Sustaining nature in a changing world

What are the proximal threats to biodiversity, how severe are they, and how can threats be mitigated?

  • Wildlife disease
  • Climate change impacts on biodiversity/species and ecosystems
  • Invasive species impact
  • Ecosystem integrity and functions: fire, urbanization, habitat fragmentation and loss, ecological restoration

Find a CIE researcher in this theme (A to Z):

Dr Alecia Bellgrove | Dr Alexandra McQueen | Dr Alizée Meillère | Amy Longmuir | Prof Andy Bennett | Ange Pestell | Anthony Rendall | Dr Antoine Dujon | April Timmis | Ashley Whitt | Berta Blanch-Lázaro | Billy Geary | Dr Carla Archibald | Dr Cecilia BiancacciDr Chloe Sato | Clare Vernon | A/Prof Daniel Ierodiaconou | Darcy Watchorn | Prof Don Driscoll | Eilysh Thompson | Dr Elodie Camprasse | Prof Emily Nicholson | Emma Sumner | Dr Enayat A. Moallemi | Dr Eric Treml | A/Prof Euan Ritchie | Flora Lam Kim | Georgina Bramwell | Prof Graeme Hays | Huanbi Yue | Dr Jacques-Olivier Laloë | Jaya Kelvin | Jerónimo Vázquez-Ramírez | Jingyu Lin | Johanne Martens | Dr Kaori Yokochi | Prof Kate Buchanan | Dr Kate WatermeyerKrista Bonfantine | Kristian Bell | Kristina Macdonald | Laura Tan | Alfred Deakin Prof Marcel Klaassen | Marco Calderon | Dr Mark Warne | Dr Martino E. Malerba | Dr Mary Young | Dr Mathew Berg | Michael Traurig | Mishal Gudka | Muhammad Jawad Jilani | Dr Mylene Mariette | Nick Taylor | Nynke Raven | Dr Paul CarnellDr Paul Tixier | A/Prof Peter Macreadie | Dr Raoul Ribot | Reihaneh Bandari | Roberto M. Venegas | Sally Fuik-Burgemeestre | Sarah TrebyDr Scarlett Howard | Dr Stacey Trevathan-Tackett | Simone Stevenson | Sundara MawalagederaDr Susanna Venn | Thiruchenduran Somasundaram | Thomas Burns | Prof Thomas Madsen | Tobias Ross | Dr Tricia WevillVanessa Skrzypczyk | Yakupjan (Yakup) Niyazi | Yonina H. Eizenberg | A/Prof Zhifeng Liu |

Dr Alecia Bellgrove

Understanding the roles of habitat-forming seaweeds in ecological systems and the impacts of anthropogenic disturbances (e.g. sewage effluent, climate change) on these seaweeds and the ecosystems they support.

Dr Alexandra McQueen

Birds use heat exchange through their bills to regulate body temperature. Our research investigates whether the bill size of birds predicts their capacity to cope with heat stress, and their long term survival in a warming climate.

Dr Alizée Meillère

My research aims to understand how birds respond to and cope with anthropogenic change (e.g., challenges associated with urbanization or with introduced man-made chemicals). My current work investigates the effects of early-life anthropogenic noise exposure (both pre- and post-natally) on avian development (physiology, morphology, cognition) and long-term fitness.

Amy Longmuir

The invasive pathogen, Phytophthora cinnamomi, stands as a great threat to Australian biodivisty. In infected areas the pathogen can change the fundamental flora landscape by wiping out susceptible species and allowing resistant species to take that niche. Understanding the infection strategy of this pathogen is key to discovering novel methods of control.

Prof Andy Bennett

Disease ecology especially Beak and Feather Disease Virus and Chlamydia in parrots.

Ange Pestell

I’m investigating the interaction of fire and wildlife in the mallee of NW Victoria, focusing on time since fire and inter-fire intervals, to improve how landscapes are managed for fire. Information gathered from this research will also be used to inform broader land management objectives relating to invasive animals.

Anthony Rendall

Investigating trophic dynamics of invasive species communities on islands; investigating the ability of endangered species to co-exist with invasive species and under which scenarios this is possible.

Dr Antoine Dujon

Investigate the effect of climate change and anthropic pressure on the emergence of cancer in wildlife species.

April Timmis

Climate change impacts on fear flight and fitness in birds in relation to flight initiation distance.

