Most of my research falls into the four themes listed below and all relate to different aspects of biodiversity–what it is, how to measure it, why some areas have more than others, and what we can do to maintain it in the long term.
While much of my work is field-based, I have also conducted numerous reviews of previous work—sometimes, you can gain greater insight from going to the library rather than the field! My students and other collaborators work in a range of disciplines, including soil biology, chemical ecology, plant physiology, animal behaviour and biogeography.
My current research interests fall into four broad areas:
- biological consequences of habitat fragmentation,
- plant-animal interactions, with an emphasis on parasitic plants
- biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes
- biodiversity survey techniques
Combining community-scale descriptive work with species-specific studies, most of my work is restricted to vertebrates, although I recognize the central role that arthropod and microbial assemblages play in these systems. I have complemented this community-level descriptive approach with a resource-based experimental approach, treating mistletoe and other parasitic plants as model systems. While some of my work has been conducted in national parks, travelling stock reserves and other public lands, most of my field sites are on private land and I work closely with natural resource agencies, regional bodies and individual landholders to convert my findings into practical on-ground outcomes.