CIE Seminar Series – 2020: Trophic interactions in the Anthropocene: Predators and prey, plants and herbivores

SPEAKER: Dr Alex Carthey, Research Fellow, Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney.

DATE & TIME: Friday, 20th November 2020 @ 12:00 noon

LOCATION: Seminar to be streamed via Zoom. Click HERE to connect.


Australia’s biodiversity crisis continues to deepen, with predation by non-native predators such as cats and foxes strongly contributing to native fauna declines and extinctions. Yet loss of habitat to invasive weeds and land-clearing also pose important threats. Experience with such threats over eco-evolutionary timescales can often explain how well a native species will respond to novel pressures.

In this talk I will review my research on prey naivety towards non-native predators in Australia, place that body of work in a global context, and show how it fits into a recent overarching synthesis of predator-prey recognition theory.

I will then briefly explore more recent work on the role of experience and chemical cues in herbivore foraging choices within invaded vegetation communities, before describing a future research agenda combining these strands into novel approaches to stem faunal extinctions.


I am a Macquarie University Research Fellow using behavioural, chemical, and microbial ecology to address conservation problems arising from introduced species and anthropogenic disturbance.

I focus on how non-native species disrupt native predator-prey and plant-herbivore interactions, particularly through mismatched cue detection and discrimination systems. This has extended to recent explorations of the interface between odour ecology and the mammalian microbiome.

Closer to home, I currently lead a range of projects on the behavioural ecology, genetics, and virome of Sydney’s urban foxes. 

For more information click HERE.

As a courtesy, we request that when connecting to the seminar that you mute your microphone unless you are required to speak, this would ensure that the sound from the speaker to the audience is not disrupted by feedback from your microphone.

Thanking you in advance!