PhD Confirmation of Candidature - Spatial ecology, impacts and control of feral Asian water buffalo, Bubalus bubalis, and pigs, Sus scrofa, in northern Australia

PhD Confirmation of Candidature - Spatial ecology, impacts and control of feral Asian water buffalo, Bubalus bubalis, and pigs, Sus scrofa, in northern Australia

Thu, 13/02/2014 - 13:30


About the Presenter

I received a Bachelor of Environmental Science with Honours from the University of Canberra (UC) in 2011. For my honours project I investigated the genetic population structure of the flatback turtle across its northern Australian range, gaining insights into the spatial population dynamics and evolution of this vulnerable Australian species. Following my studies I became a research technician for the Wildlife Genetics Laboratory at the Institute for Applied Ecology at UC working on marine turtle and crocodile population genetics, while also tutoring undergraduate courses in scientific data analysis and ecology/evolution. During this period I also worked as a statistician, analysing the performance of a free educational support program at UC and the social networks of an educational online learning interface. After doing a bit of saving I headed of overseas for 7 months before coming back to reality and a PhD in Darwin at CDU and RIEL.


Venue

Charles Darwin University
Ellengowan Drive
Building Red 6.1.03
Casuarina NT 0810
Australia

Feral Asian swamp buffalo, Bubalus bubalis, and pigs, Sus scrofa, are two of the most abundant and destructive invasive alien species of northern Australia, and an important cultural and economic resource for many communities across the region. Management of these two species is becoming a pressing issue as their populations continue to grow in the region and the full breadth of their impacts becomes known. Effective invasive wildlife management should include multiple levels of control founded on the spatial and temporal ecological dynamics of the target species. While the ecology and impacts of feral buffalo and pigs has been extensively studied during their occupation of northern Australia, the abiotic and biotic determinants of their spatial and temporal distribution and the effect of population density on ecosystem impacts remain understudied. 

This thesis will investigate the distribution, dispersal, impacts and control of feral buffalo and pig populations in northern Australia relative to their density, demography and local environment.  Thesis chapters will focus on one broad research objective each, which include resource use, dispersal, density dependent impacts, effectiveness of the Judas technique and modelling management strategies.

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