Ashley Whitt

Ashley’s thesis, ‘The Future of coastal wetlands under rising sea levels’, aims to develop fundamental knowledge of how coastal catchments should be managed to protect important wetlands under future climate change.

Berta Blanch-Lázaro

Disease ecology and pathology of beak and feather disease virus, using the crimson rosella as a study species.

Billy Geary

My research aims to understand the impacts of interacting threats, such as disturbances, invasive species and climate change, on biodiversity and use this information to inform ecosystem management.

Dr Carla Archibald

As apart of the Land-Use Futures Modelling Project I contribute towards updating models on how climate change will impact the distribution of Australian fauna and flora. Subsequently, I assist in the modelling and identification of how different climate futures may influence the prioritisation of conservation actions such as reserve selection and ecological restoration.

Dr Cecilia Biancacci

I have previously studied the population state of endangered species (C. rubrum) and work for a repopulation study of P. lividus. I am working in the seaweed aquaculture sector at the moment, which also considers the ecological aspects and impacts of the activity.

Dr Chloe Sato

Assessing the risk status of alpine ecosystems, with reference to the extent and severity of threats (e.g. disease, invasive species, fire, habitat loss and fragmentation) affecting those ecosystems under changing climate regimes.

Clare Vernon

Changes in ecosystem integrity and function, and we measure this ecosystem change (systemic review).

A/Prof Daniel Ierodiaconou

Through initiatives such as leadership in the Victorian Integrated Marine Observing system node filling important knowledge gaps in sustained observing to inform impacts of a changing climate and other human impacts.

Darcy Watchorn

A research area of particular interest to me is conserving threatened small mammal species from the synergistic threats of wildfire and predation from invasive species, such as cats and foxes.

Prof Don Driscoll

My lab seeks solutions to conservation problems by understanding how human actions impact on biodiversity and therefore, how those impacts can be avoided or mitigated. Our projects include conservation in fragmented landscapes, frog conservation including effects of chytrid fungus and drought, fire ecology, and testing new methods for monitoring wildlife using automated cameras and environmental DNA.

Eilysh Thompson

Large feral herbivores can cause irreparable damage to natural ecosystems. The aim of my research is to synthesize these impacts so as to identify knowledge gaps to inform future research priorities.

Dr Elodie Camprasse

My current research focuses on human-wildlife conflicts and their causes, and evolution through time and space.

Prof Emily Nicholson

Our group has a strong focus on assessing risks to ecosystems, including change in ecosystem integrity, as part of our work on the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems.

Emma Sumner

My research focuses on how alpine plants respond to cooccurring extremes like drought and heatwaves.

Dr Enayat A. Moallemi

Enayat develops decision support frameworks for making adaptation decisions from the bottom-up to better cope with human’s and nature’s vulnerabilities to future uncertain weather and climate related events. Enayat’s research integrates state-of-the-art exploratory modelling techniques with practice-based action research to perform a deeper assessment of environmental decisions under uncertainty, tailored to specific socio-economic-ecological characteristics of local contexts.

Dr Eric Treml

We are quantifying the potential for adaptive gene flow in marine organisms within our warming oceans with biophysical dispersal models (e.g., Indo-Pacific seascape). Also forecasting the biosecurity threats and management opportunities around ship-based marine pests in New Zealand (Cawthron Institute partnership).

A/Prof Euan Ritchie

Fire Ecology; Invasive Species Impacts and Management.

Flora Lam Kim

I will try to predict what impacts climate change will have on seaweed populations and assess species resistance and/or adaptation to changing conditions.

Georgina Bramwell

How does transmissible effect bivalve health and the environment. And how do bivalve and transmissible cancer react to climate change and different environmental factors.

Graeme Hays

Our tracking work is used to inform marine spatial planning, such as strengthening marine park design. We are driving global initiatives to help maximise the translation of marine animal tracking data into conservation policy and management. Results from a recent Nature paper tracking sharks has helped underpin a reclassification (August 2019) of mako sharks on CITES Appendix II, which will help limit international trade in shark fins. The shark tracking results have been presented to the United Nations and are helping drive negotiations to expand the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to include a new legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine life in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Huanbi Yue

Land use change.

Dr Jacques-Olivier Laloë

Warming temperatures are a threat to sea turtle populations across the world, as extreme temperatures limit the production of males and increase hatchling mortality. My research examines if sea turtles can adapt to the changing environment, or if management strategies are necessary for the conservation of this iconic taxon.

