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Subproject 4.2.5 Student Update, December 2011

Students

Mick Todd (PhD student, UTAS) has submitted his thesis entitled: Ecology and habitat use of a threatened nocturnal bird, the Tasmanian Masked Owl.  See separate article in this issue of Biobuzz.

Affiliated students

Lisa Cawthen (PhD student, UTAS) has been busily analysing data on the on the diurnal and nocturnal habitat use of insectivorous bats in timber production landscapes. This work will be incorporated into several scientific papers in the coming year. Lisa presented part of this work with her previous research on brushtail possums at the Ecological Society of Australia conference in Hobart recently, in a presentation titled "Bat and possum use of retained hollow-bearing trees in a timber production landscape" [read abstract].  Lisa's pre-PhD possum research is currently "in press" in Wildlife Research [see related article in this issue of Biobuzz].

Tracey-H-in-Hawaii-m

Tracey Hollings and Wildlife Society conference colleagues enjoying a field excursion in Hawaii

Tracey Hollings (PhD, UTAS) is assessing the effects on ecosystems of the declining Tasmanian devil population.  Tracey has been hard at work in the lab.  She has finished testing all her blood samples for toxoplasmosis (a disease) and is glad that after three months of painstaking work, she has finished identifying the origins of all the hairs the she collected from the field using “sticky traps” that snatch hairs from animals that brush by it.  The lab work has been balanced by a number of communication events.  Tracey recently returned from presenting her work at the 18th Annual Conference of the Wildlife Society in Hawaii (read abstract). She also presented some of her results at the Ecological Society of Australia conference in Hobart in late November (see abstract) and in early December she went to Auckland to present her toxoplasmosis work at the 25th International Congress for Conservation Biology (read abstract). Over the coming summer months, Tracey will be analyzing her data and writing papers (she is hoping to submit one to a journal before Christmas!) and thesis chapters.


Sarah Tassell  (PhD, UTAS) is investigating the impact of introduced lyrebirds on Tasmanian forest ecosystems.  She has completed all her field and laboratory work and is currently analysing her data and writing her thesis.  So far, Sarah has found that lyrebirds have an impact on invertebrate assemblages in Tasmanian forests, but the magnitude and nature of the impact varies depend on the spatial scale, underlying environmental factors and heterogeneity of invertebrate communities in the study sites.


Shannon Troy (PhD, UTAS) is investigating the ecology of the Tasmanian spotted-tailed quoll in landscapes subject to production forestry.  Shannon has finished her field work tracking quolls, and she is now analyzing her data.

Former students

Former UTAS PhD student, Erin Flynn recently returned to Tasmania (from Nebraska, USA, where she is working in the Henry Doorly Zoo as a wildlife education manager) to graduate.  Erin has had one paper from her thesis published by Wildlife Research and a second is “in press” in Journal of Mammalogy (see related article in this issue of Biobuzz).

New student

A new CRC-affiliated student, Jillian Smith, is starting an Honours project aiming to uncover the secrets of where Tasmanian devils construct their dens and why.

BIOBUZZ ISSUE FIFTEEN, DECEMBER 2011