CIE Spotlight: Restoration of a declining foundation plant species: Testing the roles of competitor suppression, fire reintroduction and herbivore exclusion

Restoration of a declining foundation plant species: Testing the roles of competitor suppression, fire reintroduction and herbivore exclusion

See the paper at Journal of Applied Ecology

Authors: Kristian Bell, Tim S. Doherty, Tricia Wevill, Don A. Driscoll

CIE Spotlight: Learning from natural sediments to tackle microplastics challenges: A multidisciplinary perspective

Learning from natural sediments to tackle microplastics challenges: A multidisciplinary perspective

See the paper at Earth-Science Reviews

Authors: Kryss Waldschläger; Muriel Z.M. Brückner; Bethanie Carney Almroth; Christopher R. Hackney; Tanveer Mehedi Adyel; et al.

CIE Seminar Series – 2022: Biodiversity Indicators (PhD Seminar)

DATE & TIME: Friday 13th May 2022 @ 12pm.

LOCATION: Via Zoom and in-person at Room T3.22, Burwood campus. Click HERE to connect (Meeting ID: 869 7351 6052, Password: 91401926).

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The reality of global biodiversity loss is vast, highly complex, and difficult to comprehend. Biodiversity indicators are policy tools designed to distill this complexity into digestible forms useful for decision making.

The development of terrestrial indicators is still in its infancy however, and many indicators, such as the Red List Index, are deployed with little knowledge about whether they are fit for intended purpose. In fisheries science and economics, indicators are often subjected to more rigorous performance testing to establish their strengths and limitations in different contexts.

My PhD research aimed to translate some of these concepts and methods to the world of terrestrial biodiversity indicators.

This seminar will highlight some key results that can inform the effective use of terrestrial indicators, which are particularly relevant to upcoming negotiations on the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework under the Convention on Biological Diversity.


Simone completed her PhD research on biodiversity indicators in the Deakin Conservation Science Lab, led by Prof Emily Nicholson, submitting her thesis in late 2021. Prior to her PhD she worked on international marine policy for the Pacific Islands Forum.

Simone is now working as a postdoc for the Deakin Marine Spatial Ecology and Conservation Lab led by Dr. Eric Treml, where she is working on developing quantitative tools for managing marine biosecurity risk in New Zealand.

Follow Simone on Twitter for more information.

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!

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Meeting ID: 869 7351 6052

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PhD position @ Deakin University – Determining the resilience of Australian alpine plants in a future climate

PhD Opportunity – Deakin University (eXtreme Plant Ecology Research Team) supervised by Associate Professor Susanna Venn

The eXtreme Plant Ecology Research Team in the Centre for Integrative Ecology and School of Life and Environmental Sciences is seeking a PhD candidate to contribute to an Australian Research Council funded research program aimed at enhancing the resilience of Australian alpine plant communities through strategic restoration practices.

The Australian Alps are recognized as one of the world’s major biodiversity hotspots and critically vulnerable to climate change. Alpine plant communities are already showing signs of climate stress, are under threat from exotic pest plants and animals, and are recovering from a legacy of stock grazing.

As a result, large areas of alpine environments require ongoing restoration works across National Parks and Alpine Resorts. There is urgent need for progressive management strategies to maximise restoration success through consideration of future soil water availability, plant thermal tolerances, and the adaptability of functionally important plant species.

To bolster the resilience of alpine landscapes under climate change; we must understand the interactions between the physical and biological processes underpinning the health of alpine environments and adaptability of alpine plant communities.

An excellent PhD candidate with a background in ecological science, botany or plant ecology is sought to join an exciting project, co-funded by the Centre for Integrative Ecology and the Australian Research Council and our industry partners Parks Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Mount Hotham Alpine Resort and Southern Alpine Resort Management Board, and will make use of the Australian Mountain Research Facility. Depending of the project scope, the candidate will have a unique opportunity to focus on aspects of:

  • Plant thermal tolerance
  • Plant water relations and ecophysiology
  • Plant regeneration and recruitment
  • Snow ecology

The results of the project will assist alpine land managers choose the right species for restoration projects, thereby building resilience into these vulnerable environments.

The candidate will join the eXtreme Plant Ecology Research Team at Deakin Burwood and be supervised by Susanna Venn with potential co-supervisors Adam Miller, John Morgan (La Trobe University) and/or Adrienne Nicotra (Australian National University) depending on the project. The application process is competitive; applicants are expected to have an excellent grade (e.g., H1 or HD) in a related Honours or a MSc research program, and proven skills in scientific writing (previous publications in the relevant area will be highly ranked).

The successful candidate will be awarded a 3-year PhD scholarship (~AU$28,000 p.a. tax free) through the Centre of Integrative Ecology and the School of Life and Environmental Sciences. An anticipated commencement date is spring 2022.

Please get in touch for more information and/or send your CV with a brief introduction about yourself and your interest in this project to Associate Professor Susanna Venn (

For more available positions within the CIE please visit our Current Vacancies page.