Jaya Kelvin

My research is to measure how valuable coastal wetlands in terms of protecting coastal communities and their valued properties. One of the aims is to promote the significant of wetlands for the sustainability of coastal region. Therefore, I am hoping that it could influence policy-makers to conserve and then restore the coastal wetlands.

Jerónimo Vázquez-Ramírez

How will future climate affect the alpine soil seed bank, seed germination strategies, and seedling establishment?

Jingyu Lin

Hydrological ecosystem service change under climate change.

Johanne Martens

I do research in the field of wildlife disease, investigating Beak and Feather Disease Virus (BFDV) in wild parrots. BFDV is a threat to parrots world-wide, and had recently been found in birds other than parrots as well. My research involves field and lab work, to determine species-specific prevalence, load, immune response and infection persistence.

Dr Kaori Yokochi

My research focuses on ultimately finding ways to minimise the impacts of urbanisation on wildlife. I have studied the effectiveness of rope bridges in mitigating the negative impacts of roads on wildlife, and I’m currently studying how artificial light affects native microbats so that the information can be used to develop a more bat-friendly practice.

Prof Kate Buchanan

I am interested in how animal communication systems are changing in relation to anthropogenic change including climate and noise. I am also interested in invasive species impacts and how invasive species evolve in their new habitats.

Dr Kate Watermeyer

Improving our ability to measure and monitor change in ecosystem biodiversity and integrity in response to impacts, from local to global scales, using indicators and models.

Krista Bonfantine

Can dam releases mimic natural stream processes? My PhD research is evaluating the effectiveness of an environmental flow program using bioindicators and citizen science.

Kristian Bell

I am studying the impact of fragmentation, agriculture and changes to fire regimes on the ecology, function and distribution of a native, foundation species of grass; Triodia scariosa.

Kristina Macdonald

My research aims to understand how herpetofauna respond to both fire and predation in South West Victoria. This research considers the interaction between invasive species impacts and ecosystem integrity and function and how they effect native fauna.

Laura Tan

Investigating how to identify and manage key predators (corvids) on an ecologically and economically important prey population.

Alfred Deakin Prof Marcel Klaassen

To evaluate responses to global change processes and notably climate change, habitat destruction and pollution, I am (i) modelling avian migration strategies, population dynamics and conservation strategies, (ii) and study the disease and nutritional ecology of migratory shorebirds and waterfowl.

Marco Calderon

My research will try to quantify the impacts of land use change on biodiversity in Australia.

Dr Mark Warne

Use of historical and fossil records Ostracoda in aquatic ecosystems to track climate driven changes in ocean currents, and inland waterway health over time.

Dr Martino E. Malerba

Artificial lakes are increasingly more common in Australia and they affect a wide range of ecosystem services.

Dr Mary Young

Geospatial modelling of climate change impacts on species and ecosystems.

Dr Mathew Berg

Wildlife disease ecology and evolution, particularly avian viruses (beak and feather disease virus) and bacteria (Chlamydia); climate change and temperature stress.

Michael Traurig

The primary focus of my research it to look at the relationship between risks to ecosystems and services they provide to human well being. The idea being that it can provide a more full account of the value to retain ecosystems as they are rather than let them further degrade or actively change them for other economic purposes.

Mishal Gudka

The increasing effects of climate-driven and local pressures on coral reefs poses mounting challenges to their management worldwide. My research will attempt to identify and effectively measure the relative role of different factors responsible for the persistence of coral reefs in East Africa to inform effective implementation of ecosystem-based management.

Muhammad Jawad Jilani

Frogs globally are facing threats of changing water regimes due to climate change along with impacts of the pandemic disease chytridiomycosis. I am investigating the impact of drought, chytrid fungus and their possible interactions on frogs. I intend to discover if there are opportunities for environmental watering to counter drought effects and ameliorate frog deaths due to chytrid. My model species, Pseudophryne bibronii from SE Australia, is thought to have declined recently and could be vulnerable to both drying and chytrid. This is particularly important now to understand the responses of P.bibronii to environmental change because climate change impacts are increasing and could make impacts of chytrid worse.

Dr Mylene Mariette

I investigate the role of developmental programing and inter-individual variation in physiological traits for adaptation to climate change, using a model species adapted to the unpredictable climate and environment of the Australian arid zone.

