Global change ecology and conservation

Honours and masters projects are available across several areas of climate change ecology, global change impacts on biodiversity, planetary health, macroecology and conservation biogeography.

Climate change ecology

    Polar bear
    • Ecological requirements of marine megafauna: Identify how ocean warming and sea ice melt drives shifts in the ecological niches and ranges of artic marine mammals.
    • Coral bleaching on the GBR: Improve future projections of frequency and severity of bleaching events. 
    • Fish diet and climate change: Establish whether diet predisposes species to increased threats from climate change.
    • Climatic change: Pinpoint historical periods of abrupt climate change that compare to near-term forecasts in Australia and beyond.

    Photo by FloridaStock / shutterstock


    Macroecology and conservation biogeography

      Numbat by Martin Willis
      • Native distributions of threatened mammals: Establish the natural distributions of Australian mammals in 1788 to inform future conservation management.
      • Ecological pathways to extinction: determine the role of ecological traits and lifestyles on mammal extinctions
      • Managing arctic megafuana: Evaluate management options for Artic mammals (muskox and reindeer) threatened by climate change.
      • Conserving megapodes: Establish responses of Australia’s megapodes to human-driven changes since European settlement.
      • Vulnerability to extinction: Test the efficacy of conservation threat metrics (such as the IUCN red list) to detect past extinctions.
      • Land-use change: Reconstruct the footprint of Europeans on the landscape of Australia over the last 200 years.

      Photo by Martin Willis


      Effects of climate change on the diversity of Great Barrier Reef marine life

      Planetary health

      • Safeguarding nutrition from fisheries: Is the nutritional value of fish harvested from tropical reefs impacted by climate change?
      • From land to sea: How does water quality management impact biodiversity and ecosystem health along our coastlines?
      • Ecotourism: Ecological outcomes and benefits for human health and wellbeing?


      Photo by Toby Hudson  [CC BY-SA 3.0]


      Global change biologist Dr Damien Fordham


      Dr Damien Fordham

      Co-supervisors: Dr Stuart Brown | Dr Camille Mellin | Dr Sean Tomlinson

      Research area: Global change ecology; climate change, macroecology, planetary health, conservation biogeography

      Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Ecology and Environmental Science

      Tagged in Honours projects - Ecology and environmental science, Honours projects - Plant science, Honours projects - Horticulture, Honours projects - Evolution and palaeobiology, Honours projects - Damien Fordham, Honours projects - Stuart Brown, Honours projects - Camille Mellin, Honours projects - Sean Tomlinson