her honours project in the Fuller Lab in 2017 under the supervision of Assoc Prof Richard Fuller and Dr Angela Dean. Emily’s honours project explored how a range of nature experiences at a wildlife sanctuary and a national park impacted on an individual’s conservation behaviour and whether people were more likely to express conservation behaviours if they receive a greater wellbeing benefit from a particular nature experience. Emily is now undertaking her PhD in the Wilson Environmental Decisions Lab.

Dr Hsien-Yung Lin

Hsien-Yung Lin

Hsien-Yung completed his PhD at University of Queensland in 2017 supervised by Prof Richard Fuller and Prof Hugh Possingham. He is interested in the conservation of diadromous fish since different habitat requirements during the different stages of their life history make them vulnerable to a range of different stressors and many migratory fish are under heavy harvesting pressure. Hsien-Yung’s PhD research used species distribution modeling specific to different life history stages, population modeling, conservation planning and land-sea connectivity for diadromous fish. Hsien-Yung is now working for the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University.

Dr Rob Clemens

Rob Clemens

Rob Clemens was a PhD candidate in the Fuller Lab researching the impacts of pulses in resource availability on migratory species, using migratory shorebirds that use Australia’s ephemeral wetlands as a case study. His research was focused on characterising the dynamics of pulses in migratory shorebird habitat suitability across the Australian continent, and then identifying how those pulse dynamics impact both migratory shorebird populations and when and where we might manage water for migratory shorebirds in Australia.

Dr Lachlan Charles

Lachlan Charles

Lachlan completed his PhD at UQ 2017, and was primarily supervised by Dr Margie Mayfield. Lachlans research improved understanding of the drivers of plant successional processes and community assembly within abandoned pasture adjacent to rainforests in tropical countryside landscapes. He is interested in the dynamics of seed dispersal and is investigating how avian seed dispersers use isolated pasture trees in the Wet and Sub-Tropics of Australia, Colombia and Nigeria.

Dr Jeremy Ringma

Jeremy Ringma

Jeremy completed his BSc. Zoology/Ecology and honours studies at UQ in 2010. After working as a research assistant for Dr Scott Burnett at the University of the Sunshine Coast and Dr Jonathan Rhodes at UQ in 2011, Jeremy joined the Fuller Lab to undertake a PhD. Jeremy’s PhD project was a collaboration with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy and investigated how conservation fences can be used as a tool to minimise extinctions of Australian mammals, including the critically endangered Burrowing bettong (Bettongia lesueur) and Brush-tailed bettong (Bettongia penicillata). Jeremy is now undertaking postdoctoral work at the University of Hawaii looking at optimal managment strategies for feral pigs in O’ahu.

Dr Danielle Shanahan

Danielle Shanahan

Danielle was a postdoctoral research fellow with the Fuller Lab until 2016. She explored how the extinction of experience influences both physical and mental human wellbeing in urban landscapes. She is particularly interested in identifying ways that urban nature can be enhanced to deliver benefits for people and biodiversity. Danielle is now working at Zealandia in Wellington, NZ where she is the manager of conservation, research, learning and experience. Danielle also serves as a board member for the Society of Conservation Biology Oceania.

Dylan Moffitt

Dylan Moffitt

Dylan began working with the Fuller lab in 2014 as a research assistant on the Gladstone migratory shorebird monitoring project with Dr Jimmy Choi. He led major field efforts, and spent much time in the lab with Jimmy, identifying invertebrates and reminiscing fondly of his time in Gladstone with the shorebirds. Prior to his work on migratory shorebirds, Dylan worked as a marine ecologist in Moreton Bay after completing his honours degree at UQ in 2013. Dylan is now doing his PhD at UQ investigating how to restore biodiversity in the Noosa estuaries and lakes.

Hannah Wauchope

Hannah Wauchope

Hannah undertook her honours research in the Fuller Lab, assessing how climate change may impact the breeding habitat of arctic-breeding shorebirds, and consequently their migratory routes. The results indicate that for many species, habitat will severely contract in the coming years with strong consequences for migratory routes; these impacts will be more extreme than during the Earth’s most recent warm period ~6000 years ago. Hannah has now begun a PhD with Professor Bill Sutherland in the Conservation Science Group at the University of Cambridge.