Nick Taylor

Climate Change impacts on biodiversity was a regular theme in my undergraduate Science degree e.g. Landscape Ecology.

Nynke Raven

Tasmanian devils, a top native predator and key part of the ecosystem, have declined by >80% due to transmissible cancer. My research investigates devils adaptation/response to transmissible cancer, hoping to assist devil recovery, which will subsequently benefit Tasmanian ecosystems.

Dr Paul Carnell

I have worked on the ecology and management of sub-tidal reef ecosystems (such as kelp forests) in Port Phillip Bay and across Victoria over the last 10 years. By working with management agencies such as Parks Victoria, the Victorian Fisheries Authority and the Victorian state government, the aim is to ensure the resilience of these ecosystems into the future. See HERE for more info.

Dr Paul Tixier

Assessing the impacts of fisheries interactions on large marine predators populations and associated ecosystems.

A/Prof Peter Macreadie

The future of wetlands in a changing world: how will wetland extent change under ‘business as usual scenarios’, including human development and climate change? What management and policy actions can be taken now to ensure the future of wetlands and their provision of valuable ecosystem services? Is there a strong business case for return-on-investment from protection and restoration of wetlands, based on their provision of ecosystem services that are valuable to human-wellbeing and our economy?

Dr Raoul Ribot

My work around the theme ‘sustaining nature in a changing world’ mostlfy focuses on wildlife disease (e.g. BFDV in parrots).

Reihaneh Bandari

We are working on Local sustainable development goals (SDGs) project.The goal of 15 among SDGs related to life and land. One of the main challenges in the Goulburn–Murray region is the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss in this area. Also goal of 13 is related to climate change and its impacts.

Roberto M. Venegas

Climate change impacts on dispersal, persistence, and biodiversity of species and ecosystems.

Sally Fuik-Burgemeestre

Researching the role of remnant vegetation on private land as refuge against the impacts of large feral herbivores in fire-prone landscapes.

Sarah Treby

My research is focussed on the impacts of land management and disturbance to freshwater wetlands in the Murray Darling Basin and the Australian Alps, including agricultural practices, fire, environmental water, and grazing by feral herbivores.

Dr Scarlett Howard

I will examine how urbanization, habitat fragmentation/loss, and different types of landscapes/ecosystems impact bee species in terms of behaviour, pollination capacity, biodiversity, physiology and the distribution of native and invasive species. This research will help to design pollinator-friendly urban and rural environments which benefit humans and pollinators.

Dr Stacey Trevathan-Tackett

I am interested in marine disease, particularly those affecting macrophytes. My research also looks as the effects of climate change and human-related impact on ecosystem function, including microbiome-host health and biogeochemical cycling.

Simone Stevenson

Some of my research looks at how well biodiversity indicators capture the response of biodiversity to different types of threat.

Sundara Mawalagedera

The aim of my research was to sustainable source plant for pharmaceutical industry. So it indirectly discuss the threats of over harvesting.

Dr Susanna Venn

My research tackles how alpine plants and plant communities respond to environmental changes, disturbances and extreme events, in terms of their distribution, community composition and thermal tolerances.

Thiruchenduran Somasundaram

Climate change impacts and drought resilience.

Thomas Burns

Amphibian chytrid fungus.

Prof Thomas Madsen

No info….

Tobias Ross

I plan to determine how pollution harms populations of shorebirds along the EAAF and what relationship this has with the prevalence of emerging diseases such as avian influenza.

Dr Tricia Wevill

My research focuses on vegetation dynamics at both fine-scale and landscape levels, in response to altered environmental and disturbance regimes, particularly altered fire and climate regimes.

Vanessa Skrzypczyk

A major issue surrounding seaweed production is the ability for it to be successfully cultured, but more importantly if it is to be wild harvested, it must be done sustainably and we must create strategies to minimise the impact on habitats.


Submarine canyons and volcanic islands have significant contribution to maintaining high levels of biodiversity. Climate change, sea level fluctuation will influence the geomorphological evolution of canyons and volcanic, and through which, impact the biodiversity.

Yonina H. Eizenberg

This includes understanding what determines breeding and foraging habitat and aims to determine how climate change influences the use of terrestrial and marine environments by small burrowing seabirds.

A/Prof Zhifeng Liu

The impacts of urban expansion on habitat loss and habitat quality.