Alex Rattray – new member to the School / CIE

Alex Rattray
Alex R.

Please join us in welcoming our new postdoc Alex Rattray who will be “re”-joining the marine mapping team (Warrnambool Campus).

Alex completed his PhD investigating new approaches to predicting the distribution and dynamics of seafloor habitat in 2013.

He then went on to a research fellow position with the Marine Ecology Unit, Department of Biology, University of Pisa, Italy where he worked on the European 7th Framework CoCoNET project (Towards Coast to Coast Networks of Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean and Black Seas).

In 2016 he has returned to Australia and will be working on an Australian National Data Service (ANDS) Program to lead the “Habitat distribution and ocean wealth in Victorian coastal waters project” as part of the SEAMAP Australia initiative.

The project will also work closely with Deakin’s University Librarian Craig Anderson and Director of eResearch Dr Christopher McAvaney. Alex will be based in the GIS laboratory until we organise more permanent dwellings in J Building.

Welcome back Alex 🙂

Jordy Thomson – new member to the School / CIE

Jordy T.
Jordy T.

Please join us in welcoming Dr Jordy Thomson, Research Fellow, Warrnambool campus.

Jordy completed his PhD at Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada) in 2011 under the supervision of Professor Larry Dill and Professor Mike Heithaus (Florida International University).

His research interests typically lie at the intersection of animal behaviour, ecology and conservation in coastal ecosystems. Jordy have been particularly interested in the movements and trophic interactions of large-bodied vertebrates (sea turtles, cetaceans and sharks) and have worked on a long-term community ecology research project in Shark Bay, Western Australia, since 2005.

The project use Shark Bay’s iconic seagrass meadows as a model system for understanding the influence of non-lethal impacts of large sharks on megagrazers (green sea turtles, dugongs) and seagrass community dynamics. As part of this research program, Jordy have specialized in the feeding ecology and movements of sea turtles using telemetry, time-depth recorders, animal-borne video cameras, stable isotope analysis and statistical modeling.

He then joined Dr. Heithaus’ group at FIU as a post doc in 2011 and initiated a project investigating the impacts of extreme temperatures on seagrasses, which is now a central focus of the Shark Bay program.

Jordy came to Deakin University to work with Professor Graeme Hays and to investigate how predation risk structures grazing bouts of green turtles in Shark Bay and develop broader-scale, collaborative projects in other locations.

Over the past decade, Jordy have also worked for several conservation non-profits. He is passionate about science communication and public outreach and have conducted a large number of school and community talks on various topics in animal behaviour and marine conservation.

Jordy, we are glad to have you with us!

Dan Selechnik – new member to the School / CIE

Dan Selechnik
Dan S.

Please join us in welcoming, Mr Dan Selechnik, our new PhD student from the U.S. who has recently joined the CIE (Geelong Campus).

Dan attended undergrad at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania, where he worked on developing a quantitative reporter system for detecting prions in yeast cells. However, due to his love of snakes and interest in vertebrate zoology and conservation biology, Dan has decided to now study ecology and evolution and will be investigating cane toad immunogenetics for his PhD.

Dan is enrolled at the University of Sydney with Rick Shine as his primary supervisor, but will be spending large portions of his PhD at Deakin working with Dr Lee Ann Rollins‘ group on the genetic and epigenetic basic of traits underlying invasiveness.

If you see Dan in the corridor, please introduce yourself and welcome him to the CIE!

Dan, we are glad to have you with us!

Alex Wilson – new member to the School / CIE

Alex Wilson
Alex W.

Alex Wilson has just started an Alfred Deakin fellowship to work with Assoc Prof Pete Biro on topics related to individual variation in behaviour.

Like Pete, his study animals are mainly wet and fishy, but he has worked on other animals including crickets.

Topics he has studied include sociality and ‘social networks’, selective effects of fishing and ontogeny of personality traits. More details on his research available HERE.

And lastly, and most importantly, if you see this man in the hallway, please say hello and introduce yourself 🙂

Welcome Alex, we are happy to have you with us!!

Emily Nicholson – new member to the School / CIE

Emily N.
Emily N.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Emily Nicholson – Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Ecology.

Emily is a conservation scientist who uses quantitative methods from ecology, economics and decision science to support robust and effective environmental management.

Her main research themes are conservation planning, forecasting change in biodiversity through scenario modelling, and biodiversity policy at global and local scales, including ecosystem risk assessment.

She completed her PhD at the University of Queensland in 2006, and held postdoctoral positions at Princeton University (2006-2007) and Imperial College London as a Marie Curie Fellow (2007-2012), and the University of Melbourne as a Centenary Research Fellow (2012-2015).

More information about her work is also available at Emily’s website.

Welcome Emily!!

Mary Young – new member to the School / CIE

Mary Young
Mary Y.

Please join us in welcoming research fellow Ms Mary Young who has commenced a 2yr appointment with our habitat mapping team. She is based on the Warrnambool Campus.

Mary only weeks ago completed her PhD in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California Santa Cruz before making her journey to Australia.

Her thesis explored a variety of geospatial approaches to associate numerous marine species with their habitat along the Central Coast of California and evaluating the placement of marine protected areas (MPAs).

Mary was also employed as a Hydrographic Surveyor/ Multibeam Processing Supervisor at the California State University Monterey Bay Seafloor Mapping Lab for over 9 years. Mary has a unique skills set in acoustic signal processing, marine park assessment, spatial statistics, geographic information systems (GIS), species distribution modelling and project management.

Her role at Deakin University will primarily involve specialist tasks and research in multibeam sonar signal processing for seafloor mapping applications and contribution to the development of the new ARCGIS online unit to be offered across the university in T1 2015.

Welcome Mary!!