Email: hsw34@cam.ac.uk

Madeleine Stigner

Maddy Stigner

Madeleine graduated from her undergraduate science degree at the University of Queensland in 2014. She then spent her honours year investigating human-wildlife conflict in Moreton bay, focusing specifically on how the public uses designated dog exercising areas and protected foreshore zones. She found that by designating 5 areas as dog ‘off-leash’ zones (instead of everywhere), we could conserve up to 97% of migratory shorebirds. Madeleine published her honours work in the Journal of Applied Ecology. Maddy is now beginning a PhD project in the Wilson Lab focusing on understanding and resolving conservation issues in Borneo.

Email: madeleine.stigner@uqconnect.edu.au

Kiran Dhanjal-Adams

In 2015, Kiran completed her PhD with Richard Fuller, Karen Mustin and Hugh Possingham on
shorebird conservation. More specifically, her research focused on (i) identifying drivers of population growth at different migratory stages, (ii) mapping protection of important migratory habitat, and (iii) identifying management solutions at local and international scales. She now has a postdoctoral research associate position at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology working as an ecological modeller.

Si-liang Lin

Si-liang is a PhD student currently based at South China Normal University, studying in the Spatial Ecology lab led by Prof Hai-sheng Jiang. Si-liang visited the Fuller Lab at the University of Queensland during 2015 to work on part of his PhD project. He is exploring the relationship between biodiversity, environment, human activities and how to enhance the effectiveness of nature reserves through conservation planning on the fast developing Hainan Island in China.

Jeff Choo

Jeff completed his BSc in Zoology/Ecology at the University of Queensland in 2014, and then completed his honours under the supervision of Dr Richard Fuller and Dr Danielle Shanahan. He investigated the association between the presence of reported magpie attacks across Brisbane, magpie habitat suitability, the distribution of transport infrastructure, and human behaviour. It was discovered that magpie attacks were more likely to be reported in areas where the habitat was more suitable for magpies, human population density was higher, there were more roads and bikeways, and people were more likely to walk or cycle to work

Jessica Holding

Jessica completed her honours in 2015 as part of her Bachelor of Environmental Management majoring in Natural Systems and Wildlife. Her project investigated rainforest bird visitation patterns to remnant trees beyond the forest boundary. This was used to quantify the contribution of birds to seed rain, in order to improve the design of rainforest restoration projects.

Dr Karen Mustin

Karen was a postdoc in 2014 working on migratory shorebird habitat mapping and determining the optimal distribution of banding effort. She has research interests in conservation and spatial population ecology, focusing on the interactions between anthropogenic activities and biodiversity conservation. Specific foci include the impacts of climate change on species distribution, connectivity restoration in fragmented habitats and the sustainability of recreational hunting from a socio-ecological perspective. Karen completed her PhD at the University of Aberdeen in 2010, and she is now based in Brazil.

Jessie Cappadonna

While with the Environmental Decisions Group (EDG), Jessie assisted the Fuller Lab with field- and computer-based shorebird research, in addition to managing numerous lab logistics. She also assisted with revegetation and orangutan research projects for Kerrie Wilon’s lab. Jess also worked as part of the EDG communications team to organize the Student Conference for Conservation Science 2015, as well as to digitise, distribute, and market the e-magazine Decision Point.

Upon finishing her work with EDG, Jessie began her PhD at Queensland University of Technology. She plans to evaluate how children may be able to relate to nature using computer technology. In essence, this study considering how to engage people with Australian bird sounds through visual and auditory means. Meanwhile, Jessie is also continuing her work as a board member of Australian Citizen Science Association.

Dr Claire Runge

In mid 2014 Claire completed her PhD at The University of Queensland, focused on identifying migratory and nomadic movements in data-poor species, and using that information to develop new approaches to conservation planning and prioritisation for mobile species. She joined the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management in 2014 with Dr. Jonathan Rhodes and is currently working on projects exploring the impacts of human networks on conservation outcomes; designing cross-disciplinary solutions for integrating infrastructure planning and conservation planning; and exploring the effects of current and potential legislation on management of migratory species.

