As an ecologist and a (small-scale) farmer, I recognize that some of the most valuable habitat occurs on private land, and believe the greatest gains to long-term conservation can be made by engaging with landholders directly. In addition to conducting fieldwork on farms and discussing my research directly with farming communities, I have contributed to several initiatives through the Slopes to Summit partnership to prioritize and support wildlife conservation in agricultural landscapes.
One group of animals especially reliant on farmland are woodland-dependent birds. In southern Australia, many species which were formerly abundant and widespread have declined drastically, becoming locally extinct in the southern and eastern portions of their range. Knowns as Declining Woodland Birds, this group has been the focus of considerable research, both describing patterns and deducing mechanisms underlying thier decline.
Together with Pater Spooner and Gary Luck, I have also undertaken a series of studies in intensively managed plantations, focusing on the endeangered Regent Parrot.