Email: claire.runge@uqconnect.edu.au

Jess Peatey

Jess graduated from the University of Queensland with a bachelor of environmental science majoring in ecology in 2013. In 2014, she completed her honours project investigating the behavioural adaptations of bird to urban environments, in particular, urban roads. By observing the behaviours of birds crossing roads and foraging on roadkill, this project aimed to determine the impacts of roads in urban areas on birds. Jess found that the three bird species most commonly observed utilize differing strategies to cope with and thrive in urban environments.

Dr Nick Murray

Nick’s PhD focused on delivering the science necessary to inform large (continental) scale conservation decisions. He used a range of tools, with particular focus on remote sensing and spatial analysis (see Murray et al. 2012). Through analysis of remote sensing data Nick found that two-thirds of tidal flats in the Yellow Sea have disappeared in 50 years, heavily impacting shorebird stopover sites in East Asia (see Murray et al. 2014). He also discovered that the entire Yellow Sea intertidal ecosystem is Endangered. Nick is currently continuing his work as a research associate in the Centre for Ecosystem Science at the University of New South Wales.

Dr Rocio Ponce-Reyes

Rocio’s PhD was focused on integrating genetics into systematic conservation planning. Her primary supervisor was Hugh Possingham. Her PhD combined genetic data with land use dynamics and climate change to set conservation priorities that efficiently conserve biological diversity in the highly fragmented tropical montane cloud forests of Mexico. This work was published in Nature Climate Change in March 2012. Rocio also published analysis using genetic data to prioritise islands in Vanuatu for conservation and a paper on future fragmentation of cloud forest driven by climate change. She is now a postdoctoral researcher with CSIRO.

Dr Ramona Maggini

Ramona specializes in species distribution modeling, and during her time in the lab completed a landmark study of the impact of climate change on Australia’s threatened species. Read the full report here. Ramona discovered that 59 of the 355 threatened plant species and 11 of the 149 threatened animals considered could completely lose their climatically suitable range by 2085 under the most pessimistic (business as usual) climate change scenario, while four plant species face almost certain extinction due to complete loss of suitable range even under the most optimistic mitigation scenario tested. Other components of the project modeled optimal restoration and protection strategies for Australia’s threatened species.

Dr Colin Studds

As a postdoctoral researcher in the lab, Colin studied population trends in Australasia’s migratory shorebirds using Bayesian hierarchical models. The results of this will help optimize habitat protection and inform offset strategies for migratory animals. Colin is now a lecturer at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Dr Lissa Barr

Lissa’s PhD was focused around marine conservation, with a particular focus on marine protected areas. As part of her PhD Lissa developed a new way to evaluate how protected area coverage represents biodiversity and addresses threats.

Dr Carly Cook

Carly Cook

Carly completed a PhD in Environmental Management at the University of Queensland in 2010. Her research interests as a postdoc in the lab included understanding the evidence needed to support conservation decisions (see Cook et al. 2012), achieiving science that can help bridge the gap between academia and decision-makers (see Cook et al. 2013), and evaluating the evidence produced by systematic reviews of conservation interventions (see Cook et al. 2013). Carly is currently a postdoc at the University of Melbourne.

Cassandra Taylor

Cassandra completed her honours project in the lab studying the vocalisations of urban Torresian crows in Brisbane. She discovered that the birds adjust the timing of their vocalisations significantly in response to urbanisation itself as well as anthropogenic noise pollution. Cassie achieved a first class mark for her honours thesis. Cassie is now doing her PhD at the Australian National University in the Langmore Lab.

Dr Takuya Iwamura

Tak’s PhD focussed on conservation planning at a range of scales, from global analyses of climate change and ecosystems to regional scale conservation of migratory species and site selection among networks. Tak worked as a postdoc at Stanford University analysing changing patterns of forest cover in the Amazon, and is now a Senior Lecturer at Tel Aviv University, Israel.

Jessica Sushinsky

Jess graduated from the University of Maryland and worked for a couple of years at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Her MPhil research with the Fuller lab focussed on the impacts of urbanisation on birds in Brisbane. Using simulations of future patterns of urban growth, she discovered that compact urban development delivers fewer bird extinctions per capita than a sprawling pattern of city growth. In terms of human experiences of biodiversity around where they live, compact development leads to smaller backyards but better access to parkland and bushland.

Jess currently lives in Colorado and works for the Wildlife Conservation Society.